Suggested Reading List
A Tramp Abroad
Author: Mark Twain, David Eggers (Introduction), Kerry Driscoll (Introduction)
Description: Written 11 years after Innocents Abroad, this is Twain's second foray into European travel. Filled with his characteristic wit and humorous observations, it documents his journeys through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Now with an introduction by Dave Eggers.
Author: Freytag & Berndt
Description: This regional map (1:500,000), centered on the Alps, includes portions of Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France.
Birds of Europe
Author: Lars Svensson
Description: Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second revised edition of this exquisite guide has been brought up to date with revised text and maps.
Chamonix, Mont Blanc Massif (East)
Description: This fabulously detailed topographic map (scale 1:25,000) shows the eastern portion of the Mont Blanc group.
Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains
Author: Jon Krakauer
Description: A collection of some of Krakauer's (Into Thin Air) best journalism, these stories and essays focus on the mindset and determination of world-class mountaineers, including Alpine and Himalayan climbers.
Explore Mont Blanc
Author: Gareth McCormack
Description: A compact, practical guide in the "Rucksack Reader" series, this book features a route map, photographs and practical details for the classic 11-day Mont Blanc circuit though France, Italy and Switzerland.
Hotel du Lac
Author: Anita Brookner
Description: Funny, stylish and spellbinding, Brookner's novel tracks the story of a romance novelist, not quite finding peace and quiet at the quiet luxury of Hotel du Lac in Switzerland.
Insight Guide Switzerland
Author: Insight Guides
Description: This handsome guide gives a profusely illustrated overview of Switzerland, featuring concise essays by well-regarded authors on history, politics and culture, as well as hundreds of photos and maps, and some practical information.
Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps
Author: Fergus Fleming
Description: Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn (where four of the seven-man team perished).
Author: Sandy Hill
Description: Published with the American Alpine Club, this stunning celebration of the allure of climbing and grandeur of the great peaks features images by nature photographers and adventurers spanning two centuries, Ansel Adams, Edmund Hillary, Bradford Washburn and Galen Rowell among them. Sandy Hill, one of the first women to reach all seven summits, and others provide concise essays but it is the 350 oversized, sumptuously produced black-and-white and color photographs that entrance.
Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69
Author: Edward Whymper
Description: Edward Wymper's classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps.
Author: Dorling Kindersley
Description: A lavish visual survey of 80 great mountaineers -- who they were, where they went -- from the Alps and Dolomites to Everest and other peaks in Himalayas and the Andes.
Author: James Salter
Description: The story of an American climber who, dissatisfied with his everyday life, travels to the Alps of southern France to tackle mountain peaks. The prose is glorious and the mountain-climbing scenes are as vivid as they get.
St Gervais les Bains, Mont Blanc (West)
Description: This fabulously detailed topographic map (scale 1:25,000) shows the western portion of the Mont Blanc group.
The Alps, A Cultural History
Author: Andrew Beattie
Description: Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of the Alps, where early pioneers of tourism, mountaineering and scientific research have all left their mark.
The Night Manager
Author: John Le Carre
Description: This best-selling, post-Cold War thriller about ruthless arms dealers in Geneva is a gripping read. Carrying on the great Le Carre tradition of espionage, a man who essentially gave up living after a tremendous failure is given a costly shot at redemption.
Author: Susan Bernofsky (Translator), Robert Walser
Description: In this classic novella by the Swiss modernist, freshly translated, Walser writes that "it is on walks that the lore of nature and the lore of the country are revealed, charming and graceful, to the sense and eyes of the observant walker."
Tour of Mont Blanc, Complete Trekking Guide
Author: Kev Reynolds
Description: A compact guide to the classic Mont Blanc circuit, which includes a detailed guide to each section of the tour, as well as the author's own personable, encouraging remarks.
Author: Jonathan Steinberg
Description: A masterly overview of the idiosyncrasies of Switzerland, its history, language, politics and identity as a naysayer at the center of Europe.
Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe
Author: Andrew Cleave
Description: Featuring color photographs of commonly encountered species in the field and garden.
Author: Bob Gibbons
Description: A naturalist and tour leader, Gibbons covers when and where to witness impressive displays of wildflowers in this beautifully illustrated, oversized survey of 50 sites. His vote for the most flowery place in the world: the kaleidoscopic grasslands of Mount Rainier.