Suggested Reading List
A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889
Author: Frederic Morton
Description: A portrait of Vienna at the end of the 19th century, this book focuses on Crown Prince Rudolph, his devastating suicide and the rich texture of gossip and daily life at the Habsburg Court. It captures the political ferment, intellectual creativity, gaiety and despair of fin-de-siecle Austria.
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.
Culture Smart! Switzerland
Author: Kendall Maycock
Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture.
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.
Eyewitness Guide Austria
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: This superb guide to all of Austria features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.
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).
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
Author: John McPhee
Description: In the company of a Swiss patrol leader on a training mission, McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the army of Switzerland.
Author: Peter Gay
Description: This concise, entertaining portrait delves into Mozart's complex relationship with his father, his daunting role as a child prodigy and his exploration of new musical territory.
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.
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 Habsburgs, Embodying Empire
Author: Andrew Wheatcroft
Description: The Habsburgs ruled over more diverse peoples and cultures than any other European dynasty since the Roman period. With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs.
The Radetzky March
Author: Joseph Roth, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)
Description: Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor.
The Third Man and the Fallen Idol
Author: Graham Greene
Description: A haunting tale and penetrating portrait of Vienna after World War II, "The Third Man" is the result of Greene's collaboration with Carol Reed on the classic movie. "The Fallen Idol" is a separate tale of intrigue set in Britain.
Twilight of the Habsburgs, The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph
Author: Alan Palmer
Description: A vivid tale of the emperor of Austria-Hungary and king of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia who ruled until the fall of the empire during World War I.
Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Donald Daviau
Description: Organized by neighborhood, these 15 alluring tales introduce both the city and its writers, including Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and even Franz Kafka, who had a long and complicated association with the city.
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.