Suggested Reading List
A Traveller's Companion to Prague
Author: Jan Kaplan (Editor)
Description: A portrait of the city, its neighborhoods, architecture, society and culture as seen through the eyes of writers over the centuries, including Petrarch, Hans Christian Anderson, Graham Greene and Patrick Leigh Fermor.
Conversations With Kafka
Author: Gustav Janouch
Description: The young poet sketches his friend Kafka and his world in this revelatory brief portrait, now with an appreciative preface by Francine Prose.
Author: Claudio Magris
Description: Mixing history, personalities and literature, Magris traces the course of the Danube from its source in the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea in this anything but conventional travelogue, first published in 1986.
Danubia, A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
Author: Simon Winder
Description: Winder, author of Germania (GER270), considers the legacy of the Habsburg Europe in this charmingly digressive history and travelogue.
Dvorak and His World
Author: Michael Beckerman
Description: A fascinating view of the Czech composer's personal life and his influence on the world around him.
Eyewitness Guide Prague
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: This superb guide features color photography, dozens of excellent maps and a district-by-district synopsis of the celebrated city's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.
Gottland, Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechosovakia
Author: Mariusz Szczygiel
Description: A cultural history told through a collection of stories about human survival during Czechoslovakia’s 80-year existence. Szcygiel focuses on artists, writers and performers who responded with craftiness when confronted with the absurdity and pressures of their eras.
I Served the King of England
Author: Bohumil Hrabal
Description: A rollicking trip through the history of 20th century Czechoslovakia, Hrabal's comic masterpiece follows the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism,
Life with a Star
Author: Jiri Weil, Philip Roth (Introduction)
Description: A fictional account of the Holocaust told through the story of a young Czech Jew.
Lonely Planet Czech Phrasebook
Author: Lonely Planet
Description: A palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary.
Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990
Author: Vaclav Havel, Paul Wilson (Editor)
Description: This inspired anthology of writings by the Czech poet-president Vaclav Havel collects 25 essays, letters and speeches written between 1965 and 1990, including those that directly influenced the Polish Solidarity movement.
Author: Berndtson & Berndtson
Description: A laminated, detailed map of the center of Prague at a scale of 1:10,000.
Author: Jan Neruda, Michael Heim (Translator), Ivan Klima (Introduction)
Description: A collection of stories set in the Little Quarter of 19th-century Prague. Neruda has been referred to as the Charles Dickens of Czechoslovakia.
Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City
Author: Peter Demetz
Description: Both a history and an accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city.
Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Paul Wilson (Editor)
Description: This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life.
The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History
Author: Derek Sayer
Description: A sensitively written and lively portrait of the highs and lows of Czech history over the past century with special attention to the fate of Prague in war and peace.
The Czech Reader, History, Culture, Politics
Author: Jan Bazant (Editor)
Description: A fascinating survey of Czech history, culture and politics, part of the World Readers series, and composed of the writings and impressions of luminaries, leaders and ordinary Czechs. Among the highlights are Joan of Arc’s letter to the Hussites, the composer Antonin Dvorak’s letter from the New World and literary selections from Kafka, Kundera and Vaclav Havel.
The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War
Author: Jaroslav Hasek, Cecil Parrott (Translator)
Description: The deeply funny story of a hapless Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, dismissed for incompetence only to be pressed into service by the Russians in World War I, then captured by his own troops.
The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague
Author: Timothy Garton Ash
Description: With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Author: Milan Kundera
Description: Kundera's intriguing novel, praised for its meditations on the nature of men and women, and on the fearful emptiness of life in Prague under Communist rule. We also carry Kundera’s collection of short stories The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
The Wall, Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
Author: Peter Sis
Description: With his usual flair and attention to detail, illustrator Peter Sis deftly sketches the events, experiences and history of his youth in Prague.