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You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org
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The Book Thief
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
A Tramp Abroad
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.
The Blue Flower
Set in the Age of Goethe, this exquisitely written short novel is a fictional account of the life of the Romantic poet Novalis. It paints a vivid picture of German intellectual and mercantile life in the late 1700s.
Prost! The Story of German Beer
The Munich-based aficionado weaves history and culture with the marvels and mysteries of German beer in this brief, authoritative guide.
Every Pilgrim's Guide to Oberammergau and its Passion Play
This pocket travel guide by a retired Anglican priest includes information on Oberammergau and the Passion Play, performed five times a day, five days a week for five months every 10 years. With hymns and bible readings.
Stones from the River, A Novel
Rich in details of daily life in Germany in the first half of the 20th century, this ambitious novel illuminates the impact of Nazism and complicity of townsfolk through the eyes of Trudi Montag, librarian, storyteller and testimony to difference (she's a Zwerg or dwarf).
Baroque and Rococo Art
An excellent illustrated survey of Baroque and Rococo art and architecture, this volume in the acclaimed "World of Art" series is a good companion to the golden age of Middle Europe.
A handy, laminated map of Munich at a scale of 1:11,000.
Lonely Planet Austria
A highly recommended introduction to Austrian history and culture, as well as a good overview of popular destinations including Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and more.
Fodor's Munich's 25 Best
This slim guide to Munich includes a separate map of the center of the city and a 128-page pocket book with essential information on its highlights, including restaurant recommendations and sightseeing.
Oberammergau, The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play
A cultural history of Oberammergau and the monumental influence its Passion Play has had on its development.
The Burgermeister's Daughter, Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town
Meticulously researched and absorbing, this narrative by a Harvard historian traces the legal battle of the daughter of a well-to-do family who was thrown out of her home and disinherited in 1525.
The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire
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.
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.
The German Way
A slim volume on the German-speaking world's cultural psyche, this is a great resource for anyone seeking insight into why the Germans do what they do.
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
The true story of the von Trapp family singers, as remembered by Maria von Trapp herself. Maria was indeed a novice nun, but there ends her resemblance to the Julie Andrews character in the Sound of Music.
German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation
This history of German-speaking central Europe offers a very wide perspective, emphasizing a succession of many-layered communal identities. It highlights the interplay of individual, society, culture and political power, contrasting German with Western patterns.
The Swan King: Ludwig II of Bavaria
Ludwig II, the so-called Mad King of Bavaria, was one of the most enigmatic figures of the 19th century. He has gone down in history for his patronage to Richard Wagner, and for the palaces he created.