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Switzerland

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXSWZ61. Buy these 5 items as a set for $82 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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La Place de la Concorde Suisse

La Place de la Concorde Suisse

by John McPhee

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 150 PAGES

McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Switzerland army to present an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset. (SWZ14, $16.00)

Swiss Watching, Inside Europe's Landlocked Island

Swiss Watching, Inside Europe's Landlocked Island

by Diccon Bewes

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 324 PAGES

An international bestseller. Diccon Bewees, a neutral Brit, covers cheese, chocolate, William Tell, bureaucracy and banks, all with humor and thorough research. His cultural portrait of the one-of-a-kind nation includes tips on local customs, greetings and etiquette. Second edition. (SWZ73, $19.95)

Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps

Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps

by Fergus Fleming

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 398 PAGES

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). (ALP16, $14.00)

Eyewitness Guide Switzerland

Eyewitness Guide Switzerland

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • FLEXI-BOUND
  • 328 PAGES

A compact, thoroughly illustrated guide, featuring over 900 photographs, good maps, and plenty of information on hiking in the Swiss Alps, natural and tourist attractions and the history and arts of Switzerland. (SWZ45, $25.00)

Switzerland Map

Switzerland Map

by Michelin Maps

  • 2012
  • MAP

A colorful, shaded relief map of Switzerland at a scale of 1:400,000. (SWZ11, $12.95)

 
Switzerland Adventure Map

Switzerland Adventure Map


by National Geographic Maps

  • 2013
  • MAP

A waterproof, tear-resistant map of Switzerland at a scale of 1:500,000. Includes detailed elevations and the locations of natural attractions. (SWZ79, $11.95)

Culture Smart! Switzerland

Culture Smart! Switzerland


by Kendall Maycock

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, no-nonsense guide to Switzerland's customs, etiquette and culture. (SWZ58, $9.95)

Insight Guide Switzerland

Insight Guide Switzerland


by Insight Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

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 other practical information. (SWZ15, $24.99)

Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss

Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss


by Paul Bilton

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 92 PAGES

This irreverent pocket guide to cultural awareness is both insightful and entertaining. (SWZ77, $7.95)

Cuisines of the Alps

Cuisines of the Alps


by Kay Shaw Nelson

  • FOOD
  • 2004
  • HARD COVER
  • 197 PAGES

Subtitled "Recipes, Drinks, and Lore from France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia," this colorful tour of the region's rustic cuisine offers more than 140 recipes, a section on regional wines and historical information. (CEU38, $24.95)

All Along the Rhine: Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland

All Along the Rhine: Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland


by Kay Shaw Nelson

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 211 PAGES

A tribute to the Rhine Valley, its history, culture and especially its food in 130 authentic recipes. (GER111, $14.95)

Slow Train to Switzerland, One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years -- and a World of Change Apart

Slow Train to Switzerland, One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years -- and a World of Change Apart


by Diccon Bewes

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

Bestselling author Diccon Bewes (Swiss Watching SWZ73) follows in the footsteps of an 1863 tour group who traveled from London to Lucerne, Switzerland. In his trademark breezy, intelligent prose, Bewes traces how tourism and time have caused a sea of change in Switzerland. (SWZ80, $29.95)

Why Switzerland?

Why Switzerland?


by Jonathan Steinberg

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 300 PAGES

A masterly overview of the idiosyncrasies of Switzerland, its history, language, politics and identity as a naysayer at the center of Europe. (SWZ04, $39.99)

Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains

Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains


by Jon Krakauer

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

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. (ALP10, $14.95)

Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69

Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69


by Edward Whymper

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Edward Wymper's classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps. (ALP02, $16.00)

A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad


by Mark Twain | David Eggers | Kerry Driscoll

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

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. (EUR78, $14.95)

Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life

Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life


by Anne Herrmann

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 264 PAGES

Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Anne Hermann's passionate celebration of what it means to be Swiss intertwines personal revelation with cultural fact. (SWZ82, $26.95)

Neither Here Nor There, Travels in Europe

Neither Here Nor There, Travels in Europe


by Bill Bryson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 254 PAGES

Bryson deploys his famously cranky humor in this romp through European capitals. He's great fun to read and insightful on quirks of character. (EUR25, $14.99)

A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms


by Ernest Hemingway

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 332 PAGES

Set in snowy Switzerland and the rainy Italian Lake Country during World War I, this semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the romance between a British nurse and an American ambulance driver. (ITL384, $16.00)

A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax

A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax


by Dorothy Gilman

  • MYSTERY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

A secret agent like no other, feisty grandmother Mrs. Pollifax goes to Switzerland to track down a missing package of plutonium -- just enough to make a small atomic bomb. Fourth in the series. (SWZ65, $7.99)

Daisy Miller

Daisy Miller


by Henry James

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 126 PAGES

A classic story of a young American woman's innocent flirtation and its misinterpretation by a sophisticated European man, set in Lac Leman and Chillon. This is James' first fictional work to gain mass popularity and one of his great American female portraits. (SWZ09, $7.00)

Hotel du Lac

Hotel du Lac


by Anita Brookner

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 184 PAGES

Funny, stylish and spellbinding, Brookner's novel tracks the story of a romance novelist seeking evasive peace and quiet at the luxurious Hotel du Lac in Switzerland. (SWZ05, $14.95)

La Nouvelle Heloise

La Nouvelle Heloise


by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • LITERATURE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 421 PAGES

Rousseau may be best known for his political philosophy, but in this novel we see his softer side. This is the passionate story told through the letters of two lovers in a small town at the foot of the Alps. (SWZ19, $34.95)

The Night Manager

The Night Manager


by John Le Carre

  • LITERATURE
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 473 PAGES

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. (SWZ06, $7.99)

The Walk

The Walk


by Robert Walser | Susan Bernofsky

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

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." (SWZ75, $10.95)

Birds of Europe

Birds of Europe


by Lars Svensson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide has been updated with revised text and maps. (FG47, $29.95)

Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe

Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe


by Andrew Cleave

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

A colorful field guide featuring commonly encountered species of the fields and gardens of Europe. (EUR371, $14.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.