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Books for

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 EXALP111. Buy these 5 items as a set for $75 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)

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)

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)

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)

Alps Map

Alps Map

by Freytag & Berndt

  • 2010
  • MAP

This regional map (1:500,000), centered on the Alps, includes portions of Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France. (ALP07, $14.95)

 
Eyewitness Guide Austria

Eyewitness Guide Austria


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 380 PAGES

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. (AST59, $25.00)

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
  • PAPER
  • 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, $19.95)

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)

The Alps, A Cultural History

The Alps, A Cultural History


by Andrew Beattie

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

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. (ALP30, $36.95)

The German Way

The German Way


by Hyde Flippo

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 138 PAGES

This clever A-to-Z guide to quirks, attitudes, behavior and customs is a terrific resource for travelers seeking insight into why the Germans, Austrians and Swiss do what they do. (GER12, $18.00)

The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire

The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire


by Andrew Wheatcroft

  • HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

With skillful scholarship and engaging style, Wheatcroft reveals the history of this family of eccentric monarchs. (AST11, $18.00)

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)

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)

Ludwig

Ludwig


by Luchino Visconti

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2008
  • DVD

Director Luchino Visconti brings his famed majestic style to this lavish and operatic portrait of Ludwig II, the 19th-century 'mad king' of Bavaria (GER237, $39.98)

Ludwig II of Bavaria, The Swan King

Ludwig II of Bavaria, The Swan King


by Christopher McIntosh

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 331 PAGES

This lively biography of King Ludwig II, builder of the wild castles of Bavaria, chronicles in fascinating detail Ludwig's rise to the throne at age 18, his devotion to music and architecture and his death under questionable circumstances at the age of 41. (GER27, $18.00)

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers


by Maria von Trapp

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 312 PAGES
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

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. (AST47, $15.99)

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)

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)

Homestead

Homestead


by Rosini Lippi

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 210 PAGES

Set firmly in a small village in the Austrian Alps, these 12 interlinking stories are almost ethnographic in their rich detail of small town life. The stories range from the turn-of-the-century to the present, accurately charting change in the remote village. (ALP11, $13.95)

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)

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.