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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Great European Journey

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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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 EXEUR874. Buy these 5 items as a set for $95 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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A Time of Gifts

A Time of Gifts

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER

Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience gives the book particular poignancy. (CEU30, $16.95)

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)

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)

Central Europe Map

Central Europe Map

by Freytag & Berndt

  • 2010
  • MAP

This colorful regional European map, like the sister map Europe Grand Tour (EUR185), covers from Paris and Amsterdam to Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Rome and Dubrovnik. (EUR12, $14.95)

 
Strasbourg Map

Strasbourg Map


by IGN

  • MAP

A city map of Strasbourg at a scale of 1:10,000. (FRN292, $16.95)

Eyewitness Guide Germany

Eyewitness Guide Germany


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 584 PAGES

Featuring color photography, excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. (GER133, $30.00)

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)

Lonely Planet Amsterdam Encounter

Lonely Planet Amsterdam Encounter


by Karla Zimmerman

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

This lively shirt pocket guide to the city, jammed with personal recommendations and photographs, also includes a pull-out map. (NTH110, $13.99)

Lonely Planet Western Europe

Lonely Planet Western Europe


by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 1156 PAGES

A guide to all the Western European countries, with a good overview of culture, history and nature, and information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing, (EUR70, $29.99)

The Bernese Alps, Switzerland

The Bernese Alps, Switzerland


by Kev Reynolds

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES

A compact, practical guide to exploring the high mountains, glaciers and valley walks of Interlaken, Grindelwald and Kanderstag. This guide covers not only the Bernese Oberland but also the south side of the Jungfrau. (SWZ39, $22.95)

Prost! The Story of German Beer

Prost! The Story of German Beer


by Horst D. Dornbusch

  • FOOD
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

The Munich-based aficionado weaves history and culture with the marvels and mysteries of German beer in this brief, authoritative guide. (GER99, $14.95)

A Concise History of Germany

A Concise History of Germany


by Mary Fulbrook

  • HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 277 PAGES

This essential short history of Germany -- a whirlwind survey in less than 300 pages -- explores the relationships between social, political and cultural factors in this land located in the center of Europe. (GER13, $34.99)

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)

Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City

Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City


by Russell Shorto

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Russell Shorto opens this delightful ode to an adopted city with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son. He spins a tale of a diverse city wrestled collectively from the sea, its coffee shops, canals, personalities and politics, with panache. (NTH143, $16.95)

Germania, In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History

Germania, In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History


by Simon Winder

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 480 PAGES

Winder's witty, entertaining and opinionated portrait of German culture is both an illuminating history and a wonderfully digressive exploration of the powerful and often confounding nation. (GER270, $20.00)

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)

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)

The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World

The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World


by Andrew Jotischky

  • HISTORY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 144 PAGES

Richly decorated with photographs, illustrations and full-color maps, this compact atlas explores the empires, people, cultures and religions of the Middle Ages, providing an excellent introduction to European history. (EUR384, $22.00)

The Rhine, Culture and Landscape at the Heart of Europe

The Rhine, Culture and Landscape at the Heart of Europe


by Roland Recht

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2001
  • HARD COVER
  • 360 PAGES

This beautifully illustrated, oversized survey of the history, geography and culture of the Rhine shows cities, villages and sights along the river from its source in the Alps to the North Sea. (GER120, $75.00)

The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000

The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000


by Mark Cioc | William Cronon

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 263 PAGES

A scholarly, well-researched environmental history of the Rhine, particularly its role in European economic and national history over the last 200 years. (GER130, $24.95)

The Undutchables

The Undutchables


by Colin White

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 308 PAGES

A laugh-out-loud, irreverent guide to Dutch character and habits, including how to drink coffee and why you shouldn't even think about haggling over prices. (NTH12, $16.00)

A Worldly Art

A Worldly Art


by Mariet Westermann

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other Old Masters. (NTH46, $25.00)

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)

The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages

The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages


by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 175 PAGES

This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology. (MED07, $15.95)

The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral

The Gothic Enterprise, A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral


by Robert A. Scott

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 294 PAGES

An enthusiast, Scott delves into the history, design, architecture and wonder of Europe's medieval cathedrals and great Abbey churches. (EUR190, $26.95)

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, $16.00)

The Improbable Voyage

The Improbable Voyage


by Tristan Jones

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 332 PAGES

Jones, an inveterate Welsh sailor, adventurer and storyteller, channels Eastern Europe circa 1985 in his tale of a tough voyage along the Rhine and Danube to the Black Sea. (EUR156, $16.50)

The Blue Flower

The Blue Flower


by Penelope Fitzgerald

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 225 PAGES

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. (GER21, $13.95)

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.