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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Christmas in Vienna & Prague

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

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A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889

A Nervous Splendor, Vienna 1888-1889

by Frederic Morton

  • HISTORY
  • 1980
  • PAPER
  • 340 PAGES

A portrait of Vienna at the end of the 19th century, this book focuses on Crown Prince Rudolph, his devastating suicide and the rich texture of gossip and daily life at the Habsburg Court. (AST16, $17.00)

Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion

by Paul Wilson

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life. (CZH08, $14.95)

Cadogan Guide Vienna, Prague and Budapest

Cadogan Guide Vienna, Prague and Budapest

by Cadogan Guide

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 334 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
  • >

Three authors teamed up for this in-depth cultural guide to the history, architecture, artistic heritage and sights of these three capital cities. (CEU43, $21.95)

 
Prague Map

Prague Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2014
  • MAP

A laminated, detailed map of the center of Prague at a scale of 1:10,000. (CZH13, $8.95)

Eyewitness Guide Prague

Eyewitness Guide Prague


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

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. (CZH01, $25.00)

Eyewitness Guide Vienna

Eyewitness Guide Vienna


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Take along this handy, compact guide featuring history, culture, color photography and excellent neighborhood maps. (AST01, $23.00)

Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990

Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990


by Vaclav Havel | Paul Wilson

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 405 PAGES

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. (CZH06, $15.95)

Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City

Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City


by Peter Demetz

  • HISTORY
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

Both a history and an accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city. (CZH09, $28.00)

The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History

The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History


by Derek Sayer

  • HISTORY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 408 PAGES

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. (CZH10, $42.00)

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)

Baroque and Rococo Art

Baroque and Rococo Art


by Germain Bazin

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1985
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

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. (EUR53, $21.95)

Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages

Cathedrals and Castles, 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)

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)

Mozart

Mozart


by Peter Gay

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 177 PAGES

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. (AST43, $15.00)

The Hare With Amber Eyes

The Hare With Amber Eyes


by Edmund De Waal

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Edmund de Waal unfolds the story of his remarkable family, a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who "burned like a comet" in early 20th-century Paris and Vienna. (FRN941, $16.00)

The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War

The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War


by Jaroslav Hasek | Cecil Parrott

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 752 PAGES

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. (CZH11, $16.00)

The Radetzky March

The Radetzky March


by Joseph Roth | Joachim Neugroschel

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 331 PAGES

Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg Empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor. (AST17, $16.95)

The Third Man and the Fallen Idol

The Third Man and the Fallen Idol


by Graham Greene

  • LITERATURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 157 PAGES

A haunting tale and penetrating portrait of Vienna after World War II, "The Third Man" is the result of Greene's collaboration with Carol Reed on the classic movie. "The Fallen Idol" is a separate tale of intrigue set in Britain. (AST30, $15.00)

The Tin Drum

The Tin Drum


by Gunter Grass

  • LITERATURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 582 PAGES

Probably the best German novel written since the end of World War II, this is the surreal story of a mute dwarf named Oskar who lives through Nazi Germany and finds himself in a mental institution. (GER33, $15.95)

Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Vienna, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Donald Daviau

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Organized by neighborhood, these 15 alluring tales introduce both the city and its writers, including Arthur Schnitzler, Robert Musil, Stefan Zweig and even Franz Kafka, who had a long and complicated association with the city. (AST94, $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.