I’ve been planning my trip to Paris. As it turns out, one of my friends is going to be in Vienna where her husband is directing an opera. I’m going to take a little side trip to see them. Instead of flying, I’ve decided to take the train, with a route through the Swiss Alps.

Does anyone know of any good books about the Alps to read along the way?

Thank you!!

(Photo by Hurni Christoph.)


13 Comments on Books about the Alps?

  1. Of course, darling, you must read Story of the Trapp Family Singers (by Maria Augusta Von Trapp), on which The Sound of Music was based! I would also recommend Frankenstein (by Mary Shelley), Heidi (by Johanna Spyri), Women in Love (by DH Lawrence), The Magic Mountain (by Thomas Mann), A Farewell to Arms (by Ernest Hemingway), Tricks of the Light (by Alison Fell), and Chalet School series (by Elinor Brent-Dyer – a collection of short stories). I would also recommend the following poetry: The Traveller (by Oliver Goldsmith), The Prelude (by William Wordsworth), and Manfred (by Lord Byron).

  2. I have little to offer, except to say enjoy how beautiful they are! I think taking a train is brilliant. During high school, I got to spend a week in the Transylvanian Alps in Romania and have always wanted to see more of the Alps–they are so wonderfully majestic!

  3. Have you seen http://www.bookssetin.com ? It is not a comprehensive list, but you can put in a city or a country to find lots of books set in that area. My other recommendation is a biography of the young Marie Antoinette, since you are making the same journey she did, but in the other direction.

  4. I’d go for a good translation of Roger Frison-Roche. His books about the Alps and the ubiquity of the mountain for those who work with it have very few equals. :)

  5. Dear Tina, I am one of your follower since months. I live in Switzerland. Are you looking for books during your trip in my country or travel-books on my country?
    I would be happy to give you my “best of” on my country. How many days are you staying ?

  6. I don’t have any book recommendations but I have to say that the train trip I took alone between Florence and Vienna was one of the most beautiful times of my life. I didn’t read or sleep, just stared out the window at the changing scenery the entire time. I am incredibly jealous of your journey! Have a great time!

  7. Should you have the time and resources, do make a stop in Salzburg and visit Schloss Leopoldskron, once owned by Max Reinhardt, it also starred in the 1965 “The Sound of Music”. Since 1947 home to Salzburg Global Seminar http://www.salzburgglobal.org/current/index-b.cfm –a wonderful NGO created by three Harvard students. I interned with SGS 12 years ago and lived in that castle for three months. Smiles!

  8. Helpfully, the Guardian did a review of books about the Alps – I read Farewell to Arms by Hemingway, it was pretty good (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/dec/18/ten-best-alps-literature). I’ve caught the train between Vienna and Cologne and also between Paris and Salzburg, both amazing trips. You only really need the books when you’re skulking in the lowlands outside of Paris – otherwise just watch the scenery roll by (or sleep, it’s a long trip)…