The best books about Switzerland

Who picked these books? Meet our 81 experts.

81 authors created a book list connected to Switzerland, and here are their favorite Switzerland books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

What type of Switzerland book?


The Swiss Courier

By Tricia Goyer, Mike Yorkey,

Book cover of The Swiss Courier

Amanda Cabot Author Of The Spark of Love

From the list on to forget you’re living in the 21st century.

Who am I?

Like Thomas Jefferson, I cannot live without books. And, while I read in a variety of genres, from early childhood on, my favorite stories were the ones that began with “once upon a time.” My fascination with historicals started with one of my father’s few books from his childhood, The Cave Twins, which introduced me to a world far different from suburban America. For me, the appeal of historicals is the opportunity to learn about another era and to escape from the modern world. And so, if you want to escape from what seems like an endless pandemic, I invite you to explore the worlds six talented authors have created.

Amanda's book list on to forget you’re living in the 21st century

Discover why each book is one of Amanda's favorite books.

Why did Amanda love this book?

There were so many things that I loved about this book, starting with its riveting first scene. When I teach classes about great beginnings, I stress the need to hook a reader in the first three pages. Goyer and Yorkey did that and more. They kept me hooked until the surprising denouement. Make no mistake. I would not have wanted to live in Europe during World War II, but Goyer and Yorkey’s collaboration is filled with so many fascinating details of life during that tumultuous and dangerous time along with an introduction to the fine art of safe cracking that I couldn’t put it down. 

By Tricia Goyer, Mike Yorkey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Swiss Courier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is August 1944 and the Gestapo is mercilessly rounding up suspected enemies of the Third Reich. When Joseph Engel, a German physicist working on the atomic bomb, finds that he is actually a Jew, adopted by Christian parents, he must flee for his life to neutral Switzerland. Gabi Mueller is a young Swiss-American woman working for the newly formed American Office of Strategic Services (the forerunner to the CIA) close to Nazi Germany. When she is asked to risk her life to safely "courier" Engel out of Germany, the fate of the world rests in her hands. If she…

The Art of Clean Up

By Ursus Wehrli,

Book cover of The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy

Barbara Reich Author Of Secrets of an Organized Mom

From the list on organizing everything in your life.

Who am I?

I'm the founder of Life Organized Inc, a firm specializing in the organization of people, their lives, and physical spaces. Known for creating solutions that are as aesthetically appealing as they are practical, I transform spaces from the inside out. My areas of expertise include home and office organization, time management, digital decluttering, organizing for academic success, maximizing productivity while working from home, and management of everyday chaos. I'm a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the NYU Stern School of Business.

Barbara's book list on organizing everything in your life

Discover why each book is one of Barbara's favorite books.

Why did Barbara love this book?

Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli reorganizes what he sees through humorous photos that categorize everyday objects by color, size, and shape. The letters in alphabet soup are arranged alphabetically, the cars in a parking lot are organized by color, and a fruit salad is separated into its individual fruits. The colorful before and after photos are fun for all ages.

By Ursus Wehrli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Clean Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Swiss comedian and cabaret artist Ursus Wehrli loves organisation in the extreme. In The Art of Clean Up, Wehrli arranges a bowl of alphabet soup, a group of pool-goers, a spruce branch and other elements of our chaotic world into neat rows sorted by colour, size, shape or type.


By Manuel Anceau, Daniel Baumann, Eric Förster

Book cover of Wolfli: Creator of the Universe

Theo Ellsworth Author Of The Understanding Monster - Book One

From the list on to alter your sense of reality.

Who am I?

I think of my imagination as a living thing that I have a working, evolving relationship with. I try to access that creative flow state through automatic drawing and something about that process seems to help me in my daily life. I draw every day. I make art zines, comics, fine art, album art, and collaborative works. The books in this list all feel personally important to me and are works I return to and think about often.

Theo's book list on to alter your sense of reality

Discover why each book is one of Theo's favorite books.

Why did Theo love this book?

I own a number of books on Adolf Wolfli, but this one feels the most extensive and valuable to me. Wolfli spent most of his life in an isolated cell in a mental hospital in Switzerland. During that time he created a hyper-detailed graphic work that’s thousands of pages long. His dense drawings contain writings that chronicle an epic personal fantasy along with musical notation, lists of inventions, giant equations, and maps. This kind of creative output from a single person is both stunning and frightening. Spending time with this book really makes me contemplate the complexity and importance of human creativity, the nature of madness, trauma, and true originality. 

By Manuel Anceau, Daniel Baumann, Eric Förster

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wolfli as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adolf Wölfli is the original outsider artist. Before Darger, Rizzoli and Rodia, there was Wölfli: orphan, laborer, criminal, artist and the subject of a 1921 monograph titled A Psychiatric Patient as Artist, authored by his doctor--the first publication on an outsider artist--which won him the admiration of André Breton and Jean Dubuffet, and gave birth to the outsider phenomenon. “Wölfli’s creations treat the eye to a roller-coaster ride through a terrain bounded by Piranesi, biblical myth, illuminated manuscripts, tantric mandalas and Swiss cuckoo clocks,” New York Times critic Roberta Smith once wrote--“in other words, a dizzying multi-cultural universe.” Adolf Wölfli:…

The School at the Chalet

By Elinor M. Brent-Dyer,

Book cover of The School at the Chalet

Debbie Young Author Of Dastardly Deeds at St Bride's

From the list on fiction set in boarding schools.

Who am I?

As the author of comedy cosy mystery novels, including a series set in an eccentric boarding school for girls, I’m always attracted by the notion of closed, clearly-defined worlds as colourful settings for stories of crimes and misdemeanours. Having worked for 13 years in a girls’ boarding school, where I loved being part of its lively and spirited community, I am very familiar with the quirks and foibles, as well as the practicalities, of boarding school life, and I really enjoy reading other people’s impressions and interpretations of boarding schools of all kinds. 

Debbie's book list on fiction set in boarding schools

Discover why each book is one of Debbie's favorite books.

Why did Debbie love this book?

Moving on now to something more serious, this is the start of a very long and very popular saga set at a girls’ boarding school, founded in the 1920s, by a pair of sisters without any apparent qualifications, in a Swiss chalet, as a means of supporting themselves. It’s a children’s book but has a huge following among adults, with its many adventures featuring an ever-changing range of pupils and teachers from all over the world. They’re now very dated (not least for their cavalier attitude to health and safety and indeed towards education), but they have a timeless charm.

By Elinor M. Brent-Dyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The School at the Chalet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Madge Bettany's plan to start a school in the mountains of the Austrian Tyrol is very exciting for her younger sister Joey - because Joey will be the first pupil.

Me Before You

By Jojo Moyes,

Book cover of Me Before You

Rosemary Dun Author Of Only Hummingbirds Fly Backwards

From the list on whose women characters don’t or won’t conform.

Who am I?

Books provided me with many role models, from writer Jo of Little Women to the swashbuckling Angelique of bodice-ripping yarns… No wonder Elizabeth I (the supreme non-conformist) remains my favourite royal, and Jane Austen (mistress of the sharp aside) a return-to read. Women going against what's expected of them informed my early awakenings as a feminist as the women of my favourite books - in differing domestic settings and social mores – strove to be their authentic selves. I’ve lived a good portion of my life vicariously through novels – reading voraciously from a very young age – my mother, also a reader and non-conformist in her own way, informed the person and writer I've become.

Rosemary's book list on whose women characters don’t or won’t conform

Discover why each book is one of Rosemary's favorite books.

Why did Rosemary love this book?

In JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You, Lou is hired by the mother of a severely disabled man Will, whose wish is to end his life via Dignitas, in Switzerland.

Whilst trying to change his mind and save his life, she comes into her own strength, finishes with her boyfriend (with whom she was destined to have a conformist marriage), learns to let Will go, and appreciate the gift he leaves her - her independence.

JoJo Moyes tackles the issue of severe disability and dares to go places which are surprising in what deceptively appears to be a romcom. Showing that no topic is off limits to this genre.

By Jojo Moyes,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Me Before You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Will needed Lou as much as she needed him, but will her love be enough to save his life?

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun teashop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps…

Book cover of A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom

Stephen Gowans Author Of Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea's Struggle for Freedom

From the list on to understand the DPRK.

Who am I?

I became interested in North Korea in 2002 when the George W. Bush administration declared the country to be part of an Axis of Evil, along with Iraq and Iran. Bush had lied about Iraq, to justify a war against that country, and I wondered what evidence, if any, his administration had that North Korea was either evil or part of an axis. The answer was none. Bush was able to propagate one North Korean myth after another because the public knew very little about the country. I wished to give people some background so they could make sense of what they were reading and hearing about North Korea in the news and social media.

Stephen's book list on to understand the DPRK

Discover why each book is one of Stephen's favorite books.

Why did Stephen love this book?

Abt, an entrepreneur who lived in North Korea for seven years, challenges the myths and misconceptions about the DPRK that flourish in the West, not only among people who are inclined to believe the East Asian state is a hell on earth, but also among those who are apt to overlook its failings. I really liked this book. It is clearly written and the pace is brisk and engaging.

By Felix Abt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Capitalist in North Korea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Business in North Korea: a paradoxical and fascinating situation is interpreted by a true insider.

In 2002, the Swiss power company ABB appointed Felix Abt its country director for North Korea. The Swiss Entrepreneur lived and worked in North Korea for seven years, one of the few foreign businessmen there. After the experience, Abt felt compelled to write A Capitalist in North Korea to describe the multifaceted society he encountered.

North Korea, at the time, was heavily sanctioned by the UN which made it extremely difficult to do business. Yet he discovered that it was a place where plastic surgery…


By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Book cover of Frankenstein

Noreen Herzfeld Author Of The Artifice of Intelligence: Divine and Human Relationship in a Robotic Age

From the list on the dangerous future of AI.

Who am I?

I’m a theologian who started out as a computer scientist. Teaching classes on AI got me wondering, not just whether we’d ever be able to create a human-like AI, but why we wanted to do so in the first place. It seemed to me that computers were the most helpful when they did the things we are not very good at—crunching big calculations, or exploring Mars—stuff we can’t do. That got me thinking that there might be something spiritual going on, that in a world where we increasingly no longer believed in God or angels, we were lonely. That we didn’t want a tool but a companion.  

Noreen's book list on the dangerous future of AI

Discover why each book is one of Noreen's favorite books.

Why did Noreen love this book?

Who’d expect a book written almost 150 years before computers were invented to be one of the best books to help us think about AI? In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley explores how good motivations can quickly go bad.

Scientist Frankenstein builds a monster with the best of intentions yet fails to foresee what could go wrong and to take the necessary precautions when what he has produced does go wrong. Then he tries to duck responsibility, ending up futilely trying to stop things from getting worse in a desperate bid to stop a chain reaction of destruction. 

Sounds like Silicon Valley? Yup. This is a cautionary tale (and not at all like the Bela Lugosi movies) for our age.

By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Why should I read it?

37 authors picked Frankenstein as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who, obsessed with creating life itself, plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, but whose botched creature sets out to destroy his maker, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third…

The Notebook, the Proof, the Third Lie

By Agota Kristof, Alan Sheridan (translator), David Watson (translator), Marc Romano (translator)

Book cover of The Notebook, the Proof, the Third Lie: Three Novels

Em Strang Author Of Quinn

From the list on short reads that dare to offer something deep.

Who am I?

I'm a poet and creative mentor, and it’s the intensity of poetic language – its expansiveness and limitations – that shows up in my fiction and in the novels I love. Quinn is an exploration of male violence, incarceration, and radical forgiveness. I’ve spent a decade working with long-term prisoners in Scotland, trying to understand and come to terms with notions of justice and responsibility: does guilt begin and end with the perpetrator of a violent act or are we all in some way culpable? How can literary form dig into this question aslant? Can the unsettled mind be a space for innovative thinking?

Em's book list on short reads that dare to offer something deep

Discover why each book is one of Em's favorite books.

Why did Em love this book?

Kristóf (1935-2011) was a Hungarian writer who fled to Switzerland during the war and wrote in French.

The Notebook (the first in the trilogy) is currently number one on my list of all-time favourites. It has all the elements of storytelling that I love: deep, psychological insight into the human heart; adroit use of archetypes, which give the book a timeless, folkloric feel; concision (no waffling) and a poetic, pared-back language that creates a sense of startling immediacy.

Kristóf writes about World War II through the eyes of two young brothers in a Nazi-occupied country (unnamed), and she shocks us awake not through sensationalised violence but through matter-of-fact narration.

It reads like a cross-between dramatic monologue and biblical parable – she stretches the novel form and opens up new possibilities for writing. 

By Agota Kristof, Alan Sheridan (translator), David Watson (translator), Marc Romano (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Notebook, the Proof, the Third Lie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Dissipatio H.G.

By Guido Morselli, Frederika Randall (translator),

Book cover of Dissipatio H.G.: The Vanishing

Nicholas Ponticello Author Of Do Not Resuscitate: The Monkey Parade

From the list on when human civilization collapses overnight.

Who am I?

I basically write everything I can’t say in real life. So my characters tend to be witty assholes who see the world for what it is: a raging dumpster fire. The best compliment I ever received came from a reviewer who said my writing style was like a “wholesome Palahniuk or less trippy Vonnegut.” That’s about as good as gets for any author, especially one who adores all things Kurt Vonnegut. I am a fan of books that trace the trajectory of human behavior to its logical end: self-destruction. So my list is made up of books that imagine funny, scary, sad, and absurd apocalyptic endings to human civilization. 

Nicholas' book list on when human civilization collapses overnight

Discover why each book is one of Nicholas' favorite books.

Why did Nicholas love this book?

I found Dissipatio H.G. through a New York Times book review when the first English translation was released in 2020. The story was originally published in Italian in 1977, four years after the author died from suicide. This obscure but brilliant work of fiction takes place in a fictional mountain metropolis. One day our main character wakes up, and every human being on the entire planet has vanished. Except of course for him. Part philosophical treatise, part post-apocalyptic adventure, Dissipatio H.G. is a rare find for those lovers of eclectic literature.

By Guido Morselli, Frederika Randall (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dissipatio H.G. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fantastic and philosophical vision of the apocalypse by one of the most striking Italian novelists of the twentieth century.

From his solitary buen retiro in the mountains, the last man on earth drives to the capital Chrysopolis to see if anyone else has survived the Vanishing. But there’s no one else, living or dead, in that city of “holy plutocracy,” with its fifty-six banks and as many churches. He’d left the metropolis to escape his fellow humans and their struggles and ambitions, but to find that the entire human race has evaporated in an instant is more than he…

The Deaf Way II Anthology

By Tonya M. Stremlau,

Book cover of The Deaf Way II Anthology: A Literary Collection by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Writers

Donna Jo Napoli Author Of In a Flash

From the list on deaf culture.

Who am I?

Years ago, I visited a school for the deaf to see how the children learn to read. It opened my eyes: It is exceedingly difficult to learn to read a language you cannot hear. I am a linguist and a writer for children. So this experience lit a fire under me – I wanted to learn about the deaf experience, sign languages, and what sorts of ways I might be able to support the effort to learn to read. I now analyze sign languages, work with a team to advocate for deaf children’s language rights, and am co-director of the RISE project, producing videobooks for deaf children and their families.

Donna's book list on deaf culture

Discover why each book is one of Donna's favorite books.

Why did Donna love this book?

This has poetry, essays, short stories, and a play, all by internationally acclaimed deaf writers.  These give you a starting point. From there, you need to take a sign language course and start watching videos of deaf poems, stories, and jokes. What a grand world of wonder awaits you!

By Tonya M. Stremlau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Deaf Way II Anthology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Deaf Way II Anthology brings together stellar contributions by 16 international writers who are deaf or hard of hearing. This remarkable collection features poetry, essays, short stories, and one play, all of which offer thought-provoking perspectives on elements from the personal universes of these gifted authors. Many are United States writers well-known for their past publications, such as Douglas Bullard, Willy Conley, Christopher Heuer, and Raymond Luczak, while the outstanding work of John Lee Clark, volume editor Tonya Stremlau, Melissa Whalen, and several others have been collected for the first time in this volume. The international contributions further distinguish…

The Secret Life of Writers

By Guillaume Musso, Vineet Lal (translator),

Book cover of The Secret Life of Writers

Lise McClendon Author Of Blackbird Fly

From the list on transporting you to France.

Who am I?

I’m American but I’ve been a Francophile for ages. I didn’t get a chance to visit France until well into adulthood. So much history lives in France and it’s been my joy to illuminate it for readers who tell me they feel transported. There is no higher compliment, in my mind. I’ve been writing novels for thirty years, set in the Rocky Mountains, America’s heartland, and the scenic villages of France. The Bennett Sisters Mysteries are now up 18 books in the series, featuring settings from Paris to Champagne to the Dordogne, with more in the works. I must go back to France to research, oui

Lise's book list on transporting you to France

Discover why each book is one of Lise's favorite books.

Why did Lise love this book?

Browsing at Shakespeare and Company in Paris last fall I picked up this book in translation by Guillaume Musso, touted as the ‘French Suspense King.’ Set on an isolated island off the Côte d’Azur, this moody thriller is unpredictable and twisty, as all good mysteries should be. A reclusive author, his strange past, a relentless fan: what could go wrong?

By Guillaume Musso, Vineet Lal (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of Writers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'It's no wonder that Musso is one of France's most loved, bestselling authors'
Harlan Coben

In 1999, after publishing three cult novels, celebrated author Nathan Fawles announces the end of his writing career and withdraws to Beaumont, a wild and beautiful island off the Mediterranean coast.

Autumn 2018. As Fawles' novels continue to captivate readers, Mathilde Monney, a young Swiss journalist, arrives on the island, determined to unlock the writer's secrets and secure his first interview in twenty years.

That same day, a woman's body is discovered on the beach and the island…

The Possessed

By Elif Batuman,

Book cover of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

Katharine Smyth Author Of All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf

From the list on about books (and the authors who write them).

Who am I?

In the wake of her father’s death, Katharine Smyth turned to her favorite novel, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief. Her book about the experience, All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf, was published by Crown in 2019 and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Smyth’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Elle, The New York Times, Literary Hub, Poets & Writers, and The Point.

Katharine's book list on about books (and the authors who write them)

Discover why each book is one of Katharine's favorite books.

Why did Katharine love this book?

This is a compilation of essays about Batuman’s experience of studying Russian literature at Stanford. Wondering about “possible methods for bringing one’s life closer to one’s favorite books,” Batuman traces the literal and figurative path of writers such as Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Babel, finding answers in their life and work while at the same time exploring their influence upon a motley group of Slavic scholars and readers.

By Elif Batuman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Possessed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true story of one woman's intellectual and sentimental education and her strange encounters with others devoted - absurdly, melancholically, ecstatically - to the Russian classics

Roaming from Tashkent to San Francisco, this is the true story of one budding writer's strange encounters with the fanatics who are devoted - absurdly! melancholically! ecstatically! - to the Russian classics. Combining fresh readings of the great Russians from Gogol to Goncharov with the sad and funny stories of the lives they continue to influence, The Possessed introduces a brilliant and distinctive new voice: comic, humane, charming, poignant and completely, and unpretentiously, full…

Federer and Me

By William Skidelsky,

Book cover of Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession

Elizabeth Wilson Author Of Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon

From the list on the most beautiful and fascinating game of tennis.

Who am I?

I'm an art, performance, and music junkie. I love spectacle. My writing career began with articles in the political underground press of the 1970s and I've always seen art and entertainment as ‘political’ in their messages and in the emotions they incite. Tennis for me is part of a cultural spectrum embracing fashion, city and recreational life, film and artistic counter cultures, all creating a world of excitement and passion, so my writing on tennis is part of a wider project: to try to answer the questions of why these performances are so much more than ‘just’ entertainment, why they give passion and meaning to life, and why they are inspirational.

Elizabeth's book list on the most beautiful and fascinating game of tennis

Discover why each book is one of Elizabeth's favorite books.

Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Finally, this is one for the fans, who are so important in sport. The blurb tells us, "For much of the past decade, William Skidelsky has not been able to stop thinking about Roger Federer, the greatest and most graceful player of all time. It’s a devotion that has been all-consuming." An obsession it certainly is and Skidellsky looks at it from all angles: his own emotional problems, the way the game of tennis has developed (not always for the better), and what Federer signifies as a sports and cultural icon. Why fans cared so passionately about Federer and more than about any other player tells us much about our culture of spectacle and consumption and our longing in a secular and cynical world for heroes to capture our imagination and to inspire.

By William Skidelsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Federer and Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For much of the past decade, William Skidelsky has not been able to stop thinking about Roger Federer, the greatest and most graceful tennis player of all time. It's a devotion that has been all-consuming.

In Federer and Me, Skidelsky asks what it is about the Swiss star that transfixes him, and countless others. He dissects the wonders of his forehand, reflects on his rivalry with Nadal, revels in his victories and relives his most crushing defeats.

But this is more than just a book about Federer. In charting his obsession, Skidelsky explores the evolution of modern tennis, the role…

Quantum Macroeconomics

By Jean-Luc Bailly (editor), Alvaro Cencini (editor), Sergio Rossi (editor)

Book cover of Quantum Macroeconomics: The Legacy of Bernard Schmitt

Alvaro Cencini Author Of Bernard Schmitt's Quantum Macroeconomic Analysis

From the list on monetary macroeconomics.

Who am I?

The passionate teaching of Bernard Schmitt at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, kindled my interest in monetary macroeconomics. In Fribourg I wrote my doctoral dissertation while working as Schmitt’s research and teaching assistant. In 1978 I moved to London to conduct research at the LSE as a PhD student under the supervision of Meghnad Desai. I received my PhD in 1982. Back on the Continent, I continued my collaboration with Schmitt, which lasted until his death in 2014. My enthusiasm for research never failed and I hope to have conveyed it to some of my students at the Centre for Banking Studies in Lugano and at USI (Università della Svizzera Italiana).

Alvaro's book list on monetary macroeconomics

Discover why each book is one of Alvaro's favorite books.

Why did Alvaro love this book?

When I first met him at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland in 1969, I was immediately fascinated by Bernard Schmitt’s passion for scientific research and by his novel approach to monetary macroeconomics.

Three years later I started working with him as a teaching and research assistant and went on working as his closest collaborator until his death in 2014. The other two co-editors of this book also had the privilege to work closely with him.

Conceived as an homage to Schmitt’s legacy, this book is a collection of contributions explaining the historical origin, the analytical content, and the current relevance of Schmitt’s quantum macroeconomic analysis.

By Jean-Luc Bailly (editor), Alvaro Cencini (editor), Sergio Rossi (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quantum Macroeconomics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Quantum Macroeconomics presents a new paradigm in macroeconomic analysis initiated by Bernard Schmitt. It explains the historical origin, the analytical contents, and the actual relevance of this new paradigm, with respect to current major economic issues at national and international level. These issues concern both advanced and emerging market economies, referring to inflation, unemployment, financial instability, and economic crises.

In the first part of this volume, leading scholars explain the historical origin and analytical content of quantum macroeconomics. The second part explores its relevance with respect to the current major economic issues such as the sovereign debt crisis and European…

The Gustav Sonata

By Rose Tremain,

Book cover of The Gustav Sonata

Imogen Matthews Author Of The Boy in the Attic

From the list on acts of resistance in WW2.

Who am I?

As a child I grew up listening to my Dutch mother’s stories of life under German occupation and her family’s struggle for survival during the Hunger Winter. Life was hard but exciting for a teenager who thought nothing of delivering anti-Nazi leaflets, chopping down lime trees in front of the house for firewood, and evading the Germans on her ancient bike in her quest for food. It was this unwavering spirit that I wanted to capture in the four novels I’ve written set in wartime Holland. She was the inspiration behind my latest World War 2 novel, The Boy in the Attic.

Imogen's book list on acts of resistance in WW2

Discover why each book is one of Imogen's favorite books.

Why did Imogen love this book?

The Gustav Sonata started out as a short story called "A Game of Cards". Long after it appeared, Tremain felt she had wasted a very promising core idea on something essentially too short and too unexamined. The story and novel are set in Switzerland, which seemed safe as a neutral country during World War 2, but the government was torn between compassion for German Jewish refugees and the fear of devastating German reprisals if they took them in. Tremain tackles this dilemma through the stoical character of Gustav, who is Jewish and explores the ambiguities in the relationship between Gustav and his friend Anton, a gifted pianist who is crippled by stage fright. I found the themes sensitively and beautifully described.   

By Rose Tremain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gustav Sonata as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo. An only child, he lives alone with Emilie, the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity. He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age, talented and mercurial Anton Zweibel, a budding concert pianist. The novel follows Gustav's family, tracing the roots of his mother's anti-Semitism and its impact on her son and his beloved friend. Moving backward to the war years and the painful repercussions of an act of conscience, and…

Asylum Piece

By Anna Kavan,

Book cover of Asylum Piece

Mike Thorn Author Of Shelter for the Damned

From the list on descent into existential darkness.

Who am I?

Mike Thorn is the author of Shelter for the Damned, Darkest Hours, and Peel Back and See. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, including Vastarien, Dark Moon Digest, and The NoSleep Podcast. His books have earned praise from Jamie Blanks (director of Urban Legend and Valentine), Jeffrey Reddick (creator of Final Destination), and Daniel Goldhaber (director of Cam). His essays and articles have been published in American Twilight: The Cinema of Tobe Hooper (University of Texas Press), Beyond Empowertainment: Exploring Feminist Horror (Seventh Row), The Film Stage, and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick.

Mike's book list on descent into existential darkness

Discover why each book is one of Mike's favorite books.

Why did Mike love this book?

Anna Kavan’s Asylum Piece presents exciting stylistic possibilities for the world of “personal fiction.” The book defies easy genre categorization, but one might describe it as an experimental, thematically connected collection of autofiction. Drawing on her own experiences in a Swiss sanitarium (from which she was dispatched in 1938), Kavan excavates her psychological traumas and filters them through sequences of vignettes and short stories, conveying states of extreme emotional distress through a restrained, intensely lucid form. An unblinking study of alienation, mental disarray, and feelings of helplessness under bureaucratic control, Asylum Piece takes up a lot of space in my mind.

By Anna Kavan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Asylum Piece as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collection of stories, mostly interlinked and largely autobiographical, chart the descent of the narrator from the onset of neurosis to final incarceration in a Swiss clinic. The sense of paranoia, of persecution by a foe or force that is never given a name, evokes The Trial by Kafka, a writer with whom Kavan is often compared, although her deeply personal, restrained, and almost foreign  —accented style has no true model. The same characters who recur throughout—the protagonist's unhelpful "adviser," the friend and lover who abandons her at the clinic, and an assortment of deluded companions—are sketched without a trace…

Book cover of Frances and the Monster

Ben Gartner Author Of The Eye of Ra

From the list on new action-packed middle grade with heart.

Who am I?

I love to read a good action-adventure story. I’ve also written a few. And I know that no matter how high the stakes, if there’s no heart in the characters then there’s very little engagement to make it any more memorable than a temporary thrill. I love thrills, but the stories that stick with you after the excitement of the moment is over, those are the true gems. Besides the fun of reading that type of book, maybe you even learn something about yourself or the world and come out a wee bit wiser than when you went in. And isn’t that a fantastic use of our imaginative powers?!

Ben's book list on new action-packed middle grade with heart

Discover why each book is one of Ben's favorite books.

Why did Ben love this book?

A visual and cinematic adventure that sweeps you through a pre-WWII version of Switzerland, this Frankenstein-inspired story is jam-packed with action and humor. The primary characters are all idiosyncratic in a memorable way—Frances, who lost an ear in a car crash; Fritz, the monkey juiced up on intelligence serum; and Hobbes, the android tutor. Even the secondary characters are crafted with heart and colorfully distinct in their own respects. The cliff-hangers and twists pushed the action along and I’m sure this will be a story kids read late into the night wanting to find out what happens next. I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

By Refe Tuma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Frances and the Monster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What would you do if you accidentally brought a monster to life and set him loose on your town?

Adventurous and charming, this middle grade twist on Frankenstein features a precocious main character who does just that. Perfect for fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak and the Greenglass House series.

Frances Stenzel was just trying to prove her scientific worth to her parents so they would take her with them to their scientific symposiums for once-instead, she reawakened her great-grandfather's secret and most terrible invention.

Before it can destroy the town, she sets off after it, with her pet…

Le Corbusier

By Geoffrey Baker,

Book cover of Le Corbusier: An Analysis of Form

Antony Radford Author Of The Elements of Modern Architecture: Understanding Contemporary Buildings

From the list on analysing architecture.

Who am I?

My passion as a teacher and writer is to help students and others interpret, understand and enjoy architecture and the built environment, and to help them respond in their own designs to the complexities of place, people, and construction. I have chosen five well-established books on analysing architecture that are highly illustrated, avoid jargon, can be explored rather than needing to be read sequentially cover-to-cover, and have lasting value. They offer guidance for beginning students and a checklist for the experienced. They are books to be kept handy and repeatedly consulted. Of course, analysing existing architecture is invaluable in designing new architecture. I hope you enjoy them.

Antony's book list on analysing architecture

Discover why each book is one of Antony's favorite books.

Why did Antony love this book?

I remember Geoffrey Baker’s lectures about space, movement, and light in Le Corbusier's buildings from my own student days.

His infectious enthusiasm is captured in his book, with his own clear sketches and diagrams.

Baker’s analysis has been a lasting influence on my own work, encouraging me to experience moving around and through architecture, and where this is not possible to imagine that experience from drawings and photographs.

Check out Baker’s Design Strategies in Architecture: An Approach to the Analysis of Form, too.

By Geoffrey Baker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Le Corbusier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This unique appraisal of the famous Swiss architect's major works have now been expanded to include two more buildings. The Villa Shodhan and the Pavilion Suisse round out the coverage of Le Corbusier's significant works. The author critically examines Le Corbusier's achievements helping student and professional alike to appreciate the elements of successful design. The narrative and fine illustration cover the key buildings from each of the four developmental stages of his work, making it an excellent guide for practicing architects and students.

In the Mountains

By Elizabeth von Arnim,

Book cover of In the Mountains

Lesley Glaister Author Of Blasted Things

From the list on finding a new normal after World War I.

Who am I?

I am the prize-winning author of sixteen novels, most recently Little Egypt, The Squeeze, and Blasted Things. I teach creative writing at the University of St Andrews. I live in Edinburgh and am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. I’m a novelist and student of human nature. I love to work out what motivates people, how and why they make choices, their coping mechanisms, and how they act under pressure. Before I begin a novel set in the past, I read as much fiction written at the time as I can find, as well as autobiography and history. In this way, I attempt to truffle down into the actions and impulses of individuals, both performative and deeply interior, that characterise the spirit of the era that I’m writing.

Lesley's book list on finding a new normal after World War I

Discover why each book is one of Lesley's favorite books.

Why did Lesley love this book?

Immediately after the war, a bereaved woman returns alone to her family’s summer home in the Swiss Alps. It is a beautiful place, but she’s terrified of the memories it stirs, and haunted by the ghosts of those she’s lost. When a couple of lost English widows happen upon her house, she seizes eagerly on their company and the distraction they provide. She invites them to stay, and quickly forms an intense and rather desperate attachment to them. This novel gives a fine evocation of a time when so many felt displaced, when it was as if the tectonic plates of civilised existence had shifted the safe ground from beneath their feet. We see the journey of (eventually) a quartet of bereaved and war-shattered people towards a sort of healing, wholeness, and peace – as well as a new tolerance towards the differences of others.

By Elizabeth von Arnim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Mountains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Mountains is a book by Elizabeth von Arnim. An English woman eludes confusing personal troubles in London and seeks shelter at her lodge amongst the Swiss Alps.

Hotel Du Lac

By Anita Brookner,

Book cover of Hotel Du Lac

Christina McKenna Author Of The Misremembered Man

From the list on overcoming fear and embracing change.

Who am I?

I grew up on a farm in Northern Ireland. Ulster was always an inspiration, for both my painting and my writing. My first novel, The Misremembered Man, became a bestseller worldwide, and I followed it with several more works of fiction. I attribute their success to the magic of rural Ireland, and the wonderful characters who peopled my childhood. My formative years, unhappy and fearful though they were, serve as a repository of emotion and stimulation, which I draw upon frequently in my writing. Having the courage to change and grow in difficult circumstances is a common theme. Since all my novels are character-driven, my book choices broadly reflect this strength in the authors I have chosen.

Christina's book list on overcoming fear and embracing change

Discover why each book is one of Christina's favorite books.

Why did Christina love this book?

Yes, another novel set largely in a hotel. This time it’s in Switzerland and overlooks Lake Geneva, spreading, in the wonderful words of Anita Brookner, "like an anaesthetic towards the invisible further shore." Edith Hope is a writer of romantic fiction. She arrives at the "stolid and dignified" Hotel du Lac in late autumn. This is not a holiday for Edith. Her friends and family have insisted she go away for a few weeks to ponder a ‘social indiscretion’. She was due to marry Geoffrey, a boring man she didn’t love, and deserted him on the day of the wedding. Her heart had gone out to David, a married man.

Brookner had an enviable gift for describing people and their peculiarities. Those whom Edith Hope meets at the hotel are largely from the aristocracy, and each and every one is eccentric in the extreme. Edith describes her fellow guests to…

By Anita Brookner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hotel Du Lac as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BOOKER PRIZE WINNER • When romance writer Edith Hope’s life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, she flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to restore her to her senses.

But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love's casualties and exiles. She also attracts the attention of a worldly man determined to release her unused capacity for mischief and pleasure. Beautifully observed, witheringly funny, Hotel du Lac is Brookner at her most stylish and potently subversive.

In the novel that won…