The most recommended books about Switzerland

Who picked these books? Meet our 101 experts.

101 authors created a book list connected to Switzerland, and here are their favorite Switzerland books.
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Book cover of Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

Meakin was one of those wonderfully well-travelled Victorian ladies, the early forerunners of the travel writer genre. She visited Galicia in 1907, almost exactly one hundred years before we moved here, yet her descriptions of the Galicia which I love are instantly recognisable. The furze (gorse), still shines from the hillsides; the granite cottages are still there; as are the washing tubs, though less frequently used than in Meakin’s day. The singing cartwheels may be all but gone but the maize fields, the cherry and apple blossoms, and the Gallegans, still remain. One hundred and twenty years on, Meakin would still recognise the Switzerland of Spain.

By Annette M. B. Meakin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.


Book cover of Dissipatio H.G.: The Vanishing

Rhys Hughes Author Of Cloud Farming in Wales

From Rhys' 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Absurdist Speculative Fiction Fanatic Connoisseur of Paradoxes Wordplay Junky World Traveller

Rhys' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Rhys Hughes Why did Rhys love this book?

This is the best ‘last man on earth’ novel I have ever read. It’s a subgenre with a few classic titles to its credit, including M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud and Mary Shelley’s The Last Man. But Morselli’s book is neater, more concise, sharper in tone, and deeper in thought.

It’s a philosophical fable and reminds me, in terms of style, a little of Italo Calvino. But there is an attenuated bitterness in Morselli that seems especially suited to the theme of a solitary survivor living in a world where all other members of his species have evaporated in an instant. As time passes, this survivor begins to appreciate the renewal of nature that follows the disappearance of humanity.

It’s a short novel but dense with speculations that are both cerebral and emotional. Morselli was an unsuccessful writer while he was alive, unable to get any of his novels into…

By Guido Morselli, Frederika Randall (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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…


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 my list on to understand the DPRK.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Stephen Gowans 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…


The Forest Knights

By J. K. Swift,

Book cover of The Forest Knights

J. K. Swift Author Of Acre

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good fight scene! It doesn’t need to be long and gruesome, but it must be visceral and make me nervous for those involved. Don’t get me wrong, I also love a good first-kiss scene but unfortunately, my past has made me more adept at recognizing and writing one over the other. I started training in martial arts at the age of nine and continued for thirty years. I don’t train much these days but I took up bowmaking a few years back and now spend a lot of time carving English longbows and First Nations’ bows. I recently also took up Chinese archery.

J. K.'s book list on with realistic fight scenes

What is my book about?

The greatest underdog story of the medieval age.

A wild land too mountainous to be tamed by plows. A duke of the empire, his cunning overshadowed only by his ambitions. A young priestess of the Old Religion, together with a charismatic outlaw, sparking a rebellion from deep within the forests. And an ex-Hospitaller caught between them all.

The Forest Knights

By J. K. Swift,

What is this book about?

A druid priestess enlists the help of an ex-Hospitaller warrior and a charismatic outlaw to fight Austrian tyranny in medieval Switzerland. A subtle blend of fantasy and history, ALTDORF (Book 1) tells the events leading up to one of the greatest underdog stories of the medieval age, the Battle of MORGARTEN (Book 2).


Book cover of Ashenden or The British Agent

Merle Nygate Author Of The Righteous Spy

From my list on spy books that spies read and sometimes wrote themselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written and script edited in a lot of different genres, from factual drama to sitcom, children’s TV to fantasy. I’ve always loved spy stories, and I’ve always wanted to write one. Recently, at the University of East Anglia I studied for an MA in Crime Fiction, and that’s where I finally got the chance to study espionage and write a spy novel myself. I hope you enjoy my selection of books if you haven’t already read them. Or even if you have. They’re all so good that I feel like re-reading them right now. 

Merle's book list on spy books that spies read and sometimes wrote themselves

Merle Nygate Why did Merle love this book?

This is a real golden oldie, published in 1927. I read it when I was in my teens, and I periodically re-read it.

Ashenden is a collection of short stories about a British spy who is also a writer and it paints a picture of spy amateurism and the grubby grind of the work dealing with agents. I love how it reeks of authenticity as Ashenden travels around neutral Switzerland trying to recruit difficult and greedy agents. Maugham was a spy, and Switzerland was his beat during WWI. 

By W Somerset Maugham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When war broke out in 1914, Somerset Maugham was dispatched by the British Secret Service to Switzerland under the guise of completing a play. Multilingual, knowledgeable about many European countries and a celebrated writer, Maugham had the perfect cover, and the assignment appealed to his love of romance, and of the ridiculous. The stories collected in Ashenden are rooted in Maugham's own experiences as an agent, reflecting the ruthlessness and brutality of espionage, its intrigue and treachery, as well as its absurdity.


Book cover of Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Darren Campo Author Of Alex Detail's Revolution

From my list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love people who are totally lost because they are on the brink of their greatest discovery–their true nature. Even as a little boy I remember seeing that everyone has a purpose in life, but that is hidden to them. I have always felt that every step of the way, life seems to be a little off-track. But through authentic stories, I came to an understanding that right now, everyone is doing great things with their lives, even if they can’t see it.

Darren's book list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death

Darren Campo Why did Darren love this book?

I love Carl Jung’s ability to see into the nature of consciousness and make the connection between the experience of being a being on Earth and the true nature of our being. He is one of the first scientists to describe the near-death experience and to see it as another trick of the dualistic world.

Jung explains how, during his heart attack, he died and was transported above the earth to a doorway guarded by a cosmically dangerous spike. Jung’s observations as a scientist and doctor about what makes us tick are a foundation for people realizing their true nature through people like David Bingham today.

By C.G. Jung, Aniela Jaffe (editor), Clara Winston (translator) , Richard Winston (translator)

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Memories, Dreams, Reflections as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I can understand myself only in the light of inner happenings. It is these that make up the singularity of my life, and with these my autobiography deals' Carl Jung

An eye-opening biography of one of the most influential psychiatrists of the modern age, drawing from his lectures, conversations, and own writings.

In the spring of 1957, when he was eighty-one years old, Carl Gustav Jung undertook the telling of his life story. Memories, Dreams, Reflections is that book, composed of conversations with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffe, as well as chapters written in his own hand, and other…


Book cover of The Nomad: Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt

Louisa Waugh Author Of Hearing Birds Fly: A Nomadic Year in Mongolia

From my list on the intimate lives of landscapes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Louisa Waugh is a writer, blogger, and the prize-winning author of three non-fiction books: Hearing Birds Fly, Selling Olga, and Meet Me in Gaza. She has lived and worked in the Middle East, Central and West Africa, and is a conflict adviser for an international peace-building organisation. She blogs at The Waugh Zone and currently lives in Brighton, on the southern English coast, where she kayaks and drinks red wine on the beach, usually not at the same time.

Louisa's book list on the intimate lives of landscapes

Louisa Waugh Why did Louisa love this book?

Isabelle Eberhardt was born in 1877. She was “a crossdresser and sensualist, an experienced drug taker and a transgressor of boundaries”. Born in Switzerland, she crossed the Sahara Desert on horseback dressed as a male marabout, driven by a hunger for nomadic adventures, and for love. Isabelle’s evocative diaries are intense, beautifully written, self-centred and dramatic, occasionally very funny. She fell madly in love with the Sahara, was accused of being a spy, married a young Algerian soldier, and drowned in a desert flash flood at the age of 27. This book is about a short life that burned radiantly and the desiccated landscape that mirrored her intensity.

By Isabelle Eberhardt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Nomad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eberhardt's journal chronicles the daring adventures of a late 19th-century European woman who traveled the Sahara desert disguised as an Arab man and adopted Islam. Includes a glossary. Previously published in English by Virago Press in 1987, and as The Passionate Nomad by Virago/Beacon Press in 19


Book cover of The White Spider: The Classic Account of the Ascent of the Eiger

Stephen O'Shea Author Of The Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond

From my list on the Alps from a history and travel writer.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a history and travel writer, I had always heard the siren song of the Alps. Deciding to try (unsuccessfully) to ignore my fear of heights, I take a hair-raising tour across most of the highest passes of the Alps, through France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia. So many boundaries crossed: linguistic, religious, historical, political, even culinary. I learned the Alps are not a monolith, they are a polyphony.

Stephen's book list on the Alps from a history and travel writer

Stephen O'Shea Why did Stephen love this book?

The monster of the Bernese Alps, the north face of the Eiger (“the Ogre”), a sheer face of rock taunting and tempting intrepid Alpinists, resisted all attempts to climb it until 1938. Prior to that, climbers fell to their deaths with distressing frequency, made even more macabre by an accident of touristic geography that provided a luxury hotel on a nearby hillock with an unobstructed view of the serial catastrophes. The Austrian Herrer at last summited the face in this white-knuckle tale of determination, grit and luck.

By Heinrich Harrer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A classic of mountaineering literature, this is the story of the harrowing first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, the most legendary and terrifying climb in history.

Heinrich Harrer, author of 'Seven Years in Tibet' and one of the twentieth century's greatest mountaineers, was part of the team that finally conquered the Eiger's fearsome North Face in 1938. It was a landmark expedition that pitted the explorers against treacherous conditions and the limits of human endurance, and which many have since tried - and failed - to emulate.

Armed with an intimate knowledge that comes only from first-hand…


Book cover of In the Mountains

Lesley Glaister Author Of Blasted Things

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Lesley Glaister 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.


Book cover of Big Swiss

Laurie Devore Author Of The Villain Edit

From my list on watch a slow-motion train wreck.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think I sometimes get in trouble for saying this, but the truth is, I don’t give a shit about the likability of characters, whether I’m reading or writing. I’m here for a good time, not a long time. Because of that, fiction is the most riveting for me when interesting characters start making bad decisions. Any good narrative train wreck must create tension that keeps ratcheting up in its pages, and these are some of the books that do that most expertly, in my opinion. So, grab something to hold onto while you go on some of my favorite wild rides.

Laurie's book list on watch a slow-motion train wreck

Laurie Devore Why did Laurie love this book?

I love reading a book and knowing the other shoe is about to drop, and this book does it in a satisfying way. Greta lives in a house that is literally falling apart around her and transcribes sessions for a local sex therapist. There, she discovers the subject of her fascination: the cold, distant, and traumatized Big Swiss.

Despite the sometimes-heavy subject matter, the interplay between Greta and Big Swiss as they embark upon their affair is so much fun. This is the perfect train wreck in that it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN Big Swiss discovers Greta’s duplicity, the fun is all in the journey.

Not only are Greta and Big Swiss nuanced, engaging characters, but their small town is populated with colorful side characters who make Big Swiss a book world you want to spend time in, even when you know things will go so spectacularly…

By Jen Beagin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Big Swiss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** SOON TO BE A MAJOR HBO SERIES STARRING JODIE COMER **

'Made me laugh and think too much (the right amount?) about sex and death and honesty.' MONICA HEISEY
'Utterly addictive. . . I laughed so hard it ached.' GILLIAN ANDERSON
'Juicy, salacious and compelling. Trauma shouldn't be this fun.' SARA PASCOE

Greta liked knowing people's secrets. That wasn't a problem. Until she met Big Swiss.

Big Swiss. That's Greta's nickname for her - she is tall, and she is from Switzerland. Greta can see her now: dressed top to toe in white, that adorable gap between her two…


Book cover of Inflation and Unemployment: Contributions to a New Macroeconomic Approach

Alvaro Cencini Author Of Bernard Schmitt's Quantum Macroeconomic Analysis

From my list on monetary macroeconomics.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Alvaro Cencini Why did Alvaro love this book?

I am especially fond of this book because I edited it with a dear friend of mine, Prof. Mauro Baranzini, who, despite our different analytical backgrounds has always supported and encouraged my research in monetary macroeconomics.

The book lays the foundations for a fruitful collaboration among economists who share the same objective: to explain satisfactorily and comprehensively the disequilibria hampering the smooth development of our economies.

The works presented in this volume are a serious attempt to clarify the terms of the problem of inflation and unemployment.

They must be seen as contributions to building a modern theory of monetary and structural macroeconomics.

By Alvaro Cencini (editor), Mauro Baranzini (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work challenges traditional monetary theory by focusing on the role of banks and provides a new insight into the role played by bank money and capital accumulation. An international team of contributors reappraise analyses of the inflation and unemployment developed by Marshall, Keynes and Robertson. This volume is published in association with the Centre for the Study of Banking in Switzerland.