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Hungary Books

Eclipse of the Cresent Moon (in Hungary, it is a book that every kid reads) by Geza Gardonyi. It culminates in the first Turkish siege of Eger.
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 by Ann Applebaum if you want to understand more about how this part of the world transitioned from post WW2 to communism and a bit beyond, read. Specifically Poland, Hungary and East Germany.
Twelve days - the Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The book is written by a journalist whose own family fled from Hungary by Victor Sebestyen
Prague . The name is misleading. The book is about Budapest. I will borrow from New York Times Book Review: a novel startling scope and ambition, Prague depicts an intentionally lost Lost Generation as it follows five American expats who come to Budapest in the early 1990s to seek their fortune. They harbor the vague suspicion that their counterparts in Prague have it better, but still they hope to find adventure, inspiration, a gold rush, or history in the making by Arthur Phillips.
The Forbidden Sky: Inside the Hungarian Revolution by Endre Marton – Cold War Historical
The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World by Kati Marton – WWII Historical
Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America by Kati Marton – Cold War Historical
A History of Hungary by Laszlo Kontler – General History
When Angels Fooled the World by Charles Fenyvesi – WWII Historical
Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire by Victor Sebestyen (Hungarian) – Cold War Historical
Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors by Lonnie Johnson – Cold War Historical
The Sword and the Crucible. Count Boldizsar Batthyany
Natural Philosophy in Sixteenth-century Hungary by Dora Bobory - History
Budapest: A Critical Guide by Andras Torok, Andras Egyedi and Andras Felvideki – History
The Paul (Pal) Street Boys, Ferenc Molnar – Historical Novel
The Invisible Bridge, Julie Orringer – WWII Novel
Under the Frog by Tibor Fischer – Cold War Novel
A Taste of the Past: The Daily Life and Cooking of a Nineteenth-Century Hungarian-Jewish Homemaker by András Koerner – Golden Age Account
Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen by George Lang – WWII / Cold War Historical
The Smell of Humans: A Memoir of the Holocaust in Hungary by Ernö Szép – WWII Historical
The Budapest Protocol by Adam LeBor – WWII Novel
Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture by John Lukacs – Golden Age Historical
The Envoy: The Epic Rescue of the Last Jews of Europe in the Desperate Closing Months of World War II by Alex Kershaw – WWII Historic
Kasztner's Train: The True Story of an Unknown Hero of the Holocaust by Anna Porter – WWII Historic
Ligeti, Kurtág, and Hungarian Music during the Cold War (Music in the Twentieth Century) by Rachel Willson – Cold War Historic
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubenstein - a true story of a ice hockey goalie who decided to supplement his income by robbing banks and post offices around Budapest. Good insight into the early days of post communist Hungary and the fate of those Hungarians trapped in Transylvania, Romania after WW1. (courtesy of @Worldinbetween)
The Bridge at Andau by James Michener - Great story for anyone interested in the 1956 Hungarian revolution. We planned our first visit to Budapest around sites from this book. (courtesy of @Worldinbetween)
Sunflower and Life Is a Dream, 10 stories "Focusing on the poor and dispossessed, these tales of love, food, death and sex are ironic and wise about the human condition and the futility of life, and display fully Gyula Krudy's wit and mastery of the form."

Posted by
9305 posts

My must reads before traveling to Hungary would include:

The Forbidden Sky: Inside the Hungarian Revolution by Endre Marton –
Cold War Historical Account

The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World by
Kati Marton – WWII Historical Account

Posted by
1966 posts

I have printed this great list and will be searching for some of these books, and I have a couple to add! When preparing for my trip earlier this year I came across the works of Gyula Krudy, particularly enjoyed the novel Sunflower and Life Is a Dream, 10 stories "Focusing on the poor and dispossessed, these tales of love, food, death and sex are ironic and wise about the human condition and the futility of life, and display fully Krudy's wit and mastery of the form." The stories were indeed magical with a big focus on food. Penguin has a great series of Central European authors and I am now discovering even more wonderful writers.

Posted by
9305 posts

If you are going to delve into the esoteric then you might be in store for a metamorphosis; but beware of cockroaches along the way.

Posted by
9305 posts

@worldinbetween, I knew this would hook you. Unfortunately I have maxed out on characters on a subject but I did manage to squeeze your tittles at the end first.

Posted by
11825 posts

Any of the works on Hungarian history by the venerated British historian C.A. Macartney...erudite, professional.

Posted by
9305 posts

As an aside, the number of book stores in Budapest is simply staggering. As is the number of theaters. Speaks to the nature of the culture.

Posted by
9305 posts

Sorry, just trying to build one comprehensive list. I pulled the titles you contributed. Would have credited you but I was down to 3 characters available in the section.

Posted by
9305 posts

There!!!! Hard copied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And CREDITED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DANG IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I cleared the header to make room)

SMILE, just kidding. ;-)