“The Tobacconist” by Robert Seethaler book cover, -Photo by goodreads.
CAIRO – 12 April 2018: Visiting a foreign country for the first time is always overwhelming and could be one of the most incredible experiences. But what helps you choose this country? How do you start preparing for this visit? How can you set a schedule that helps you explore this country well?
According to Condé Nast Traveler (CNTraveler), language-learning app Babble asked a group of ambassadors from diverse countries to recommend a book that helps readers before they visit their countries.
The recommended books
Here are some of the books recommended by 22 ambassadors of different countries in the U.S.
The first book is recommended by Austrian Ambassador Wolfgang A. Waldner. “The Tobacconist”, by Robert Seethaler, is a novel that revolves around the story of a 17-year-old boy named Franz who moves to Vienna during the German occupation and becomes a trainee in a tobacco shop.
Belgian Ambassador Dirk Wouters recommends “War and Turpentine” by Stephan Hertmans, which depicts three Belgian generations. It also focuses on the most outstanding Belgian artists during WWI. The book is highly recommended to any art and history lover.
“With Faith and Goodwill: 150 Years of Canada-U.S. Friendship” by Arthur Milnes is recommended by Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton. The book includes a significant assortment of photographs and speeches of prime ministers and presidents who remarkably helped in creating Canada’s history.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez is highly recommended by Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón. It exceptionally tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family.
Danish Ambassador Lars Gert Lose recommends “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” by Peter Hoeg, which is a fictional novel that takes place in Copenhagen. It outstandingly features many cultural issues in Denmark.
Because the rebellion of Cretans against the Ottoman Empire in 1889 is considered to be one of the most remarkable stages in Greek history, the Greek embassy in Washington, D.C. recommends Nikos Kazantzakis's “Freedom and Death”.
“Tschick” by Wolfgang Herrndorf is recommended by German Ambassador Peter Witing. It revolves around an unusual friendship between two 14-year-old boys, both social outsiders; one comes from a bourgeois background, while the other returned from Russia.
This initiative was taken to provide travelers with a one-of-a-kind setting that can make their journey a fruitful one.