I can vividly remember the very first time I went to the library. It was a very small, quaint place in the town I grew up in. It smelled like mould and Soviet Union and that moment I realised that I will like books. I can’t remember what brought me there that day but I can tell you that I went back every other day that summer. At first I read those thin teen Harlequin kind of books, then I started reading classics and soon I was onto John Milton & Joseph Conrad. I don’t read those books anymore – they bore me. In all honesty I have no idea how my little teenage self found them interesting. My love for books is still in me though – I love walking through bookstores, flicking through vintage editions & collecting those tiny 80p Penguins. Every time we visit Prague I have to get a couple of books – the last trip was no exception. Oh, and all these books have been translated to English so you can read them too!
77 Prague Legends by Alena Jezkova (£2.80, Amazon – buy here)
I’m fascinated by local legends & myths and this collection of Prague legends is perfect for when you’re actually in Prague exploring the city. We carried it around everywhere and read out from it whilst having cups of coffee & chimney cakes in cosy cafes on the river.
Prague Tales by Jan Neruda (£12.99, Amazon – buy here)
Do you remember me telling you about the hotel we stayed in? It’s this one – and what’s interesting is that the street it’s on is called Nerudova Street. After the author of this book! These tales about the Lesser Town (Prague city centre) draw up on the life in Prague in the 19th century and are part of the Czech literary heritage – everyone in the Czech Republic has read them at least once in their life!
PS by Ana Geislerova (269CZK, Kosmas – buy here, only in Czech)
This is one of those books that you see on every blog. Every. Single. Blog. And Instagram for that matter. It’s written by a Czech actress which I’m not overly keen on (ooops!) but it got me intrigued – can’t wait to read it!
May by Karel Hynek Macha (£12, Amazon – buy here)
The greatest Czech Romantic poet Karel Hynek Macha is often compared to the likes of Shelley and Byron. May is essentially one long poem about a shocking love triangle between a beautiful girl, a thief and his father. Yup, his father.
Late evening, on the first of May—The twilit May—the time of love.
Bouquet by Karel Jaromir Erben (£14.50, Amazon – buy here)
My most favourite Czech book ever written – Bouquet is a collection of Czech folk tales written as ballads. This book is not for you if you’re easily spooked – it’s full of murder, blood and opened graves. The kind of gruesome stuff Czech kids are told for bedtime stories.
Marketa Lazarova by Vladislav Vancura (£13.49, Amazon – buy here)
This book is an epic set in the 13th century in Czech lands and describes an abduction and a very unlikely love story. I have not read this one yet – I have a feeling it will be one for long winter evenings!
Have you ever read any Czech book?
What are your thoughts on foreign literature, do you ever give it a go?