One of the perks of traveling to a new destination is the possibility of learning about its history and culture. So we are often asked by our travelers to recommend books about Romania so they can learn even more about the country (besides the usual travel books which many find superficial).
Although knowledge acquired on the spot is best remembered, reading about a place before (or even after) visiting it, will enhance your travel experience. You know what to expect and what to search for, you can spot details that somebody else, not as familiarized with a country as you doesn’t and you can ask more profound questions.
So here are the 5 books about Romania that we recommend reading before coming to our country:
A Brief Illustrated History of Romanians
Written by Neagu Djuvara, one of the most important Romania historians, it is a complex and detailed book that offers insightful information on the history of the country. Facts are told from different points of views, as the authour tries to remain as objective as possible. An easy read for a history book, it is sprinkled with illustrations that prove useful in better understanding the stories told.
Here you can find it on Amazon: A Brief Illustrated History of Romanians.
Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania
Written from the perspective of a young Englishman who came to Romania in early 90s and fell in love with life here, William Blacker’s book is a narrative that will surely captivate you. Not so much a history book, it is a description of an almost vanished way of life encompassing short humorous stories, picturesque landscapes and fascinating characters inspired from real life. It also gives insight into the unique culture of gypsies through the author’s act of falling in love with a beautiful Roma woman. Read it and discover the charm of rural Romania, especially Maramures and Transylvania.
Here you can find it on Amazon: Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania.
Romania Under Communist Rule
Written in 1999 by Dennis Deletant, the book still holds true today, almost two decades later. It is the first and most detailed synthesis of the communist regime in Romania. Learn about every stage of this dark period in the history of the country, from how the communists took over Romania to how the 1989 revolution came to be.
Here you can find it on Amazon: Romania Under Communist Rule.
In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond
Next on our list of books about Romania that you should read is the written work of New York Times bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan. Through repeated journeys, he was witness to the transformation the country underwent between the 1970s and the 2010s. Thus, the book is not only an analysis of the major political events that changed the world seen through the perspective of a small Eastern European country, but also a memoir that can serve as a travel guide. It is a fascinating read, full of insightful details, that brings to light interesting parallels between Romania’s past and present and that will help you understand the unique history and culture of the country.
Here you can find it on Amazon: In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond.
Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates
Stepping more back in time, about a century ago, this book is a sequel to A time of gifts, which covered Patrick Leigh Fermor’s first part of his journey throughout Europe in the 1930s, at the age of 18. In the second installation of the trilogy he travels across the Hungarian Plain and into Romania. The authour creates a vivid description of the places he passes by, interspersed with interesting historical facts and captivating stories of people and events.
Here you can find it on Amazon: Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates.
Here are our recommended 5 books about Romania that you should read before coming here. Have you read any of them? Which one is your favorite? Are there other books you recommend?
Share your opinion in the comments below.
After you’re done reading, we look forward to organizing a tour for you
in Romania. 🙂