If you’ve been following me for more than a few days, you probably already know that I just returned from a trip to Prague! And (with the exception of me ending up in urgent care after I came back) it was a great trip. Of course, being me, I had to make it as literature-centric as possible. And, in Prague, that means one thing: Franz Kafka.

If you are planning a trip to Prague, you NEED to read some Kafka before you go. Kafka is everywhere. I went to the Kafka museum (which was amazing), a Kafka “experience” (aka the weirdest thing I’ve ever done), and saw at least four Kafka-themed statues. So, read some Kafka and appreciate being surrounded by everything Kafka. I also recommend An Unbearable Lightness of Being, because it definitely helped prepare me for the weirdness that is Prague (and also, I really enjoyed it).

Okay, onto the actual reason for this post! Here are the books I added to my TBR after encountering them in Prague:

The Castle by Franz Kafka

Before I even started planning my trip, I’d already read two books by Kafka: The Metamorphosis and The Trial. But when I visited the Franz Kafka Museum – which was honestly one of the highlights of my trip, don’t miss it – they had a lot of information about The Castle. And, since I now have a slight obsession with Kafka, I obviously need to read it.

The Golem by Gustav Meyrink

I did actually start reading this one before my trip. But I was really busy and wasn’t giving it the attention it probably deserves. After learning how much Meyrink inspired Kafka, I’m definitely more invested in reading this now. And I picked up a copy at the Prague Shakespeare & Sons bookstore, so I have even more incentive to pick it up.

The Power of the Powerless by Václav Havel

One thing that really struck me walking around Prague was just how recently it was under the rule of communism. Even though it’s a beautiful place, there are still little signs everywhere. Havel was an activist during that period who later became the first President of the Czech Republic. It’s a political essay about how communism affects the lives of every day citizens, and I really want to read it to gain more insight into what people’s lives were back then.

Have you read any Czech authors? Is there anyplace in the world you’d like to travel for book-ish reasons, or any literary places you’d like to see?

4 thoughts

  1. I read The Unbearable Lightness of Being long ago when it first came out. It would be good to revisit it. And I read Metamorphosis within an e-book of great short stories. It was an interestingly surreal piece for sure! I’d like to read more Kafka.

    When I did a search to see if I knew any other Czech writers, I was surprised to find that the playwright Tom Stoppard is actually Czech-born though he’s writing in English. So if that counts, I’ve read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Arcadia.

    Bookish places I’d like to visit? Italy and Greece, birthplace of the classics. I haven’t spent enough time there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thinking about it, I am not sure I have read many Czech authors (aside from Kafka) in my lifetime. Considering that my family is from the Czech Republic … that’s not ideal haha I will definitely look into it. I feel like I know The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but that could maybe be because of the movie?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe. It sounded familiar to me, too, but once I started reading I knew I definitely hadn’t read it or seen the movie. And, after having been there, I can say that as long as you’ve read Kafka, you’re probably set. He is EVERYWHERE.

      Liked by 1 person

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