The Baltic, A History
In his erudite history of the “Nordic Mediterranean,” North covers over 1,000 years of trade, politics, architecture, cultural exchange and conflict in the Baltic. His main point: the Baltic’s coastal nations have always been an interconnected economic unit.
W. Bruce Lincoln
Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia
A wonderfully written, informative portrait of St. Peters-burg, focusing on the city’s development in the 18th and 19th centuries as Russia’s “window on the West.” Highly recommended for travelers with an interest in the character and significance of the city and its monuments.
Eyewitness Guide St. Petersburg
With excellent local maps and site plans, this outstanding visual guide introduces the culture, history and attractions of St. Petersburg.
Eyewitness Travel Guide Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
This compact, profusely illustrated travel guide features bright color photography, dozens of maps and a region-by-region synopsis. With a 50-page section on where to stay and eat.
Berndtson & Berndtson
St. Petersburg Map
A detailed, laminated city plan.
Freytag & Berndt
Baltic States Map
A double-sided detailed map of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at a scale of 1:400,000.
Literary St. Petersburg
Blaire shows St. Petersburg through the words, museums and haunts of 15 writers, including Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Nabokov.
James Jenkin, Inna Zaitseva
Lonely Planet Russian Phrasebook
A handy shirtpocket phrasebook for Russian basics focusing on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
The Northern Crusades
The wilder-than-fiction story of the 13th- to 15th-century conquest and conversion of the pagan tribes of the Baltic coasts by knights of the Teutonic Order.
Russia of the Tsars
Waldron recounts the exploits of Peter the Great, the tsars and the splendor of their capital city, St. Petersburg, in this lively, well-illustrated and compact overview of the largest and most diverse empire of its day.
Natasha’s Dance, A Cultural History of Russia
In this lively cultural history, Figes looks at both the great works by Russian masters and longstanding folk traditions. The title is drawn from a scene of Tolstoy’s War and Peace in which a European-educated countess performs a peasant dance.
Solomon Volkov, Antonina Bouis
St. Petersburg, A Cultural History
This wonderfully written summary of art, music, theater and literature, written by a native historian and musician, includes profiles of the city’s artists and writers over the last 300 years.
The Baltic Revolution
A Latvian correspondent for the London Times, Lieven weaves history, interviews and analysis into a vivid cultural portrait of post-Glasnost Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Olegs Yakovlevichs Neverov
The Hermitage Collections
This sumptuous visual survey celebrates the museum, its history and collections.
Simon Sebag Montefiore
Stalin, The Court of the Red Tsar
An enthralling, comprehensive portrait of Joseph Stalin and his court, drawing on archival material and interviews with surviving figures. At 800 pages, there is ample room for personal and anecdotal information about Stalin.
Nabokov’s richly imagined memoir wonderfully evokes cultural life among the well-to-do in late 19th-century St. Petersburg. Nabokov called his childhood home, now a museum off St Isaac’s Square, “the only house in the world.”
Peter the Great, His Life and World
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Massie portrays the giant of history who transformed Russia from backwater tsardom into a major empire.
Native Realm, A Search for Self-Definition
The great Lithuanian-born Polish poet and Nobel laureate Milosz traces much of 20th-century European history in this tale of his own life, from his early years in Vilnius to the unimaginable horrors of Nazi-occupied Warsaw through to the 1950s.
Robert K. Massie
Catherine the Great
Eager readers of Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandria or the Pulitzer Prize-winning Peter the Great will not be disappointed by this latest, an old-fashioned tale of politics, power and 18th-century Europe, drawing effectively from the ambitious Catherine’s own memoirs.
Bely conjures a whirlwind of impressions and impulses in this kinetic meditation on the nature of the city in this modernist masterpiece, written in Russian in 1939. It follows a young revolutionary ordered to assassinate his own father by with a time bomb.
Robert Chandler (Editor)
Russian Short Stories
This fine collection of tales captures the sweep and soul of Russian literature, including works by Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Tolstoy along with lesser-known greats.
This accomplished novel, set against a backdrop of the last days of the Soviet Union, follows three Estonian women in Tallinn and Stockholm.
The Dogs of Riga
Swedish detective Kurt Wallander travels from Ystad to Latvia on the trail of a horrific murder in this second book, steeped in Baltic ambiance.
City of Thieves
David Benioff turns his grandfather’s stories of surviving the infamous Siege of Leningrad into a wise and touching coming-of-age novel that’s hard to put down. Seventeen-year-old Lev and his charismatic buddy Koly are sent out by their German captors to bring back a dozen eggs, just the start of a gripping odyssey.