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Poland: Krakow and the Tatra Mountains - Books
  • Poland by James A. Michener. Like the heroic land that is its subject, this book teems with vivid events and unforgettable characters. In the sweeping span of eight tumultuous centuries, three Polish families live out their destinies and the drama of a nation--in the grand tradition of a great James Michener saga.
  • God's Playground: A History of Poland, Vol. 1 by Norman Davies. This new edition of Norman Davies's classic study of the history of Poland has been revised and fully updated with two new chapters to bring the story to the end of the twentieth century. Professor Davies presents the most comprehensive survey in English of this frequently maligned and usually misunderstood country.
  • God's Playground: A History of Poland, Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present by Norman Davies. The most comprehensive survey of Polish history available in English, God's Playground demonstrates Poland's importance in European history from medieval times to the present. In each volume, chronological chapters of political narrative are interspersed with essays on religious, social, economic, constitutional, philosophical, and diplomatic themes.
  • The Jews in Polish Culture by Aleksander Hertz. A brief overview of the history of the Jewish people in Poland. A richly perceptive sociological consideration of the Jewish community as a caste in 19th and early 20th-century Poland and a book that should be part of any study of modern Polish culture or Diaspora Jewry.
  • Cosmos and Pornografia: Two Novels by Witold Gombrowicz. Cosmos, a metaphysical thriller, revolves around an absurd investigation. It is set in provincial Poland and narrated by a seedy, pathetic, and witty student, who is charming and appalling by turns, and whose voice is dense with the richly palpable description that characterizes Gombrowicz's writing. The second, Pornografia, explores a sinister plot in which the elderly live vicariously through the young.
  • View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems by Wislawa Szymborska. From one of Europe's most prominent and celebrated poets, a collection remarkable for its graceful lyricism. With acute irony tempered by a generous curiosity, Szymborska documents life's improbability as well as its transient beauty to capture the wonder of existence. Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, winners of the PEN Translation Prize.
  • Culture Smart! Poland: A Quick Guide to Customs & Etiquette by Greg Allen.  "Welcome to Poland, the historical bridge between East and West at the heart of Europe." A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice. 
  • The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz. The best known prose work by the winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and women living under totalitarianism of the left or right.
  • A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland by Michael Moran. Moran keeps company with a gallery of fantastic characters in this uproarious memoir and meticulously researched cultural journey. Moran shows the quirky, colorful side of Polish life obscured by memories of communism, but does not neglect the dark side of Polish history. This captivating journey into the heart of a country is a timely and brilliant celebration of a valiant and richly cultured people.
  • Breathing under Water and Other East European Essays by Stanislaw Baranczak. These superb essays focus on the role that culture, and particularly literature, has played in keeping the spirit of intellectual independence alive in Eastern and Central Europe. Baranczak brings into sharp relief the works and personalities of many legendary figures of recent Eastern European political and cultural history and makes vivid the context from which they spring. 
  • Another Beauty by Adam Zagajewski. This brilliant memoir is Adam Zagajewski's recollection of 1960s and 1970s communist Poland, where he was a fledgling writer, student of philosophy, and vocal dissident at the university in Krakow, Poland's most beautiful and ancient city.
  • The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories by Bruno Schulz. Bruno Schulz's untimely death at the hands of a Nazi stands as one of the great losses to modern literature. This volume brings together his complete fiction, including three short stories and his final surviving work. Illustrated with Schulz's original drawings, this edition beautifully showcases the distinctive surrealist vision of one of the twentieth century's most gifted and influential writers.
  • A Traveller's History of Poland by John Radzilowski. Since the horrors of the Second World War and Soviet control, Poland has gradually regained its rightful place in Europe. Radzilowski vividly describes the beginnings of the country, first fragmented then reborn to overcome the aggression of the Teutonic Knights and its greedy neighbors. The book includes a full chronology, a list of monarchs and rulers, a gazetteer, historical maps and is fully illustrated.
  • Push Not the River by James Conroyd Martin. A panoramic and epic novel in the grand romantic style; the rich story of Poland in the late 1700s--a time of heartache and turmoil as the country's once peaceful people are being torn apart by neighboring countries and divided loyalties.  Based on the true eighteenth century diary of Anna Maria Berezowska, a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the historic Third of May Constitution.
  • A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka. On the eve of World War II, in a place called Half-Village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon falls in love with a girl fabled for her angelic looks.  Whimsical, wise, beautiful, magical, and at times heartbreaking, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True weaves together two remarkable stories, reimagining half a century of Polish history through the legacy of one unforgettable love affair.
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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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