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I propose that we together make a list of history based fiction books and films that are interesting to read/see prior to a Northern Europe and Baltic cruise. I have started to make it, capturing some recommendations from this thread about Best Guides http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1370224, some from this wonderful thread http://boards.cruisecritic.com/archive/index.php/t-1197504.html and adding some books/films that I myself have read/seen and can recommend. Hope it may be interesting and looking forward to your input.

 

Russia:

"Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie

"The Life of a Russian Palace" by Suzanne Massie

Natasha’s Dance (A Cultural History of Russia) by Orlando Figes

War and Peace, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Crime and Punishment, "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Debra Dean's Madonnas of Leningrad

"The Amber Room" by Steve Berry

The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure (Paperback) by Catherine Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy (a non-fiction, historical account of the famous room)

Steve Berry's 'The Romanov Prophecy

Edward Rutherfurd's "Russka

The Seige by Helen Dunmore

City of Thieves by David Benioff

The Jewel of Saint Petersburg, The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall.

 

Russian Revolution:

Ten Days That Shook the World

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

 

Films:

"Burned by Sun"

"Anna Karenina"(the last one, directed by Sergey Soloviev)

"The Russian Ark"

Doctor Zhivago 1965 and 2002

 

Sweden:

Books

Astrid Lindgren: Karlsson-on-the-Roof and other books by her

Jan Guillou: Birth of the Kingdom, The Road to Jerusalem, The Templar Knight

August Strindberg “The Red Room”

"Astrid and Veronika" by Linda Olsson

"The Prize", a novel by Irving Wallace (1963)

 

Films

"The Prize" starring Paul Newman

 

Denmark

Books by Hans Christian Andersen

Hamlet by Shakespeare

 

WWII

"Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True" by Brigid Pasulka

"The Rape of Europa" about Hitler's thefts from most of the great museums of Europe

Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell –a novel that looks at Europe from 1939 forward

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I propose that we together make a list of history based fiction books and films that are interesting to read/see prior to a Northern Europe and Baltic cruise. I have started to make it, capturing some recommendations from this thread about Best Guides http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1370224, some from this wonderful thread http://boards.cruisecritic.com/archive/index.php/t-1197504.html and adding some books/films that I myself have read/seen and can recommend. Hope it may be interesting and looking forward to your input.

 

 

Many have strongly recommended the film 'The Singing Revolution' for Tallinn.

 

It's a bit left-field, and not really what you asked for, but if it's any interest here are the short videos, with some history, that I made from my Baltic cruise in 2010 :

 

Copenhagen

 

Tallinn

 

St Petersburg

 

The Fountains of Peterhof

 

The Catherine Palace at Pushkin

 

Peter and Paul Fortress/Cathedral

 

St Isaac's Cathedral

 

Church of Our Saviour on the Spilled Blood

 

The Winter Palace/Hermitage State Museum

 

Helsinki

 

Suomenlinna (Fortress of Finland) at Helsinki

 

Stockholm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NweRnGqZ1k

 

Royal Warship Vasa & the Vasa Museum at Stockholm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x45l1WMZOXA

 

Berlin - general sights

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCdvsq9lJJ8

 

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wgke23Hfuw

 

The Berlin Wall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZCwlKiiZrs

 

On the roof of the Reichstag

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o57Fb88tVTM

Edited by Cornishpastyman1

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I'm currently reading Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie, which is not included in your list. It's long but I'm enjoying it.

 

Next up will be Nicholas & Alexandra that you listed in your post. If it's as long as Catherine, I hope I'll be finished by the time we leave in June!!!

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Next up will be Nicholas & Alexandra that you listed in your post. If it's as long as Catherine, I hope I'll be finished by the time we leave in June!!!
:):) I've added Catherine to my list.

 

Thank you Cornishpastyman1, excellent, outstanding videos, thank you for sharing them. Special thanks for the film about Estonia. Why is the list of books and films about Russia almost as long as the list about all other countries together I wonder?

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Peter the Great by Robert Massie

The Romanovs - The Final Chapter by Robert Massie (follows Nicholas and Alexandra)

 

I will second The Singing Revolution documentary about Tallinn. Really fascinating to learn more about the fall of the USSR in someplace other than Berlin.

 

If anyone likes historical fiction - The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak was just released. I think I'm going to read that while on our cruise. I'm reading the Robert Massie bio of Catherine the Great and while long, it is very good.

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Where can I get a copy of Singing Revolution? I have checked at our library but they do not have it. Would Netflix have it?

Check online for your local PBS afilliate, it was shown on PBS so you might look there as well. Won't cost you that way. :D

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Where can I get a copy of Singing Revolution? I have checked at our library but they do not have it. Would Netflix have it?

 

I got the DVD from Amazon, but I think you can rent it and watch on your computer from them as well.

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Where can I get a copy of Singing Revolution? I have checked at our library but they do not have it. Would Netflix have it?

 

Yes, netflix has The Singing Revolution. I highly recommend it.

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Thanks for the list. I highly recommend "Echoes of a Native Land: Two Centuries of a Russian Village," written by Pulitzer prize winner & NY Times foreign correspondent Serge Schmemann. It traces the lives of his Russian forebears in a small village outside Moscow. I'm now enjoying "Russka" as a way to get an overview of Russian history in a fictional setting. Also enjoyed the author's "Sarum" years ago; same format about Salisbury, England.

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In looking at one of the roll calls for the Baltics, I found out that John Lawrence who does the port talks on the Emerald Princess has a DVD. It is $20 with $5 shipping and handling.

We have received it and really enjoy all the information he has to share. You can find it under johnlawrencecd.com. If for some reason the website gets deleted, you can find the web page by googling John Lawrence Baltic. I can thoroughly recommend it.

We borrowed the Singing Revolution through our inter-library loans. Very informative and a good introduction for the visit to Tallinn.

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summary/update

 

Russia:

"The Life of a Russian Palace" by Suzanne Massie

Peter the Great by Robert Massie

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

"Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie

The Romanovs - The Final Chapter by Robert Massie

The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak

Natasha’s Dance (A Cultural History of Russia) by Orlando Figes

"Echoes of a Native Land: Two Centuries of a Russian Village," by Serge Schmemann.

War and Peace, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Crime and Punishment, "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Debra Dean's Madonnas of Leningrad

"The Amber Room" by Steve Berry

The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure (Paperback) by Catherine Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy (a non-fiction, historical account of the famous room)

The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry

Russka by Edward Rutherfurd's

The Seige by Helen Dunmore

City of Thieves by David Benioff

The Jewel of Saint Petersburg, The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall.

How The Russian Snow Maiden Helped Santa Claus by Gail Buyske and Natasha Voronina (children)

 

Russian Revolution:

Ten Days That Shook the World

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

 

Films:

"Burned by Sun"

"Anna Karenina"(the last one, directed by Sergey Soloviev)

"The Russian Ark"

Doctor Zhivago 1965 and 2002

 

Estonia:

 

Films:

The Singing Revolution

 

Sweden:

Books

Astrid Lindgren: Karlsson-on-the-Roof and other books by her

Jan Guillou: Birth of the Kingdom, The Road to Jerusalem, The Templar Knight

August Strindberg “The Red Room”

"Astrid and Veronika" by Linda Olsson

"The Prize", a novel by Irving Wallace (1963)

 

Films

"The Prize" starring Paul Newman

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (based on "Millenium" by Stieg Larsson)

 

Denmark

Books by Hans Christian Andersen

Hamlet by Shakespeare

 

WWII

"Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True" by Brigid Pasulka

"The Rape of Europa" about Hitler's thefts from most of the great museums of Europe

Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell –a novel that looks at Europe from 1939 forward

The Innocent by Ian McEwan

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Echoes From the Dead by Johan Theorin a Swedish author translated into English. This is a suspense novel set in Oland, Sweden which is not visited by any cruise ship but it gives a good flavor of the island. It reminds me a lot of Newfoundland in Canada.

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"Child 44" by Tom Rob Smith. Chilling murder mystery set during Stalin's era of terror and paranoia. Fiction but based on a true story.

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Ambitious goals! Having read just a few books of the list I’m setting off for the long awaited journey. Ready to catch up on-site and happy with the upcoming holyday… ready, steady, go!

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So glad this list has been started--I am currently reading Leon Uris "Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin", and have just finished "City of Shadows" (Berlin) by Ariana Franklin. Both are highly fictional but good reads! Think I will read some of Hans Christian Andersen's tales and maybe "Russka"!

Edited by Alaskanb

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I'm currently reading Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie, which is not included in your list. It's long but I'm enjoying it.

 

Just started reading this Catherine the Great book last week and am super loving it!! The writer is so good and the life/character of Catherine the Great is totally fascinating and very interesting. I am about 200 pages into it right now.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 102,235 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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I've just bought 'city-pick St Petersburg' in anticipation of my first Baltic cruise next June - it's a great compilation that includes excerpts about the city from writers as diverse as Nabokov, Helen Dunmore and Malcolm Bradbury. Highly recommended for dipping into, as it offers such a lively range of perspectives.

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Here is a link to a Romanov family tree--very helpful when reading Catherine the Great by Massie.

http://www.edstephan.org/Rulers/romanov.html

 

These two novels are from the recommended readings for the Road Scholar: Baltic Explorer: http://www.roadscholar.org/programs/pd_printFull.asp?DId=1-5VS74V

 

Set Sail for Murder

Author: Carolyn G. Hart

Description: Retired newspaper reporter Henrietta O' Dwyer Collins, Henrie O to her friends, joins her dear old friend Jimmy Lennox on a Baltic cruise in this seventh installment in the cozy series.

The Letter of Marque

Author: Patrick O'Brian

Description: The 12th (and perhaps the most satisfying) of O'Brian's series combines the personal and geopolitical as Aubrey comes to Maturin's rescue in the Baltics.

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I recently read "In the Garden of the Beast" by Erik Larson. Its an account of the American Ambassador to Germany in the early 30's during the rise of Hitler. Very interesting and rather chilling.

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Obviously if you want to read some good Swedish literature,read the Emigrants series.

Especially of you live in the areas around the Great Lakes and the upper midwest of the USA.

 

Those novels were also made into movies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emigrants_%28novels%29

 

 

Also Per Anders Fogelström have written a bunch of Stockholm related novels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_Anders_Fogelstr%C3%B6m

Edited by Desdichado62

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