What They're Reading in the Czech Republic This Spring

Books for sale in Prague
Books for sale in Prague |  ©Adam Jones / Flickr
Diana Bocco

This year’s spring Czech reading list includes some unique nonfiction, as well as new novels by well-known local writers. Here are our top picks.

40 Days on Foot to Jerusalem (40 dní pěšky do Jeruzaléma) by Ladislav Zibura

40 Days is the hilarious account of Ladislav’s walk through the Holy Land, armed only with a 12-kg backpack and without any maps (and turns out, GPS) to guide him. The book takes you through a journey that includes reflection while crossing Turkey and reaching the Western Wall, but also mishaps and funny adventures involving everything from blisters and lots of soreness, to meaningful accidental meetings. Ladislav Zibura is a traveler and journalist who records his pilgrimages in both paper and film to write his books. His second book, Walk Between Buddhists and Communists, is about his travels in Nepal and China.


Elements, Shampoo, Dots and Karel (Prvok, Šampón, Tečka a Karel) by Patrik Hartl

This sometimes funny, sometimes melancholic novel tells the story of four friends who reunite twenty years after high school to explore whether they’ve lived their lives the way they hoped to when they were teenagers. This is a book about the disappointments of life, but also about the people we love and how you often end up somewhere very different from where you thought you were going. The book takes a fun approach to serious topics like life, love and death, and how these events shape who you are and where you go next. Author Patrik Hartl divides his time between writing humorous books and working as the director of the Prague theater Studio DVA.


Find Your Martian (Najděte si Svého Marťana) by Marek Herman

Marek Herman is a university professor who played an important role in the development of the “Step by Step” program aimed at educating children in kindergarten. His work is geared toward parents and teachers, but also to children, a mix that’s most obvious in his famous book to date, Find Your Martian. Written in a playful tone that hides a powerful and sometimes urgent message, the book helps children, educators and parents understand self-awareness, and how education and social relationships are deeply connected.

Cakes (Bábovky) by Radka Třeštíková

This convoluted tale of 12 women forms the basis of Třeštíková’s new novel, which prompts you to ask yourself questions you might not have considered before. In every story, who’s really the villain and who’s the good guy. How do the mistress and the wife play a role in a story? How do a daughter and a sister find their place in a family where money and power are everything? See the stories connect and combine before they take their own path – sometimes a happy one, sometimes not, just as in real life.

Positive Leader (Pozitivní Leader) by Jan Muhlfeit and Melina Costi

Positive leader and former CEO of Microsoft Europe, Jan Muhlfeit has written one of the one of most popular books of the last few years on what it takes to become more productive and achieve more: it all comes down to a positive attitude. A practical approach to focusing on your strengths, relieving stress and unlocking your maximum potential, Positive Leader focuses on helping you discover your strengths, rather than asking you to follow a one-size-fits-all approach to success.

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