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While Switzerland is on my bucket list, it falls pretty comfortably in the middle right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to read all the Switzerland books though!
This may be a smaller list than I usually make but that doesn’t mean these books set in Switzerland aren’t great, there just aren’t as many of them as other places.
If I missed one that you personally love, I’d love to hear it in the comments to check it out! This list is a mix of mountaineering books, historical fiction, modern fiction, and more.
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In June of 1863, a young English woman set out on the trip of a lifetime on Thomas Cook’s first conducted tour of Switzerland.
150 years later, Diccon Bewes decided to follow her footsteps guided by her diary to see how much had changed. This is two accounts of travel through the Alps, hers looking at the future of travel and his look at the past.
Dinnie’s second life began when she was kidnapped by her aunt and uncle. She’s used to change but when they whisk her away to a far off school in Switzerland, she’s not sure she can face it alone.
When she first arrives, it’s overwhelming and her former life seems so far away but once she makes new friends, Switzerland starts to become her new home and part of herself.
Anna, an American, lives with Bruno, her Swiss Husband, and three kids in a picture-perfect Zurich suburb. While her life seems perfect on the outside, she’s really falling apart.
She tries to distract herself by learning German and a series of sexual affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds it difficult and her lies start getting out of control.
This is the harrowing true story of the first ascent of the North Face of Eiger. Harrer is one of the greatest mountaineers of the twentieth century and was per of the team that conquered the North Face in 1938.
This is a gripping first-hand account of the mental and physical resilience needed to finish the climb.
On a spring night in 1998, Cressida Strauss plunged to her death from the fourth floor of the Lycee International Suisse. Not wanting to draw attention to the school, her death is ruled an accident. But was it really?
Her best friend, Kersti, has a lot of questions and goes on to become a famous writer but her questions never really go away, particularly one about Cressida’s obsession with the Helvetian Society, a secret club at the school banned years before their arrival.
When she is invited to the Lycee’s 100th anniversary party, she begins to look into the cover-up and unearths a frightening underbelly of lies and abuse. This is one I’d really like to read!
Josef Matt is the only person to every try and conquer the last summit of the Alps and met his end in his attempt.
Now his son Rudi is setting off to finish what his father didn’t with his red shirt in tow. He must pass the chasm that took his father’s life in order to plan the shirt at the summit.
While this may sound like non-fiction, this is in fact a YA fiction book set in Switzerland. It still sounds intriguing though!
Dr. Alex Hoffman’s name is carefully guarded from the public but to those who know him, he is a legend. With the revolutionary artificial intelligence he created, his hedge fund, based in Geneva, makes billions.
One morning, before dawn, the security of his elaborate lakeside mansion is breached and he begins a life of paranoia and violence as his desperation to find out who is trying to destroy him grows.
This is a collection of short stories from the Swiss author Peter Stamm. The stories are dark and may leave you hanging, or at least feel like it, but they remain satisfying.
I don’t usually like short stories but this one sounds pretty interesting!
This is the story of a beautiful TV host, Gillian, who is happy with her marriage to Matthias even though she feels restless at times. After a fight, they get into a car accident with Matthias driving drunk and hitting a deer. He dies in the accident and she wakes up completely disfigured. After a lot of twists and turns, she puts her life back together and reconnects with a love interest from her past that may be her future. Or so it seems.
Three peaks in the majestic Swiss Alps stand out above all others and while the Eiger ma be the smallest, it is by far the deadliest. It’s called a “living” moutnain because of it’s constant changing conditions and extremely dangerous mile-high north wall which may be why Alpinists are called to scale the peak.
In 1957, two confident climbing teams set out to summit the north wall when not long into the journey, onlookers saw they were headed for disaster. Rescue teams from all across Europe came in but only four climbers survived only to be faced with unfounded international accusations. This is a riveting account of their daring adventure.
The Gilded Chalet is part detective work, part treasure chest, but full of history. It takes us on a 200 year tour through Switzerland showing it’s always been the literary center of Europe.
This is the perfect choice for history and literary buffs if you want a book set in Switzerland!
Have you read any of these books set in Switzerland? Which ones? Any other Swiss books you’d recommend?