Recommended reading for Poland

I’ve never really done book reviews, so please don’t expect huge reviews of these books.  They are just ones I have read and found interesting, either relating to life in Poland as a foreigner or the history of Poland.  You can click on the pictures to go straight to the Amazon page and read more about each book.

This is a great book about life in Poland as a foreigner and details all the day to day and crazy experiences that the author experienced.  It’s a good read and engaging throughout, and as someone in a similar position I can certainly relate to it.

Again, another tale of a foreigner in Poland (can you see a pattern here?), this goes into a bit more detail and shows that the author really seems to have fallen in love with the country.  It’s a bit outdated now as it mostly takes place just after the fall of the Berlin wall, but still contains scenes that continue to happen in Poland.

For anyone with an interest in history, WW2 or tales of courage, this book is a must.  It details the men of 303 Squadron who downed roughly 3 times the amount of Nazi planes than the RAF pilots they flew with.  This Polish squadron of pilots truly helped to win the Battle of Britain

Norman Davies is a prolific writer when it comes to Poland, just check out his Amazon page! This book starts in 1945 just after the end of WW2 and coming upto modern day Poland.  It’s an interesting and slightly more academic read but well worth getting if you really want to understand what Poland went through after the Second World War, during Communism.

One of my favourite books, a story about a bear that’s a bit livelier than Paddington! This is a true story of a bear that was adopted by the Polish army in Iran and became a fully enlisted soldier, whilst drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and carrying mortar rounds for the troops and finally retiring to a zoo in Edinburgh, Scotland where there is a memorial to him.

Wojtek (bear) statue in Princes Street Gardens

A very traditional Polish book, written by Henryk Sienkiewicz who earned a Nobel Prize for “outstanding merits as an epic writer”.  This book takes you back and almost makes you feel like you are back in 17th Century Poland surrounded by Cossacks. If it seems a bit long, you can cheat and get the DVD - here

This is an epic poem, written by Adam Mickiewicz, possibly Poland’s greatest poet.  It’s a tale of country life among the Polish & Lithuanian upper classes set in 1811 & 1812.  There is also a vodka named Pan Tadeusz, which is very smooth and tasty! 

I hope you enjoy and maybe consider getting one of these books, Poland has a very interesting past and it does make for a very good read.