|Subject: Favorite Guides/Travel books|
Thinking about your itinerary, I would recommend a couple of books.
First of all, look for the short stories of Jan Neruda. He wrote some
delightful tales of the old Prague. One of his books is called Tales
of the Mala Strana, and I am sure you will enjoy it.
Then, maybe the biography of Milena Jesenska by Margarete Buber-
Neumann, her childhood in Prague, her life as a woman journalist in
the Twenties and Thirties, her relationship with Franz Kafka, and her
death in the concentration camp of Ravensbrock.
And of course, Milan Kundera (but I am always very slow when reading
his books) and the good soldier Svejk (here you have the URL for his
favourite place: http://www.ukalicha.cz/ from Jaroslav Hasek.
About history, I would look for a good history of the Habsburg Empire.
And let me endorse the recommendation for the Rough Guides. The Eyewitness series is lovely to look at, but I find much better the Rough Guides and Lonely Planet when you are travelling around.
Regards from Bilbao (Spain),