Judy Dempsey has asked leading experts to share their literary preferences with Strategic Europe’s readers by providing their suggested reads for the summer.

Merete Bildepolicy advisor, European External Action Service

Foreign Policy

I'm reading "The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East" by Marc Lynch.

Other Non-fiction

"Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Fiction

I don't have time for fiction.

Guilty Pleasure

"Marie Claire" or "How to sheng fui your life".

A Classic, or Book You Always Return to

"Diplomacy" by Henry Kissinger.... still not through it.

Judy Dempseynonresident senior associate, Carnegie Europe; editor-in-chief, Strategic Europe

Foreign Policy

"Trust and Violence: An Essay on a Modern Relationship" by Jan Philipp Reemtsma. It is a very complex book and I still think very pessimistic analysis about the interplay of violence and torture and power over the centuries. You really sense the fragility of human nature.

Other Non-fiction

"Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010, A Crooked Harp?" by Elaine Byrne. After reading this, I concluded that Ireland's economic crisis and Angela Merkel's tough medicine dosed out to the Irish would finally put an end to the endemic corruption and patronage.

Fiction

"The Cat's Table" by Michael Ondaatje. A real gem of a sea voyage from Sri Lanka to England, as told through the eyes of an 11-year-old boy.

"River of Smoke" by Amitav Ghosh. Am really getting into this epic tale.

"Canada" by Richard Ford. Told through the eyes of a teenager. I thought it fell away towards the end. Beautifully written.

A Classic, or Book You Always Return to

"The Spy who Came in from the Cold" by John le Carré. Started re-reading his Cold War novels. Still captivating.

Ulrich Speckeditor, Global Europe

Foreign Policy

In “The World America Made”, Robert Kagan argues against the declinist view of American power. Obama has praised the book, and Kagan is listed among Romney’s foreign policy advisors. A good reminder that Washington is determined to shape the 21 century—with or without Europe on its side.

Other Non-fiction

For centuries maritime Britain was a key player in the Mediterranean, so Robert Holland’s “Blue-Water Empire: the British in the Mediterranean since 1800” looks like it could be a great help in understanding what makes London's foreign policy tick, even today.

Fiction

The Japanese writer Haruki Murakami is to the novel what Hayao Miyazaki is to the movie: he is moving us into that fantastic universe which is just one step behind our rather ordinary world. Only that they still know how to get there, and take us with them. Murakami’s latest novel is called “1Q84”.

Guilty Pleasure

If you’ve started once with Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, and have continued with Eric Ambler, you will probably love the sinister world of Michael Connelly. It’s of course good vs evil, detective vs killer, virtue vs sin, in a monochrome universe, beyond redemption. His latest page-turner in a long series is “The Drop”.

A Classic, or Book You Always Return to

Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws” deserves to be studied a lifetime, as the Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu distillates the political knowledge of the classic world for us moderns—and warns us against hubris.

Sylke Tempeleditor-in-chief, Internationale Politik

Foreign Policy

Jonathan Fenby, "Tiger Head, Snake Tails"—neither overly enthusiastic nor prone to doomsday scenarios, Fenby manages a paradox: he provides a sober account of China’s breathtaking development.

Other Non-fiction

"In the Shadow of the Sword", Tom Holland—supposedly a history of early Islam plus biography of the prophet describing the "Battle for global empire and the end of the ancient world"—really a most elegantly written tour the force thru Persian, Jewish, Byzantine, Arab religious, and political history.

Fiction

Nicole Krauss, "Great House". After "The History of Love" another wonderful, warmhearted novel by Krauss. Leaves me with one question: How can a person that young be that wise?

Guilty Pleasure

It is rather an envy pleasure: Nancy Mitfords "The Pursuit of Love" about the life of Hons, the difference between Us and Non-Us (Upperclass and non upperclass) and the necessity of "run-away-money". I wish I was a subject of the Queen (U, of course) and yes: rule Britannia.

A Classic, or Book You Always Return to

Hannah Arendts letters and anything by Isaiah Berlin and Karl Popper.