The Memory Book
ZoOm Hungary

The Memory Book is a woman’s self-discovery in the mist of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The journeys in this unique mix of travelogue, history, and memoir were organized by ZoOm Hungary.

ON A SHORT VACATION TO BUDAPEST, author Linda Fischer found a small leather book in an antique store. Opening it, she discovered pages filled with watercolors, drawings, and messages. The book turned out to be a memory book—a keepsake album kept by Central European girls at the turn of the twentieth century in which to record advice and remember special events. This one contained evergreen truisms and aphorisms written to the book’s owner when she visited places few Americans know. Curiosity and concern propelled Fischer on a multi-year journey into the heart of Old Europe and deep into centuries of art, history, and war. The book inspired the author to help the girl who wrote it live on, and to spread her message of love in our time.


“As a memoirist, Fischer deftly fills the roles of both author and protagonist as she learns about the life of a young Austro-Hungarian girl. . . This book is a compelling read for lovers of history, genealogy, and nostalgic artifacts—anyone who's ever stumbled on a topic or object that began a near-obsessive quest. The Memory Book showcases how old historical artifacts and personae can affect modern travelers.”
—Melissa Wuske, Foreword Reviews

“Fischer intersperses entries from the memory book with her own impressions of Hungary as she retraces Amálka's life and offers her own very engaging look at modern Hungary, its food, culture, and folklore.”
—Vanessa Bush, Booklist

“What a formidable achievement this book represents. There is a palpable pulse-a heartbeat when one reads it. The author's passion is apparent, and so too, is her knowledge. The research is mightily impressive.”
—Esther Bushell, Book Group Facilitator and Commentator, Literary Matters

“Last summer I traveled and took Eat, Pray, Love. This summer I'd take this one. It's about connections and community, time travel in the best of ways.”
—Holly Messitt, Co-Editor, New American Contemporary Literature for a Changing Society

See the tour designed by the author: The Memory Book Tour