To get a better feel for a place, I like to read a book concerning the location....preferably historical fiction, but nonfiction will do if not too dry. For Venice I read City of Falling Angels (NF and fantastic!), and for Florence and Rome I read several, including Pompeii and The Agony and the Ecstasy. It gives me a story to picture the city within, and believe it or not I can still imagine the cities I've read about in great detail.
Any ideas of books for Germany....or specifically Berlin? I have the Monuments Men on the list just for some basic history (I find the story absolutely intriguing), but I'm not sure how much there will be about German locations in particular.
I'm putting in the same request in the Paris forums because we will be traveling there as well.