Suggested Reading List
A Book of Mediterranean Food
Author: Elizabeth David
Description: A classic mix of lore, literary asides, recipes and enthusiasm for the food and culture of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and the Middle East. Published in the gloom of post-WWII Britain, David's tribute brims with affection for the strongly flavored food of the Mediterranean.
Author: Robert Hughes
Description: A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.
Empires of the Sea
Author: Roger Crowley
Description: Crowley vividly reconstructs the epic clash between the Ottoman Empire and Christendom for the control of the Mediterranean -- and the soul of 16th-century Europe -- in this thrilling account of dramatic battles and brutality, rival faiths and larger-than-life personalities.
Homage to Catalonia
Author: George Orwell
Description: Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.
Ironfire, A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades
Author: David Ball
Description: In this rousing historical novel the fates of a young boy, his sister, one of the Knights of Malta and an inquisitor play out against the backdrop of the 16th-century Ottoman assault on Malta, the formidable citadel of the Knights of St. John.
Master and Commander
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Description: The very first of O'Brian's wildly successful seafaring novels about Captain Aubrey and sidekick Maturin sets the duo against a well-researched Napoleonic wars backdrop in the Western Mediterranean.
Mediterranean Cruises Map
Author: Freytag & Berndt
Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula and Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.
Mediterranean by Cruise Ship
Author: Anne Vipond
Description: The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.
Midnight in Sicily, On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra
Author: Peter Robb
Description: Combining interviews, research and essays on Sicilian history and culture, this vivid report by journalist Peter Robb is a superb introduction to Italy's glorious, corrupt and troubled south.
Author: Paul Johnson
Description: In just over 200 blistering pages, British historian Johnson not only traces the major events of the emperor's life, from his birth on Corsica to his death on St. Helena, but also exposes Napoleon's ruthless appetite for power and his naked opportunism.
On Persephone's Island
Author: Mary Taylor Simeti
Description: Strong on the delights of rural life, Simeti's portrait of Sicily takes the form of a yearlong journal, capturing the spirit of the people, daily life, traditions and the land.
On the Shores of the Mediterranean
Author: Eric Newby
Description: A sparkling observer and famously entertaining, Newby tackles the Mediterranean in this merry classic account of travels to North Africa, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cairo and Jerusalem.
Paul, The Mind of the Apostle
Author: A.N. Wilson
Description: A richly detailed portrait of the apostle Paul, firmly grounded in the everyday details of life in the Roman Empire. It's a mind-opening, partly historical study of the culture, politics and religion of the early years of Christianity.
Pillars of Hercules
Author: Paul Theroux
Description: Theroux seems to have had an exceptionally good time on his tour of the Mediterranean, circling the celebrated sea on foot, horseback, train and boat from Gibraltar to North Africa.
Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates
Author: Paul Dallman
Description: Richly illustrated, clearly written and engaging, this book is an ecological overview of the landscapes, plants and vegetation types found in Mediterranean climates.
Sea and Sardinia
Author: D.H. Lawrence
Description: A marvelous account of a trip to Sardinia, evoking both the charms and travails of the then-remote island, and the personality of the author. It's a pleasingly exaggerated, accessible portrait of life on the island, circa 1921.
Sea of Faith
Author: Stephen O'Shea
Description: O'Shea brings a traveler's eye and a poet's touch to this gripping tale of conquest, co-existence and conflict in the medieval Mediterranean. He focuses on seven key battles between Christians and Muslims from Yamuk (AD 636) to the Siege of Malta (1565).
The Ancient Mediterranean
Author: Michael Grant
Description: Grant explores the realms of archaeology, geography, art and economics to sketch this classic portrait of the ancient world, from prehistory through the Roman Imperium, and the influence on western civilization.
The Disorderly Knights
Author: Dorothy Dunnett
Description: The third volume in the Lymond Chronicles follows Francis Crawford of Lymond to Malta, where he has been sent to help the Knights of Hospitallers defend their island against the invading Turks.
Author: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Description: Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's memorable tale, set on a rural Sicilian estate during the days of independence, follows the world-weary Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina. A classic, now in a 50th anniversary edition.
The Mediterranean in History
Author: David Abulafia (Editor)
Description: A professor at Cambridge, David Abulafia leads a team of eight historians in this engaging, richly illustrated overview of the civilizations, societies and grand themes in the history of this great sea at the heart of Europe. Published in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the book features 150 well-integrated color and 150 black-and-white illustrations.
The Middle Sea
Author: John Julius Norwich
Description: A marvelous writer who has already tackled Byzantium, the Normans in Sicily and Venice, Norwich spins his magic in this story of culture, trade and politics, royalty and rulers, wars and religion in the Mediterranean.
The Wine-Dark Sea
Author: Leonardo Sciascia, Avril Bardoni (Translator), Alberto Mobilio (Introduction)
Description: A collection of 13 stories, all set in the celebrated writer's native Sicily and featuring mafiosi, carabinieri and villagers.
Travelers' Tales Italy
Author: Ann Calcagno (Editor), Jan Morris (Introduction)
Description: A collection of 48 stories on traveling in Italy and Italian life, featuring the writing of Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Frances Mayes, Jonathan Keats, Stanley Crouch and others.
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Description: Stephen Maturin, Jack Aubrey and the crew of the H.M.S. Surprise contend with pirates and Napoleon's spies in this splendid novel set on and around Malta.