Suggested Reading List
1453, The Holy War For Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West
Author: Roger Crowley
Description: In this well-paced history, Crowley recounts with drama the events surrounding the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Anatolian Days & Nights
Author: Angie Brenner, Joy Stocke
Description: When Joy Stocke and Angie Brenner meet on the balcony of a guesthouse in a small resort town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, they think they have only a mutual friend and a summer dream in common. Soon, they discover a shared love of travel, history, culture, cuisine, and literature; and they begin a ten-year odyssey through Turkey.
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
Author: Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
Description: This lively illustrated guide covers the architecture, painting and sculpture of Ancient Greece from the third millennium to the end of the Hellenistic period. With 282 color and 28 black-and-white illustrations.
Birds Without Wings
Author: Louis De Bernieres
Description: De Bernieres offers sweeping historical scope, memorable characters, drama and many new vocabulary words in this stupendous novel set in Anatolia during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Byzantium, The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire
Author: Judith Herrin
Description: Herrin captures the glory, accomplishments, personalities, cruelty and import of Byzantium from the foundation of Constantinople to its capture by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
Crescent and Star
Author: Stephen Kinzer
Description: This insightful, anecdotal report on contemporary life, culture and politics in Turkey comes from a former New York Times Istanbul bureau chief who is especially attuned to the powerful geographic position of Turkey and its multiple identities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Culture Smart! Greece
Author: Constantine Buhayer
Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.
Culture Smart! Turkey
Author: Charlotte McPherson
Description: Take along this pocket guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
Eyewitness Guide Greek Islands
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: Color photography, excellent local maps and an island-by-island synopsis of attractions make this book the one to carry with you.
Eyewitness Guide Turkey
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book provides a thorough overview of history, traditions and sights.
Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion
Author: Artemis Leontis (Editor)
Description: In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.
Greece, Land of Light
Author: Nicholas Gage, Barry Brukoff
Description: Barry Brukoff's striking color photographs are paired with an eloquent tour of the land, people, history and monuments of Greece and the islands by journalist Nicholas Gage.
Greek, A Language Map
Author: Kristine K. Kershul
Description: This durable, foldout card, featuring 1,000 words and phrases, works as a quick and convenient reference for travelers.
Helen of Troy, The Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
Author: Bettany Hughes
Description: In her investigation into the life of Helen of Troy, one of the most enigmatic and notorious figures of all time, Hughes reconstructs life in Bronze Age Greece through Homer’s accounts, ancient literature and art. A well-researched and engaging portrait about one of the world's most famous women.
Istanbul, Memories and the City
Author: Orhan Pamuk
Description: Nobel Prize-winner Pamuk writes with dazzling grace of the city of his birth, a magical place of crumbling mansions and Ottoman riches.
Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook
Author: Arzu Kurklu
Description: With essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Lost to the West
Author: Lars Brownworth
Description: This popular chronicle tracks the history of Byzantium -- a stronghold of Christian civilization, education, art and architecture -- from the establishment of the eastern Roman capital to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The Ancient Mediterranean
Author: Michael Grant
Description: Grant explores the realms of archaeology, geography, art and economics to paint this classic portrait of the ancient world, from prehistory through the Roman Imperium, and its influence on Western civilization.
The Colossus of Maroussi
Author: Henry Miller
Description: Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.
The Complete World of Greek Mythology
Author: Richard Buxton
Description: With hundreds of color illustrations, site plans, genealogies and maps, this handsome, encyclopedic reference illuminates the world of the Greek gods.
The Fall of Constantinople 1453
Author: Steven Runciman
Description: A classic, wonderfully written history of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and its consequences. Runciman, a noted British scholar, draws on many sources, both Greek and Muslim, in tracing this fateful time in the history of the city. Originally published in 1965.
The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life
Author: Bettany Hughes
Description: An illuminating portrait of Socrates and the Golden Age of Athens. The award-winning scholar re-creates the streets, red-light district, gymnasia, religious festivals and the teeming marketplace in the heart of ancient Athens where Socrates engaged in philosophical dialogue and where he would be condemned to death.
Author: Mary Beard
Description: A lively tale of the construction, significance and uses of the 2,500-year-old architectural marvel.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece
Author: Robert Morkot
Description: This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.
The Towers of Trebizond
Author: Rose MacAulay, Jan Morris (Introduction)
Description: Mixing high farce, archaeology, history and lively travel writing, Rose MacAulay's impossibly witty short novel is back in a new edition. Originally published in 1956, MacAulay follows the adventures of English missionaries traipsing across Turkey from Istanbul to Trabzon.
The Turkish Embassy Letters
Author: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Description: The unconventional wife of the British ambassador, Lady Montagu delights in Turkish life and society in these lively letters.
The World of the Ancient Greeks
Author: John Camp, Elizabeth Fisher
Description: Featuring hundreds of illustrations and invitingly short chapters on topics from The First Greeks to The Heroic Age and Classical Athens. With modern color photographs of great Greek cities from Athens and Delphi to Knossos, Ephesus, Pergamum and Priene.
Travels With Epicurus
Author: Daniel Klein
Description: Daniel Klein's witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers -- and growing old gracefully -- is also a delightful romp through the Aegean.
Turkey, What Everyone Needs to Know
Author: Andrew Finkel
Description: From the Kurdish question to economic policy, Turkey's role in Iraq and its quest for EU membership, Finkel illuminates the past and present of this strategically important nation in lively, straightforward prose. A journalist based in Istanbul for the last 20 years, he brings balance and insight to the task.
Turkish Reflections, A Biography of a Place
Author: Mary Lee Settle
Description: Settle's captivating travelogue is a richly detailed portrait of contemporary Turkey, its people, monasteries, myths, archaeological treasures and living traditions. Exemplary.
Women in Purple, Rulers of Medieval Byzantium
Author: Judith Herrin
Description: Herrin describes the complex and deeply religious world of Constantinople in the aftermath of Arab conquest, focusing on three Byzantine empresses’ work to restore icons to a prominent position in Eastern Christian worship. An enlightening portrait of three all-powerful women who changed history.