Suggested Reading List
A History of the Arab Peoples
Author: Albert Hourani
Description: Called a landmark, masterpiece and essential to understanding the Middle East, Hourani's acclaimed chronicle of the political, spiritual, religious and cultural traditions of the Arab peoples is brought up to date with an afterword by noted Islamic scholar Malise Ruthven.
Birds of the Middle East
Author: Richard Porter, Simon Aspinall
Description: An outstanding guide to 700 species of the birds in the region from the Arabian peninsula to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Cyprus. Second edition.
Death on the Nile
Author: Agatha Christie
Description: How could we resist? Christie wrote Egypt's most famous murder mystery on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan.
Description: This easy-fold map, featuring insets of Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Giza, the Nile River Valley, Cairo and other sites, also covers Petra, Jerusalem and most of Israel.
Eyewitness Guide Egypt
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: This visually rich guide to the history, culture and monuments of Egypt includes 1,000 color photographs, maps and 3-D site diagrams.
Eyewitness Guide Jerusalem: Israel, Petra & Sinai
Author: Eyewitness Guides
Description: This compact, illustrated guide provides a thorough overview of Israel and western Jordan, including Petra, Wadi Rum and Amman.
Generation Freedom, The Middle East Uprisings and the Remaking of the Modern World
Author: Bruce Feiler
Description: As engaged and thoughtful as ever, Feiler brings texture and insight to these thrilling tales of youthful revolt across the Arab world, weaving on-the-spot reports from Tahir Square and elsewhere with history and commentary.
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.
In a Desert Land, Photographs of Israel, Egypt and Jordan
Author: Neil Folberg
Description: A stunning collection of photographs of the desert Middle East, including the Sinai, Petra and Jerusalem.
In the Land of Israel
Author: Amos Oz
Description: In this compelling volume, Israeli novelist Amos Oz interviewed dozens of his fellow countrymen from all walks of life. A passionate, candid and diverse portrait of a people and their hopes, fears and prejudices.
Islam, A Short History
Author: Karen Armstrong
Description: Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam, from the birth of Muhammad to present-day challenges. The best short introduction to the subject.
Israel, Palestine, Holy Land Map
Author: Freytag & Berndt
Description: A double-sided, indexed map at a scale of 1:150,000.
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.
Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths
Author: Karen Armstrong
Description: A popular history by the author of A History of God. Armstrong tackles big subjects -- and this book is no exception. It's a comprehensive, concise portrait of the city over the last 5,000 years.
Luxor Illustrated, With Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Nile
Author: Michael Haag
Description: The ideal companion to a Nile cruise, Haag introduces all the famous monuments and temples of Upper Egypt from Luxor, Karnak, Valley of the Kings and the tomb of Tutankhamun to the marvels of Aswan and Abu Simbel in full color.
Married to a Bedouin
Author: Marguerite van Geldermalsen
Description: "Where you staying?" the Bedouin asked. "Why you not stay with me tonight -- in my cave?" Thus begins the fascinating odyssey of a young nurse from New Zealand who would marry and raise her family among the community of 100 Bedouin families living in the ancient city of Petra.
Mediterranean Explorer Map
Author: Ocean Explorer Maps
Description: This handy color map of the Mediterranean from Spain to the Black Sea and the Levant puts ancient sites and historic ports into context. With notable people, a timeline and descriptions of dozens of places.
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.
Northeast Africa and Arabia Map
Author: Michelin Travel Publications
Description: A folded map of the Northeast region of the continent at a scale of 1:4,000,000.
Author: Naguib Mahfouz
Description: The first volume in the monumental Cairo Trilogy, a family saga set in post-WWI Egypt. Nobel Prize-winning Mahfouz provides insight into life in Egypt and the revolution against the British.
Parting the Desert
Author: Zachary Karabell
Description: A compelling account of the politics, intrigue and engineering challenges of the Suez Canal. It's in part a portrait of Franco-Egyptian relations and the making of the modern Middle East. The Canal was inaugurated to great fanfare on November 17, 1869.
Petra, The Rose-Red City
Author: Christian Auge, Jean-Marie Dentzer
Description: Jam-packed with color illustrations, archival material, maps and site plans, this shirt-pocket encyclopedia includes a detailed overview of individual buildings and sectors within the desert city that was occupied by the Nabataeans from the 4th-century BC, conquered by the Romans and overrun by the Crusaders.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
Author: Thomas Cahill
Description: Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, philosopher and artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.
Say It in Arabic (Egyptian)
Author: Farouk El-Baz
Description: A guide to common words and phrases in the widely spoken Cairo dialect.
St. Paul's Ephesus, Texts and Archaeology
Author: Jerome Murphy O'Connor
Description: Jerome Murphy-O'Connor transports us back to the ancient city of Ephesus during its heyday, including contemporary accounts from Roman to biblical times, and featuring a guided walk through the city as a center of Paul's teachings.
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 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.
The Middle Sea
Author: John Julius Norwich
Description: A marvelous writer who has already written on Byzantium, Venice and the Sahara, Norwich spins his magic in this story of culture, trade and politics, royalty and rulers, wars and religion in the Mediterranean.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Egypt
Author: Bill Manley
Description: Ingenious color maps, site plans, photographs and accompanying essays trace Egyptian civilization from the founding of Memphis through the sacking of Thebes and the invasion by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.
The Search for Ancient Egypt
Author: Jean Vercoutter
Description: This pocket encyclopedia, packed with illustrations, tells the tale of Greek travelers, buried treasure, international intrigue and scholarship as it delves into the world's long-standing fascination with Egypt's glorious heritage.
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.