Reading list inspiration for travel
City and region specific
Books & eBooks
- A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and TurkeyView on Amazon Two well-known, well-traveled biblical scholars offer a fascinating historical and archaeological guide to sites in Greece and Turkey. By Clyde E Fant and Mitchell G Reddish.
- A Peace to End All PeaceView on Amazon The definitive book on the subject, it tells the fascinating story of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Middle East. By David Fromkin.
- Approach Guides for IstanbulView on ApproachGuides.com* Travel guidebooks that take a deep look at two of Istanbul's greatest sites: Hagia Sophia and Sinan's mosques.
- Book of Travels [Seyâhatnâme]View free on Internet Archive The most well-regarded primary source account of the 17th century Ottoman empire and neighboring lands. By Evliya Celebi; translated by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall.
- Memed, My HawkView on Amazon Written by one of Turkey's most beloved living writers, it is the beautiful story of a young boy in 1930s rural Turkey who struggles against feudal oppression to liberate his people. By Yashar Kemal.
- The Essential RumiView on AmazonWithout question, the best, most evocative translation of the great Sufi poet's works. To get a taste for it, you can watch the video at right. By Coleman Barthes.
- The Western Shores of TurkeyView on Amazon By bus, car and caique, on foot and post boat, from Istanbul to Antakya (Antioch) on the Syrian border, the author discovered the charm of modern Turkey and the wonders of its past. By John Freely.
- Turkish Reflections: A Biography of a PlaceView on Amazon A cross-country odyssey into history, legend, mystery and myth. By Clyde E Fant and Mary Lee Settle.
Articles & Academic Papers
- “Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)”View on MetMuseum.org The continuation of the Byzantine artistic story, picking up after the Fourth Crusaders' sacking of the city. Edited by Helen C Evans.
- “Islamic Calligraphy”View on MetMuseum.org An excellent, highly visual review of the subject by the renowned Harvard professor. By Annemarie Schimmel.
- “Islamic Carpets”View on MetMuseum.org A first-class review — of technique, style and regional variations — of carpets from around the Islamic world. By Richard Ettinghausen.
- “Kemalism”View on the London Review of Books website A sweeping look at the father of the modern secular Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. By Perry Anderson.
- “Man, The Drinker”View on UPenn.edu The uncovering of an ancient tomb, the Midas Tumulus, in central Turkey at the ancient site of Gordion, sparks Patrick McGovern's exploration of the origins of wine. By Trey Popp.
- “Mystery on the Mountain of Pain”View on the Roads & Kingdom's website When he disappeared four years ago on Turkey’s tallest mountain, Donald Mackenzie wasn’t trying to reach the summit. A true believer, Mackenzie was looking for Noah’s Ark. By Patrick Wrigley.
- “The Deep State”View on the NewYorker.com An insightful article profiling Turkey's controversial leader. By Dexter Filkins.
- “The Glory of Byzantium (843–1261)”View on MetMuseum.org A collection of essays and images that explore the art and culture of the Middle Byzantine Era. Edited by Helen C Evans and William D. Wixom.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Guide to the Call to PrayerVisit ApproachGuides.com* Our quick review of the intoxicating, ever-present call to prayer.
- Islamic Prayer TimesVisit Islamicfinder.org Get up-to-date times for the five-daily prayer sessions.
- Patrick McGovern’s website at University of Pennsylvania MuseumVisit Penn.Museum An academic explores the origins of wine.
- Quran TranslationVisit Quran.com Offers English translations of all the chapters in the Quran. Invaluable for understanding the meaning behind the Arabic inscriptions you will encounter throughout your trip.
- Travelers’ Health | TurkeyVisit CDC.gov Get the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for vaccines and medicines.
- World Bank | TurkeyVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- Corsairs and the Ottoman MediterraneanListen on ottomanhistorypodcast.com Emrah Safa Gürkan PhD provides the history of Ottoman corsairs (state-sponsored pirates).
- The Sounds of TurkeyListen to the Spotify playlist Listen to a personal collection of Turkey tracks compiled by Trip Reads founder Jennifer Raezer. The perfect pre-trip soundtrack.
Just for Kids
- Built to LastView on Amazon An insightful, highly-visual book that profiles the architecture of castles, cathedrals and mosques. It's aimed at children, but you might pick up a few things along the way too! By David Macaulay.
- Classic Myths to Read AloudView on Amazon A collection of Greek and Roman myths specially designed to be read aloud to children aged five to twelve. By William F Russell.
- Let’s Visit IstanbulView on Amazon Join sibling Chihuahuas Bella and Harry as they travel to Istanbul with their family and cruise the Bosphorus River, visit the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace. By Lisa Mansion and Kristine Lucco.
Who to Follow
- Twitter: Alex Christie-MillerFollow @AChristieMiller Journalist, writer, birdwatcher, 'perception operator'. Turkey correspondent for The Times of London.
- Twitter: Jim ColellaFollow @Jim_Colella Writer, blogger, self-appointed Turkey analyst & pundit. British born, in Turkey 10 yrs, eternal democrat.
- Twitter: Maria EliadesFollow @mariainistanbul Writer, Editor, Translator, & Boğaziçi University Instructor, Greek-American, Istanbul expert, lover of learning, art & design, and all things Greco-Turkish.
- Twitter: Piotro ZalewskiFollow @p_zalewski Turkey-based freelance writer (TIME, Polityka, and FT, among others), heir-apparent to throne of Polonezkoy.
- Twitter: WSJ Emerging EuropeFollow @EmergingEurope WSJ and Dow Jones reporters provide the inside track on economics, politics and business in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Turkey.