Reading List: Istanbul

Read before you go! Today we’re taking a look at the multilayered land of Turkey. Almost no other country has such a diverse abundance in history, culture, and people. Check out some of our favorite literature from the area:

Pamuk, Orhan. Istanbul. Turkey’s most famous writer overviews Turkey’s most notable city. Excellent overview on the modern city.

Orhan Pamuk. My Name is Red. The first Pamuk novel you should read. A fiendishly devious tale of intrigue and romance, set against the backdrop of 16th century Istanbul.

Judith Herrin. Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire. A brilliant study of the history of the Byzantine empire, chronicling from the rise in the 4th century to siege of Istanbul in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks.

Umberto Eco. Baudolino. A fictional account following a gifted multilingual liar and his adventures with Emperor Barbarossa, with priest-kings, and the siege of Constantinople.

David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace. Chronicles the fall of the Ottoman Empire and brings to light how the modern Middle East and Turkey developed.

Agatha Christie. Murder on the Orient Express. The classic novel by Agatha Christie about the muder of European’s most famous train line. Follow detective Hercule Poirot as he sleuths out this mystery.

Ann Marie Mershon. Istanbul’s Bazaar Quarter: Backstreet Walking Tours. A unique collection of walking tours that delve into the hidden world of the bazaar—its workshops, caravanserai, gardens and courtyards.

Greg Malouf. Turquoise: A Chef’s Travels in Turkey. Follows chef Greg Malouf through spice markets, soup kitchens, and delicious restaurants for the enticing flavors of the Mediterranean.

Elif Shafak. The Bastard of Istanbul. A colorful tale of Asya and the four sisters of the Kazanci family against the backdrop of Turkish identity.

Hilary Sumner-Boyd. Strolling through Istanbul. A classic walking guide through Istanbul’s magnificent history, complete with anecdotes, hidden gems and secret histories.

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