Friday, November 12, 2010

New Books for a New Adventure...


In light of our planned adventure to the Middle East, I have been collecting some related reading materials! The wonderful Gustave Flaubert's Egyptian travel writing collected in Flaubert In Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour, the essential travel guide for the Middle East, the father of history - Herodotous - and his The Histories and finally Ryszard Kapuscinski's Travels with Herodotus, a book of travel writing informed by dear old Herodotus. A little, but I think wonderful, collection thus far.

I need to get a copy of One Thousand and One Nights to add to the pre-travel reading collection - any other suggestions? We are going to Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Jordan and I have a year to read up!


3 comments:

  1. Great books to start a reading journey with. Do they reference other books or suggest further readings? Will keep my eyes out when I'm book shopping too.

    xx

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  2. How great for you, it sounds like a wonderful adventure ... here are some quick ideas for background reading.

    "The Sheikh's Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop Culture in the Muslim World" (Richard Poplak, Soft Skull Press) looks like a fun and contemporary account: "Over the course of his two-year journey, Poplak gets body-slammed by WWE wrestling fans in Afghanistan, hangs out with hip-hop artists in Palestine, headbangs to heavy metal in Cairo, discovers a world of extreme makeovers in Beirut, bowls with the chief of police in small-town Kazakhstan, and encounters a mysterious Texan who builds rocket-propelled Batmobiles for a clientele of sheikhs."

    For a bit of 19th-century travel history try "Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: A Biography" (Edward Rice). Burton was the first European adventurer to search for the source of the Nile; to enter, disguised, the forbidden cities of Mecca and Medina; and to travel through remote stretches of India, the Near East, and Africa. And, by the way, had time to translate both the Kama Sutra and a seventeen-volume Arabian Nights -- the translation most are familiar with).

    Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt: "The Nomad": Early 1900s: Dressing as a man, she traveled through Saharan Africa and drowned -- in the desert -- at age 27. Her life was such a complex tangle that there was an attempt on her life shortly before she drowned. An unsettling story of gender deception and unaccompanied travel in Islamic society.

    My brother and sister-in-law worked and lived in Trinidad and Abu Dhabi over ten years time, are now back in the U.S. ... both have tales of wonderful experiences.

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  3. Love Herodotus and Travels with Herodotus is really good too.

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