Sunday, January 21, 2007

Turkey Readings

View of Hagia Sofia, Istanbul

[Updates: 22 January 2007]
We are set for late March departure for Istanbul. Currently looking for a good digital camera so that I can upload the pretty pictures for this blog. Istanbul is a city that has filled my imagination for many years. Now that I am really going to visit the old city, it's a little unreal.

Currently reading a proofcopy of Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul.


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I'll be putting most of my readings on hold for the moment as I am in the process of researching and planning a trip to Istanbul. I'll probably be reading a lot of travel guides instead, although I may read some Turkish literature to get in the mood. If I do find something interesting to share, I'll post it here.

Meanwhile, If anyone has any advice or recommendations (budget, please. I'm poor) for travelling in Istanbul, please feel free to drop it in the comment.

My Turkish Reading List:

  1. DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Istanbul
  2. Lonely Planet Turkey
  3. Let's Go Turkey
  4. Imperial Istanbul: A Traveller's Guide by Jane Taylor
  5. Portrait of a Turkish Family by Irfan Orga
  6. The Lycian Shore by Freya Stark
  7. Death In Troy by Bilge Karasu
  8. The Garden of Departed Cats by Bilge Karasu
  9. My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  10. The Gaze by Elif Shafak
  11. The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
  12. Byzantium: The Early Centuries by John Julius Norwich
  13. Byzantium: The Apogee by John Julius Norwich
  14. Byzantium: The Decline and Fall by John Julius Norwich
  15. Istanbul: The Imperial City by John Freely
  16. Byzantium: The Bridge from Antiquity to the Middle Ages by Michael Angold
  17. Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire by Jason Goodwin
  18. The Janissary Tree: A Novel by Jason Goodwin
  19. Memed, My Hawk by Yasar Kemal
  20. Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk


Hmmm...in the course of my life, I seem to have accumulated a number of books on the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Some I've read, some I have not. I'll just list them anyway, in case anyone is interested.

11 comments:

danielle said...

I'm afraid I can't give you any advice as I have never traveled to Turkey, but I had to say I am very envious! Istanbul is one place I have always wanted to visit. I guess I will have to do so vicariously through your posts!

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

http://createacraft.blogspot.com/ Pinar lives in Istanbul. I follow her blog via my Orange Blossom Goddess blog and I'm sure you'll gain some wonderful hints from her blog. I'm also sure that, if you asked her, she would be more than willing to email you information, etc.

Heather
www.thelibraryladder.blogspot.com

Dark Orpheus said...

Danielle: No problem. I'll trying to my hands on a good digital camera so that I can post pictures here. Let's see how it goes.

Heather: Thanks Heather! I just dropped by her blog, there's some nice stuff there. Will look around her.

SFP said...

Lucky duck.

Some books I've accumulated on Turkey but have yet to read: Barry Unsworth's The Rage of the Vulture; Pamuk's Istanbul and The Black Book; Louis de Bernieres' Birds Without Wings.

iliana said...

No advice to offer either but wow, I'm jealous! Promise you'll share lots of photos with us :)

Stefanie said...

How exciting! My sister's best friend has been to Turkey several times and said friend's husband is from Turkey. I will have my sister inquire for advice.

Dark Orpheus said...

sfp: I've read Pamuk's Istanbul. It's more readable than his novels, and occasionally funny, especially when he quotes from the newspaper columns of Istanbul. I tried to read Birds Without Wings when it first came out, but lost steam. Too thick, and not as magical as Captain Corelli's Mandolin

IlianaWill do - once I find a decent digital camera, which I don't possess. ;p

stefanie: Hi! Thanks for asking around. Any advice though on how to get around using public transport? Hee!

The Traveller said...

Lonely Planet is usually quite good for budgeting - they tend to list hotels, restaurants etc according to price range which is always helpful. I wouldn't travel without LP now, I don't think - those books contain everything! Good luck with planning your trip, can't wait to hear about it.

Dark Orpheus said...

Traveller: I agree - Lonely Planet is MY default travel guide. But I was in Hanoi 2 years back, and it was almost surreal to see so many tourists walking around with a Lonely Planet: Vietnam.

Friends have been recommending Let's Go (great for budget, but they tend to focus on European cities) and Rough Guide. I can't bring myself to switch to Rough Guide yet.

Stefanie said...

Here is what my sister's friend said about Turkey:

Unfortunately I never had to deal with public transport or any typical tourist stuff in Turkey. I know that car traffic is a real nightmare in Istanbul now. The subway system is pretty good -- reliable and safe. There is a pretty good bus network, but I don't have any direct experience with it. Of course, the boats out to the Islands run regularly and are easy to navigate. A lot of tourists like to go to the "Big Island" or Bukada...the travel books call them the Princess Islands. The "Big Island" is actually fun, I would recommend it...worth the trip. Check out this website: All About Turkey

LK said...

Great list, and I'm wishing you the best on your trip.