Recommend Another Read…

Well I already need your help again. After the freezing cold ‘snow’ recommendations that I asked you for on Saturday and which you all so very helpful with – congrats to those who won books too – I would really like you to help me once again and recommend me some more books and as a thank you there is a prize again, you lucky things.

This time its not books that are set in the snow, or feature snow, which seems appropriate as the snow seems to be leaving London though I am not sure about the rest of the UK. In fact they are recommendations that have some more heat to them, well I am hoping it’s hot anyway when I go there. The recommendations are also very specific as I would like you to send me recommendations of books that are set here…

Yes, Istanbul where I am off to for a city break (partly for work) in a few weeks and want some reading material set there. Now I can only think of one book that is set in Istanbul which I already own and is rather famously called ‘The Bastard of Istanbul’ by Elif Shafak. I have been told this is not a book to actually read when you are in Istanbul as it caused a huge amount of controversy out there, have you read it what do you think, if you have let me know I will be reading it in a couple of weeks. I think reading it before hand rather than walking the streets or in the Istanbul café’s maybe best just in case.

Now as a thank you for a tougher recommendation I am giving away to one of you another copy of Legend of a Suicide AND Penguin have kindly offered a copy of The Bastard of Istanbul as well after a small plea from me. To make this a little tougher I would like each recommendation to be different from any other recommendations. You can recommend one book a comment, so if you have more comments you have more chance… I bet you will all find this easy!

So you can have some hot and cold reading for your efforts. Oh I forgot to add that you can’t recommend guide books, ha! You have until Friday night to get recommending, the winner will be announced on Saturday. Good luck, I am hoping you all come out with some books I own and some that I have never heard of!


Filed under Book Thoughts, Give Away, Penguin Books

37 responses to “Recommend Another Read…

  1. I can think of two books which feature Istanbul as one of the locations and they are linked. Firstly ‘From Russia with Love’ – in which Bond famously reads Eric Ambler’s ‘The Mask of Dimitrios’ on a plane to Istanbul which also features in the latter title. Another title which is set in Turkey is Rose MacCauley’s ‘The Towers of Trebizond’ – I’ve not read it but its been on my wishlist for ages!

    • Thanks Annabel I haveheard of the Bond of course but had no idea it was in Istanbul too!

      I shall also pop you as the first and second entrants as I changed it to one recommendation and no repeats as though two was too hard ha! Apols as I must have been changing that when you were typing!

  2. Sarah

    Aside from the obvious Orhan Pamuk, I’d recommend Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres. (It’s mainly set in a Turkish coastal village before, during and just after WWI but takes in other places including Istanbul) and Jason Goodwin’s Yashim mystery series, whcih starts with The Janissary Tree.

  3. There is a wonderful book, now in its 7th edition, though I’d try to track it down in the first edition which my Dad has, called Strolling through Istanbul which is a book of walking tours around the city. The original edition is quite old, and although I’ve never been to Istanbul it gave me a lovely flavour of the place.

    • Oooh that sounds so close to being a guide book and then just isnt. I looked it up and it was republished and updated last year sounds intriguing though sadly my library dont have it.

  4. Now you mention it I realise I’ve never read a book with anything to do with Turkey, how sad. The only thing I can think of is due to your love of Agatha Christie which is Murder on the Orient Express, seeing as doesn’t Orient Express travel between Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul) in Turkey? Yeah may be a little bit of a cheeky recommendation probably nothing to do with Turkey but would be a fun read on the plane 🙂

  5. Moh

    Hello, I’d recommend The Sword and the Scimitar by David Ball. Although it is set mainly about Malta, there is a significant segment about Istanbul and its conquest attempts of Malta. The protagonist is trained and nurtured in Istanbul and there is rich prose about life under the Ottoman empire.

  6. I noticed you’ve got Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian in your collection (I read somewhere in your previous posts.. if I’m not mistaken), but I haven’t come across your review on it yet. If you haven’t read it, I’d definitely recommend it. Some parts of the story are set in Istanbul, and the story’s pretty good. =)

  7. The Bastard of Istanbul is a great family saga story with lots of drama; I really enjoyed it. If I remember correctly the controversy is more over the title and the sexual content than because of any denigration of Turkey. If you wanted to read it whilst there, then you could always purchase one of those book jacket covers, although I object to those on principle!

    I’m drawing a blank on anything else that I have read set in Turkey, let alone Istanbul/Constantinople although I’m sure there have been other books… anyway, I really want to win a copy of Legend of a Suicide (I have The Bastard of Istanbul) and know that the first part of Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor is set in Istanbul and central to the plot.

    • Well if you win you will just have to give The Bastard of Istanbul to someone you like lots. I think it was a mixture of the title and the subject matter, I was just advised by one of the tour reps not to read it there. I refuse to by a book cover cover.

      I have read not a word of Elizabeth Taylor and think I really should.

  8. I personally have not read any books about Istanbul, but a friend of mine told me about one called Savarona (I think?). He seemed to like it. I think it is a thriller.

  9. I really want to read “The Bastard of Istanbul” so I’m going to recommend Orhan Pamuk’s “My Name Is Red”. Admittedly it’s an historical – and challenging -read but it is superb. I haven’t read any of Pamuk’s novels set in contemporary times. I’ll let others do that – you said one book per comment, after all!

  10. I’ve heard lots of good things about Rose MacCauley’s (I may not be spelling that right) Towers of Trebizond. I started reading it once and then my copy fell in the bath and got all moldy & I never finished. 😦

    • I for some reason thought this had been mentioned but it hasnt, maybe its in a comment later hahaha.

      I want a bath book holder and will be dropping huge hints about it when my birthday comes.

  11. Since you’ll be traveling throughout the city, what about Orhan Pahmuk’s The New Life, which follows a student studying in Istanbul who travels the city looking for her lost lover?

    • Oh that sounds like another good one by Pamuk Steph. I think I am going ot most definately have a look at his works in the librarty if their are any. I have The White Castle which just my luck isnt in Istanbul hahaha

  12. Eva

    The only author who’s springing to mind for me is Orhan Pamuk…I think he even has a nonfiction book entitled Istanbul. 🙂

    But I’ll be stalking the comments area for ideas; I think Istanbul is such a fascinating place!

  13. lena

    Orhan Pamuk wrote a book called Istambul: Memories and the City – I’ve seen it compared to Ishiguro’s Artist of the Floating World and Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

    Also you must must must read The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay. It was actaully her first novel – kind of an autobiographical peace. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, if I remember correctly. Fun fact, she was really good friends with Dorothy L. Sayers.

    And my last recommendation is Birds without Wings by Loud de Bernieres. A friend of mine currently lives in Turkey and really loved this novel for its beautiful and accurate descriptions. It even provides you with a tiny bit of historical background but not enough to deter from the story in any way.

    • Hahahaha are you hint you want us all to buy you those earrings? Is that what that link is all about?

      I have to say that you havent read the rules properly though as only one choice and no repeats hahahahaha. Thats double the recommendations for the ones that you mention though.

  14. lena

    uhh, ignore that etsy listing. lol That’s what I get for formatting comments in already occupied notepads.

    • Oh what a great list thanks Kim. Do you know what I wish there was a website that listed books by the countries that feature in them I think that would be awesome! There actually probably is one I just haven’t found it ha..

  15. Bet

    Gardens of Water by Alan Drew is set in Istanbul. I enjoyed it a bit; I would give 3 stars out of 5.

  16. Elena

    Even though people beat me to it, I still have to nominate “My Name is Red” because I read it this year and was very fascinated by it. I can’t imagine actually reading it on location. I think that would be even better.
    I also was going to suggest “The Historian” because parts happen in Turkey. But alas, I was Sally-come-lately to that suggestion as well. I loved both of these books and would happily read them again and think they are good “on location” choices.

    But I still have two suggestions that no one showed me up on yet! Though I haven’t read either, they come with great second hand reviews, so I hope that counts. One is even in my TBR pile currently.
    The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin. It’s a mystery and won the Edgar Award in 2007. I have had it recommended by a few people. It looks to be interesting.
    The Dervish House by Ian McDonald. My friend suggested this to me after reading “My Name is Red” and even though it is supposed sci-fi, which is not my thing, my friend swore I would still approve.

    Happy travels! And thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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