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Caspian Odyssey

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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The Lost Heart of Asia

The Lost Heart of Asia

by Colin Thubron

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 374 PAGES

In this classic narrative, Thubron recounts his travels to Samarkand, Bukhara and throughout Central Asia in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union. A fine writer, intrepid traveler and insightful observer, he's an outstanding guide to the history, people and culture of the region. (CAS07, $15.99)

The Caucasus, An Introduction

The Caucasus, An Introduction

by Thomas De Waal

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

A timely, readable portrait of the Caucasus by an experienced journalist working in the region. With historical background, insight into energy production and an analysis of struggles for independence. (CCS48, $18.95)

Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan

Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan

by John Noble

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

An excellent practical guide featuring a good overview of culture, history and nature, 16 pages of color photos, 40 maps and a language guide. (CCS05, $24.99)

Lonely Planet Central Asia

Lonely Planet Central Asia

by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 512 PAGES

A comprehensive, detailed guide to travel in the region, including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. (CAS42, $34.99)

Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan Map

Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan Map

by Freytag & Berndt

  • 2011
  • MAP

A travel map of the Caucasus at a scale 1:1,000,000. (CCS01, $14.95)

 
Central Asia Map

Central Asia Map


by Nelles

  • 2011
  • MAP

An up-to-date, double-sided shaded relief map at a scale of 1:1,750,000. (CAS37, $13.95)

Samarkand

Samarkand


by Caroline Eden | Eleanor Ford

  • FOOD
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

An excellent introduction to Samarkand (by turns inhabited by Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russians, Turks, Koryo-Sarams, Jews and Afghans), this compendium brings the region to life with essays, photos and plenty of recipes little-known to the West. (CAS248, $34.95)

A History of Inner Asia

A History of Inner Asia


by Svat Soucek

  • HISTORY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

A compact, accessible introduction to the history of Eurasia from the arrival of Islam to Russian conquest, covering the present-day countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Sinkiang and Mongolia. With 13 maps and dynastic charts. (CAS51, $45.99)

Lost Enlightenment, Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane

Lost Enlightenment, Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane


by S. Frederick Starr

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 680 PAGES

Starr brings to life the great flowering of ideas and advances of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment, showing how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asian societies led the world in trade and were at the vanguard of mathematics, philosophy, history, geology, astronomy and science. (CAS227, $22.95)

Russia's Steppe Frontier, The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800

Russia's Steppe Frontier, The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800


by Michael Khodarkovsky

  • HISTORY
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 290 PAGES

In this sweeping, scholarly history Khodarkovsky traces Russian imperial adventures in the Caucasus from the decline of the Mongols to the end of the 18th century. (CCS28, $26.00)

The Georgian Feast

The Georgian Feast


by Darra Goldstein

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 229 PAGES

Historian and food expert Goldstein explores the food, traditions and geography of Georgia, as beautiful as it is bountiful, in this savory cultural history. With illustrations by delightful 19th-century primitivist Niko Pisosmani. (CCS02, $29.95)

The Ghost of Freedom, A Modern History of the Caucasus

The Ghost of Freedom, A Modern History of the Caucasus


by Charles King

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

A professor at Georgetown, King reveals the imperial ambitions, larger-than-life personalities and romance of this strategic region. (CCS39, $20.95)

A Ride to Khiva

A Ride to Khiva


by Peter Hopkirk | Frederick Burnaby

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 390 PAGES

The rousing real-life adventure of a Brit snooping in Russian Central Asia in 1875. The imposing Captain Burnaby rode a thousand miles across steppe and desert, through blizzards and snowdrifts, to forbidden Khiva. (CAS16, $35.95)

An Armenian Sketchbook

An Armenian Sketchbook


by Vasily Grossman

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 135 PAGES

Newly translated, Grossman's journal of a stay in Armenia in the early 1960s affectionately depicts the people and traditions of a mountain village. (CCS63, $14.95)

Black Dog of Fate, A Memoir

Black Dog of Fate, A Memoir


by Peter Balakian

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

This powerful memoir combines Balakian's coming-of-age as an Armenian-American in New Jersey with his growing realization of the horrors suffered by his family in the Armenian genocide of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey. (CCS12, $16.99)

Caucasus, A Journey to the Land between Christianity and Islam

Caucasus, A Journey to the Land between Christianity and Islam


by Nicholas Griffin

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

An engaging account of travels in the Caucasus in the footsteps of Imam Shamil, a Muslim who resisted the Russians in the 19th century. The book is a portrait of the people, land and issues in the region. (CCS25, $23.00)

Eastward to Tartary

Eastward to Tartary


by Robert D. Kaplan

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 364 PAGES

A glimpse into the people and history that color the countries of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Caucasus and finally Central Asia, in a loosely organized travelogue by the author of the acclaimed Balkan Ghosts. (CAS45, $16.95)

Full Moon over Noah's Ark, An Odyssey to Mount Ararat and Beyond

Full Moon over Noah's Ark, An Odyssey to Mount Ararat and Beyond


by Rick Antonson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 384 PAGES

One of a five-person expedition, Antonson climbs Mount Ararat, the fabled resting place of Noah's Ark. His meditative travel narrative is mixed with historical anecdote, literature and heated present-day politics. (TKY304, $24.99)

My Brother's Road, An American's Fateful Journey to Armenia

My Brother's Road, An American's Fateful Journey to Armenia


by Markar Melkonian

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 330 PAGES

Melkonian spent seven years unraveling the mystery of his brother's journey, one so complex that it transformed his brother from a California kid into the leader of an army in Armenia. (CCS42, $22.00)

Passage to Ararat

Passage to Ararat


by Michael J. Arlen | Clark Blaise

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 293 PAGES

Arlen's National Book Award-winning memoir of his father and the rediscovery of his Armenian heritage. He interweaves stories of travel and family with an account of the troubled history of the country. (CCS11, $20.00)

Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator

Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator


by Nora Seligman Favorov | Oleg V. Khlevniuk

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 424 PAGES

An authoritative, illuminating biography of Georgian Josef Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from 1929 until his death in 1953 and caused the death and imprisonment of more than a million Soviet citizens per year. (CCS71, $25.00)

Stories I Stole, A Journey to Georgia

Stories I Stole, A Journey to Georgia


by Wendell Steavenson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 277 PAGES

Witty, engaging and attuned to the complexities of history and ethnicity, Steavenson, a veteran journalist, spins lyrical tales of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia as it crumbles around her in the late 1990s. (CCS22, $13.00)

There Was and There Was Not

There Was and There Was Not


by Meline Toumani

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Though raised to despise Turks, an Armenian-American journalist travels in search of modern Turkey and the truth about two competing genocidal histories. What we get is a poignant snapshot of Turkish society in the throes of change. (CCS67, $18.00)

A Hero of Our Time

A Hero of Our Time


by Natasha Randall | Mikhail Lermontov

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 174 PAGES

The story of the bored and cynical antihero Pechorin. A subtle, psychological and brooding masterpiece of Russian Romanticism originally published in 1840, it influenced later 19th century greats including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov. (RUS316, $15.00)

Samarkand, A Novel

Samarkand, A Novel


by Amin Maalouf | Russell Harris

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A fictional history of Persia featuring Omar Khayyam, the 11th-century poet and author of the "Rubaiyat." Written by Lebanese novelist Amin Maalouf. (CAS69, $14.95)

The Orphan Sky

The Orphan Sky


by Ella Leya

  • LITERATURE
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

An intriguing coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of the Cold War. Living in 1970s Baku, 15-year-old pianist Leila must prove her commitment to communism by spying on a capitalist sympathizer named Tarhid, an artist who reveals the truth of her allegedly classless city while drawing her into a secret world of creative expression. (CCS69, $14.99)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.