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Persian 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

Item EXCAS103. Buy these 6 items as a set for $107 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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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 Ayatollah Begs to Differ

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

by Hooman Majd

  • HISTORY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

An American journalist (who translated for Ahmadinejad at the UN), grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, Majd introduces Persian culture and modern Iran with insight and depth. (IRN67, $16.00)

A History of Modern Iran

A History of Modern Iran

by Abrahamian Ervand

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 264 PAGES

A well-written, reliable account of 20th-century Iranian history which traces the collapse of the Shah's regime and the formation of the Islamic Republic. (IRN65, $30.99)

Odyssey Guide Iran

Odyssey Guide Iran

by Helen Loveday

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

Strong on Iran's many archaeological sites, this illustrated, authoritative guide includes chapters on Islamic art and architecture, history and religion. (IRN20, $24.95)

DK Eyewitness Top Ten Moscow

DK Eyewitness Top Ten Moscow

by Matthew Willis

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. (RUS513, $14.00)

Silk Road Countries Map, Central Asia

Silk Road Countries Map, Central Asia

by Gizi Map

  • 2003
  • MAP

A map covering the Silk Roads and surrounding territories from western China and India across Asia to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Black Sea at a scale of 1:3,000,000. (CAS100, $14.95)

 
Moscow Map

Moscow Map


by Borch Maps

  • 2014
  • MAP

A detailed, laminated city plan of Moscow at a scale of 1:15,000, with street index inset. Place names are in transliterated English. Two Sides. 20x26 inches. (RUS572, $9.95)

Culture Smart! Iran

Culture Smart! Iran


by Stuart Williams

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture. (IRN64, $11.99)

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)

Lonely Planet Farsi (Persian) Iran Phrasebook

Lonely Planet Farsi (Persian) Iran Phrasebook


by Yavar Dehghani

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

A handy phrasebook for the basics of Farsi as it is spoken in Iran. It focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (IRN23, $9.99)

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)

The Saffron Tales, Recipes from the Persian Kitchen

The Saffron Tales, Recipes from the Persian Kitchen


by Yasmin Khan

  • FOOD
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 240 PAGES

Interweaving stories and recipes from all corners of Iran, British-Iranian cook Yasmin Khan shares exceptionally delicious recipes from the ordinary Iranian kitchen, including Fesenjoon (chicken with walnuts and pomegranates), Tahcheen (baked saffron and aubergine rice) and some mouth-watering desserts. (IRN139, $35.00)

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)

An Illustrated History of Kazakhstan

An Illustrated History of Kazakhstan


by Jeremy Tredinnick

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 200 PAGES

Tredinnick's account of prehistoric Central Asia and modern Kazakhstan is lavishly illustrated with maps, photographs and museum pieces. (CAS234, $34.95)

Persian Fire, The First World Empire And the Battle for the West

Persian Fire, The First World Empire And the Battle for the West


by Tom Holland

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 418 PAGES

This riveting account of Xerxes and the clash between the Persians and the Greeks in 480 BC brings to life the battle of Salamis and the clash between East and West. (IRN38, $16.95)

Shah of Shahs

Shah of Shahs


by Ryszard Kapuscinski

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 152 PAGES

An impressionistic account of the last Shah of Iran by the peerless Polish travel writer, this brilliant book captures the irony, force and power of the revolution that toppled the Shah. (IRN11, $15.00)

The Silk Roads, A New History of the World

The Silk Roads, A New History of the World


by Peter Frankopan

  • HISTORY
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 656 PAGES

Tightly researched and filled with swashbuckling stories, this history by Peter Frankopan looks eastward, showing how the West grew out of a restless desire to access Asian trade. (CAS246, $30.00)

The Struggle for Iran

The Struggle for Iran


by Christopher de Bellaigue

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • HARD COVER
  • 230 PAGES

A long-term resident in Tehran, married to an Iranian and fluent in Persian, De Bellaigue shows the complexities of culture and society through interview and anecdote. (IRN92, $22.95)

Art of the Middle East, Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran

Art of the Middle East, Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran


by Saeb Eigner

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

Showcasing over 500 illustrations and biographies of 200 featured artists, this revised and expanded guide to Middle Eastern art is a comprehensive overview of contemporary styles and themes. (MDE216, $39.95)

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)

Chasing the Sea

Chasing the Sea


by Tom Bissell

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 388 PAGES

Self-confessed adventure junkie, Bissell skillfully interweaves anecdote, history and grim reports on ecological disasters in this smart, funny and informative account of travels through Uzbekistan and Central Asia in 2001. (CAS103, $18.00)

Children of Paradise, The Struggle for the Soul of Iran

Children of Paradise, The Struggle for the Soul of Iran


by Laura Secor

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2017
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

Moving behind the fearsome caricature that Iran has become, Secor went deep inside Iranian society to bring out stories of dreamers and doers who are shaping Iran for the better. She shows that beneath the country's monolithic exterior, there are seeds of change. (IRN135, $17.00)

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)

Persepolis, The Story of a Childhood

Persepolis, The Story of a Childhood


by Marjane Satrapi

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

With the hard, exacting eye of a child, Satrapi observes and retells the Iranian revolution as she saw and experienced it in this graphic novel that doubles as a memoir. Taken together, the no-nonsense black-and-white illustrations and the unembroidered narrative are completely devastating. (IRN36, $14.95)

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books


by Azar Nafisi

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 238 PAGES

Azar Nafisi's dazzling memoir lends an insightful view of modern Iran. Iranian born Nafisi finds freedom from the Cultural Revolution's oppression in the pages of Western classics. (MDE74, $18.00)

The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay

The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay


by Hooman Majd

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

The account of an Iranian-American writer who dares to take his family on a year-long sojourn to Tehran. An interesting cultural portrait and guide to Iranian culture that traces the family's domestic adventures along with the political drama of a terrible year for the Iranian government. (IRN118, $15.95)

The Road to Oxiana

The Road to Oxiana


by Robert Byron

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 292 PAGES

This brilliant portrait of Persia and Afghanistan mixes the eccentric Byron's droll adventures in the 1930s with asides on history and culture. (IRN01, $15.95)

Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road

Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road


by Bijan Omrani

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 544 PAGES

The Trans-Siberian, wonders of Lake Baikal, historical trading routes of tea and silk, Mughal routes and glories of Constantinople are all included in this illustrated, illuminating historical account of trade and travel across Asia. (CAS180, $25.95)

Persian Myths

Persian Myths


by Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis

  • LITERATURE
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 80 PAGES

Curtis draws upon a wealth of scholarly sources to retell for modern readers the stirring legends of ancient Iran. (IRN108, $14.95)

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)

Snowdrops

Snowdrops


by A.D. Miller

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

Shortlisted for the Booker, this psychological thriller follows the fate of a young British lawyer in casually corrupt contemporary Moscow. (RUS467, $14.95)

The Conference of the Birds

The Conference of the Birds


by Farid ud-Din Attar | Peter Sis

  • LITERATURE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

Farid ud-Din Attar's 12th-century Sufi allegory about a band of birds in search of God finds new life in this sumptuously illustrated adaptation by Peter Sis, the Caldecott Honor-winning children's book author and illustrator. (IRN102, $18.00)

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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.