100 books like Red Land, Black Land

By Barbara Mertz,

Here are 100 books that Red Land, Black Land fans have personally recommended if you like Red Land, Black Land. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Crocodile on the Sandbank

Kathleen Marple Kalb Author Of A Fatal Finale

From my list on brilliant women sleuths who catch killers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading mysteries since I “borrowed” my Grandpa’s Miss Marple’s as an elementary schooler. (And yes, my maiden name really IS Marple) And I’ve always been drawn to smart, competent women characters–even better if they’re funny. Women who do their own fighting and their own detecting and then hand the killer off to the cops with a smile and a great line. These women inspired me–and now I get to write a lady who at least belongs in the room with them!

Kathleen's book list on brilliant women sleuths who catch killers

Kathleen Marple Kalb Why did Kathleen love this book?

This book made me love historical mysteries. I absolutely adore the main character, Amelia Peabody, who lives in Victorian times but is very much NOT a Victorian woman: smarter and tougher than the guys and not afraid to own it. Like Amelia, Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me, and I love a good adventure.

The only thing I enjoy more is a will-they-or-won’t-why with whip-smart banter, and Amelia and Emerson deliver there, too. They drew me in immediately, with plenty of historical background, a twisty plot that kept me guessing until the end, and a great romantic payoff, too. I think the Peabody and Emerson books are the best historical mystery series ever. Fight me. 

By Elizabeth Peters,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Crocodile on the Sandbank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters' most brilliant and best-loved creation, a thoroughly Victorian feminist who takes the stuffy world of archaeology by storm with her shocking men's pants and no-nonsense attitude!

In this first adventure, our headstrong heroine decides to use her substantial inheritance to see the world. On her travels, she rescues a gentlewoman in distress - Evelyn Barton-Forbes - and the two become friends. The two companions continue to Egypt where they face mysteries, mummies and the redoubtable Radcliffe Emerson, an outspoken archaeologist, who doesn't need women to help him solve mysteries -- at least that's what he…


Book cover of Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt

Catherine Butzen Author Of Painter of the Dead

From my list on explaining why people think mummies are cursed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Egypt – a remote era of history, but so well preserved! I love reading the old documents and finding out what they ate or why the worker Tilamentu was absent from the building site one day. (Turns out he had a fight with his wife). Pop culture likes to focus on the mummies, especially the cursed kind, and I couldn’t help wondering why. Where did those ideas come from? Did the Egyptians actually believe in curses? And what would someone like Tilamentu Q. Public think of it all? I hope you enjoy learning about it as much as I did!

Catherine's book list on explaining why people think mummies are cursed

Catherine Butzen Why did Catherine love this book?

Before Tut, there was Akhenaten. Fashionable nineteenth-century folks went gaga for this mysterious “heretic pharaoh” who tried to overthrow the gods of ancient Egypt. And because we know so little about him, everyone could make him anything they liked! As a fan of mythology, I found it incredible to watch how people evolved their own stories about this strange figure – seeing him as homosexual, heterosexual, Christian, pagan, and more. And it gives us a clue about the origin of the “curse” stories, as we see Akhenaten himself condemned by his own people and vanishing into history. 

By Dominic Montserrat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Akhenaten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled Egypt in the mid-fourteenth century BCE, has been the subject of more speculation than any other character in Egyptian history. Often called the originator of monotheism and the world's first recorded individual, he has fascinated and inspired both scholars of Egyptology and creative talents as diverse as Sigmund Freud and Philip Glass.
This provocative biography examines both the real Akhenaten and the myths that have been created around him. It scrutinises the history of the pharaoh and his reign, which has been continually written in Eurocentric terms inapplicable to ancient Egypt, and the archaeology of…


Book cover of The Mummy's Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy

Catherine Butzen Author Of Painter of the Dead

From my list on explaining why people think mummies are cursed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Egypt – a remote era of history, but so well preserved! I love reading the old documents and finding out what they ate or why the worker Tilamentu was absent from the building site one day. (Turns out he had a fight with his wife). Pop culture likes to focus on the mummies, especially the cursed kind, and I couldn’t help wondering why. Where did those ideas come from? Did the Egyptians actually believe in curses? And what would someone like Tilamentu Q. Public think of it all? I hope you enjoy learning about it as much as I did!

Catherine's book list on explaining why people think mummies are cursed

Catherine Butzen Why did Catherine love this book?

The Victorians loved mummies and mummy stories... and before I read The Mummy’s Curse, I’d never heard of any of them! The nineteenth century’s obsession with Egypt and curses doesn’t get talked about much today. This book opened me up to a whole new world of stories, including some strange curse tales that never got quite as big as King Tut. (Which is a shame, because some of them are wonderfully creepy!)

By Roger Luckhurst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mummy's Curse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the winter of 1922-23 archaeologist Howard Carter and his wealthy patron George Herbert, the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, sensationally opened the tomb of Tutenkhamen. Six weeks later Herbert, the sponsor of the expedition, died in Egypt. The popular press went wild with rumours of a curse on those who disturbed the Pharaoh's rest and for years followed every twist and turn of the fate of the men who had been involved in the historic discovery. Long dismissed by
Egyptologists, the mummy's curse remains a part of popular supernatural belief. Roger Luckhurst explores why the myth has captured the British…


Book cover of An Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Sobekmose

Catherine Butzen Author Of Painter of the Dead

From my list on explaining why people think mummies are cursed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Egypt – a remote era of history, but so well preserved! I love reading the old documents and finding out what they ate or why the worker Tilamentu was absent from the building site one day. (Turns out he had a fight with his wife). Pop culture likes to focus on the mummies, especially the cursed kind, and I couldn’t help wondering why. Where did those ideas come from? Did the Egyptians actually believe in curses? And what would someone like Tilamentu Q. Public think of it all? I hope you enjoy learning about it as much as I did!

Catherine's book list on explaining why people think mummies are cursed

Catherine Butzen Why did Catherine love this book?

I remember being a kid in a museum, staring at the figurines making up a strange judgment scene. Gods weighing a man’s heart against a feather – what was that all about? If you want to understand the ancient Egyptians, you need a good Book of the Dead. This translation of the goldsmith Sobekmose’s burial copy won’t bring any cursed mummies back to life, but it gives you a road map to ancient Egyptian paradise... and some neat spells to control demons, if they happen to turn up along the way. 

By Paul F. O' Rourke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Book of the Dead of Sobekmose, in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, New York, is one of the most important surviving examples of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead genre. Such `books' - papyrus scrolls - were composed of traditional funerary texts, including magic spells, that were thought to assist a dead person on their journey into the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians believed in an underworld fraught with dangers that needed to be carefully navigated, from the familiar, such as snakes and scorpions, to the extraordinary: lakes of fire to cross, animal-headed demons to pass and, of…


Book cover of Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt

Joann Fletcher Author Of The Story of Egypt

From my list on ancient Egypt based on fact not fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having studied ancient Egypt her entire life, Professor Joann Fletcher is based in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. As a founding member of the university’s Mummy Research Group, she is also Lead Ambassador for the Egypt Exploration Society and an advisor to museums around the UK. Her numerous publications include The Search for Nefertiti, Cleopatra the Great, and The Story of Egypt, academic papers, and regular contributions to the BBC's History magazine. She also makes frequent appearances on radio and television. Although it’s incredibly difficult to pick just 5 books that best encapsulate ‘Ancient Egypt’ in its broadest sense, it’s important to start with those which are as informative and accurate as possible when many can be quite the opposite! 

Joann's book list on ancient Egypt based on fact not fiction

Joann Fletcher Why did Joann love this book?

Although this is a slim volume, it’s packed with fascinating details about some of the biggest names in Egyptian history from pharaohs male and female to brilliant architects and disgruntled farmers. And since John Ray has that rare gift of combining academic rigor with an entertaining way of writing, he really does bring these ancient people to life.

By John Ray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reflections of Osiris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Spanning more than two millennia, Reflections of Osiris opens a small window into a timeless world, capturing the flavor of life in ancient Egypt through vivid profiles of eleven actual people and the god Osiris. Some of the figures profiled here are famous. Ray discusses Imhotep, whom he calls "Egypt's Leonardo"-the royal architect of the Step Pyramid, high priest of the sun cult, and a man of great medical skill. We meet Hatshepsut, a rare female Pharaoh, who had herself depicted as a male figure in temple scenes, ceremonial beard and all. Horemheb, who rose from local politician to general…


Book cover of Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs

Melinda Hartwig Author Of The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

From my list on ancient Egyptian tombs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was ten. I started my first project in Luxor, Egypt, when I was 21, and for the last 35+ years, these projects have uncovered the stories of Theban tomb owners and the times in which they lived. For this reason, I’ve chosen some of the most accessible books on ancient Egyptian tombs and their decoration. I hope that these books will excite you about the humanity of those who lived thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt.

Melinda's book list on ancient Egyptian tombs

Melinda Hartwig Why did Melinda love this book?

This massive 540-page book offers the reader everything to know about ancient Egypt. A group of international experts wrote Egypt: The World of the Pharaohs, which covers funerary art, tomb architecture, sculpture, and painting in an easy-to-read, lavishly illustrated book. Additional chapters explore ancient Egyptian history, culture, and religion. Appendixes include lists of gods, sites, museum collections, and a chronology with names of rulers. Numerous printings in hardback and softcover cover the same territory at an incredibly low cost—an indispensable volume and a required book in my classes. 

By Regine Schulz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This beautifully illustrated hardback edition explores all the magic and mysteries of ancient Egypt that continue to fascinate us, in over 500 pages of full-colour photographs and comprehensive text. It covers everything from architecture, sculpture and painting to everyday life, statecraft, society and religion.


Book cover of Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (The Chronicles Series)

Ann R. Williams Author Of Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World

From my list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an archaeologist by training and a journalist by profession. During my long career as a staff writer at National Geographic magazine, and now as a freelance Nat Geo book editor and author, I have often written about the ancient world and cultural heritage preservation. I was very lucky to be sent to Egypt on a number of occasions to write stories about sites and discoveries, and I have now come to specialize in Egyptology. I recently took an online course that taught me how to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. I’m still in glyph kindergarten, but every new sign I learn is allowing me to better understand—and interpret—the culture of the pharaohs.

Ann's book list on ancient Egypt’s pharaohs

Ann R. Williams Why did Ann love this book?

The history of ancient Egypt spans more than 3,000 years. That’s a lot to keep track of!

This book is a great guide, breaking it all down dynasty by dynasty and reign by reign. 

Want to know what the Old Kingdom was about? It’s in here.

Want to know all of King Tut’s names? They’re in here too, spelled out for modern readers and drawn in hieroglyphs as well.

I’ve been studying and writing about ancient Egypt for decades now, and I still need a cheat sheet from time to time. Chronicle of the Pharaohs is one of my go-to reference books and sits on a shelf close at hand in my office.

By Peter A. Clayton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chronicle of the Pharaohs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This essential handbook on ancient Egypt - both a highly readable popular history and a unique work of reference - is now available in paperback.


Book cover of Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Egypt since I was a child and dressed up to play as ancient Egyptian with her friends. I studied fine art in college, and was trained in archaeological illustration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I worked as a staff illustrator in the Department of Egyptian Art. I later worked in the Department of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I have worked as the technical illustrator for a dozen archaeological digs in Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Belize, and California. 

Tamara's book list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator

Tamara Bower Why did Tamara love this book?

Egyptologist Salina Ikram is the foremost expert on Egyptian animal mummies. She has performed mummification on numerous animals in order to better understand the ancient Egyptian process of mummification. This book is by a number of egyptologists. It is academic, but not difficult to understand. It gives information on different animals that were mummified, and the context in which they were discovered.

By Salima Ikram (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Divine Creatures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The invention of mummification enabled the ancient Egyptians to preserve the bodies not only of humans but also of animals, so that they could live forever. Mummified animals are of four different types: food offerings, pets, sacred animals, and votive offerings. For the first time, a series of studies on the different types of animal mummies, the methods of mummification, and the animal cemeteries located at sites throughout Egypt are drawn together in a definitive volume on ancient Egyptian animal mummies. Studies of these animals provide information not only about the fauna of the country, and indirectly, its climate, but…


Book cover of Curse Of The Pharaohs: My Adventures with Mummies

Chris Eboch Author Of The Eyes of Pharaoh

From my list on Ancient Egypt for middle school readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

My family lived in an American camp in Saudi Arabia when I was young, and we traveled extensively. I’ve always loved ancient cultures, from our first international trip to Greece when I was six. The two months I spent in Mexico and Central America as a young adult inspired my first novel for young people, The Well of Sacrifice. But Egypt has long held a special place in my heart. The mummies and pyramids grab a child’s attention. The fact that these people were so different from us – and yet so similar in other ways – keeps that fascination going. Stories about ancient Egypt never get old!

Chris' book list on Ancient Egypt for middle school readers

Chris Eboch Why did Chris love this book?

This photo-filled book was written by an Egyptian archaeologist who was the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The book discusses ancient and modern ideas of mummy curses. While Dr. Hawass sometimes feels the tug of ancient magic, he does a good job of refuting the idea of a curse. He shares many personal stories from his years as an archaeologist. His passion and enthusiasm for archaeology shine through.

The author also wrote Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, which has friendly, enthusiastic writing and nice photos in a large format.

By Zahi Hawass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Curse Of The Pharaohs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"Hardcover: 160 pages Publisher: National Geographic (May 1, 2004) ISBN: 079226665X Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches All Ages ""Why do [people] want to believe that the ancient Egyptians wish to reach out over thousands of years an"


Book cover of A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

Tracey Jean Boisseau Author Of Sultan To Sultan - Adventures Among The Masai And Other Tribes Of East Africa

From my list on travel and exploration written by women in the Victorian Era.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a historian of feminism, I am always on the lookout for sources that reveal women’s voices and interpretation of experiences often imagined as belonging primarily to men. Whether erudite travelogue, personal journey of discovery, or sensationalist narrative of adventure and exploration, books written by women traveling on their own were among the most popular writings published in the Victorian era. Often aimed at justifying the expansion of woman’s proper “sphere,” these books are perhaps even more enthralling to the contemporary reader —since they seem to defy everything we think we know about the constrained lives of women in this era. In addition to illuminating the significant roles that women played in the principal conflicts and international crises of the nineteenth century, these stories of women wading through swamps, joining military campaigns, marching across deserts, up mountains, and through contested lands often armed only with walking sticks, enormous determination, and sheer chutzpah, never fail to fascinate!

Tracey's book list on travel and exploration written by women in the Victorian Era

Tracey Jean Boisseau Why did Tracey love this book?

Marking a turning point in women’s travel writing and scholarly publications, British artist, writer, and Egyptologist, Amelia Edwards, brought unparalleled expertise and knowledge of Egyptian antiquities to her narrative, in the process helping to found the modern study of Egyptology. Written by a gifted writer and accomplished novelist, her book follows her trip up the Nile River to investigate some of the world’s most important ancient archeological sites and is beautifully illustrated with her own watercolors as well as witty, insightful stories of everyday life in nineteenth-century Egypt.

By Amelia B. Edwards,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Thousand Miles Up the Nile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As enthralling as any work of fiction, A Thousand Miles up the Nile is the quintessential Victorian travel book.

In 1873, Amelia B. Edwards, a Victorian gentlewoman, spent the winter visiting the then largely unspoiled splendors of ancient Egypt. An accurate and sympathetic observer, she brings nineteenth-century Egypt to life. A Thousand Miles up the Nile was an instant hit in 1876, and is received with equal enthusiasm by modern readers.

Fans of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody Emerson mystery series will see similarities between the two Amelias. More importantly, A Thousand Miles up the Nile provides a wealth of background…


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