The best books on ancient Egypt 📚

Browse the best books on ancient Egypt as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

By Richard H. Wilkinson

Why this book?

For many fans of Greek myths, Egypt is the next logical stop on a journey to a broader understanding of world mythology. As a culture which influenced both the Hellenistic and Judeo-Christian world, Egypt’s stories inform our understanding of other Western traditions. And the mania for mummies and pyramids means outstanding examples of Egyptian artifacts await in museums across the world, helping make the ancient tales come alive. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt makes for a fantastic introduction into the world of Ra, Isis, and Osiris.

From the list:

The best mythology books beyond the Greeks

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Book cover of The Tale of Sinuhe: And Other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940-1640 B.C.

The Tale of Sinuhe: And Other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940-1640 B.C.

By Richard Parkinson

Why this book?

I was immediately attracted to this volume of poetry, particularly when I realised that fragments from the original Tale of Sinuhe papyrus, had at one time been in the collection at Didlington Hall.

Professor Richard Parkinson introduces each poem from the Middle Kingdom and sets it in the context of its time. The Tale of Sinuhe is one of the most famous poems and was written around 1875 BC. It is an illuminating tale of adventure in foreign lands, but one in which Sinuhe reflects on life in Egypt and his relationship with the king. While The Tale of the…

From the list:

The best books on deciphering ancient Egypt – fact and fiction

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Book cover of The Obelisk and The Cross: An Alternative History of God, Myth and Meaning in the Western World

The Obelisk and The Cross: An Alternative History of God, Myth and Meaning in the Western World

By Tony Sunderland

Why this book?

As one of earth’s oldest civilisations, ancient Egypt can tell us a lot about early religion and how it affected later spiritual practices and faiths. In this book, Tony Sunderland begins with the question: why is there an Egyptian obelisk standing in the centre of St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City? The question becomes even more pertinent when you learn that the obelisk celebrates an ancient sun god! I loved this fascinating book that traces religion from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia through to early Christianity and beyond. Whatever your level of historical religious and spiritual understanding is, The Obelisk and…

From the list:

The best books that will make you rethink ancient Egypt

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Book cover of The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt

The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt

By Ian Shaw, Paul Nicholson

Why this book?

Want to know about magic bricks? You can look them up in this book, along with a lot of other intriguing things.

Sure, you can find descriptions online. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there in the e-sphere. It’s much better to rely on something published by the august British Museum, which has been showcasing artifacts from the ancient world since 1753. I always do.

From the list:

The best books about ancient Egypt’s pharaohs

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Book cover of A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles Series)

A Threat of Shadows (The Keeper Chronicles Series)

By J.A. Andrews

Why this book?

The words I would use to describe Andrews’ writing are as follows: spirit, strength, impact. Not only does each sentence read like melted butter circling a saucepan, but they are written with purpose. Filled with characters so likable you’ll wish they were your real friends, Andrews puts them through hell and back again in a way that makes you want to cheer for them, or even fight by their sides. If you haven’t read A Threat of Shadows and the rest of The Keeper Chronicles, be prepared to count plenty of sheep to fall asleep afterward. 

From the list:

The best epic fantasy novels to deprive you of sleep

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Book cover of The Golden Goblet

The Golden Goblet

By Eloise McGraw

Why this book?

I don't even remember how I got this book, I think mom bought it for me when I discovered Egypt. I've read it every couple of years since and opening the pages is like sitting down to tea with an old friend. It's a simple story, but powerful, and told in a sure voice that really brings you along on the adventure, and allows you to solve the mystery alongside the young boy who tells the story. How I view the story has changed over the years, but I continue to love it all the more for it.

From the list:

The best historical fiction books you can't put down

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