The best books about Atlantis

4 authors have picked their favorite books about Atlantis and why they recommend each book.

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Atlantis

By Ignatius Donnelly,

Book cover of Atlantis: The Antediluvian World

Though this is a pseudo archaeological work, Donnelly's theories remain the source of many of our modern-day ideas about Atlantis. Written in 1882, at a time when much of the world was still mysterious to Westerners, Donnelly proposed an argument that all cultures and peoples originated from Atlantis, which he claimed was destroyed during the Great Deluge described in the Book of Genesis. Today, in the 21st century, experts have debunked most of his theories. However, many of the questions he raised remain unanswered. Despite its many flaws, it’s an interesting glimpse into Western thought during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.


I wrote...

Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

By Jennifer McKeithen,

Book cover of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

What is my book about?

A princess seeking to balance duty and her tempestuous heart... A wanderer searching for a purpose... A soldier destined for glory... A doomed civilization. The princess of an exiled kingdom, Gwenwhyfar's marriage was decided at birth. Enter Marcus Duilius, a career soldier with an eye for beauty. Although drawn to his fatal charms, she knows this son of a Roman naval hero will never allow a woman to stand in the way of his ambition. With her husband's untimely death, she discovers a freedom she never imagined possible. Ready to make her own destiny, Gwenwhyfar finds she must put aside her desires once more and reforge ties with the mighty Atlantis. Mysterious ships have arrived from the east, leaving destruction in their wake. The known world is threatened. To complicate matters, her former Norse bodyguard has suddenly returned to claim her for his own. Can she uphold her duty, save her world, and still find true love?

Ascension

By Kara Dalkey,

Book cover of Ascension

Nia's lifelong dream is to become an avatar, one of the ruling mermaids of Atlantis. But when she is passed over for the opportunity, she must embark on a quest to prove herself. This journey takes her far beyond the sea and everything she knows to the world of dry land. Arthurian legends, mermaids, magic, Atlantis, a heroine’s journey – how can you go wrong?


Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.


I wrote...

Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

By Jennifer McKeithen,

Book cover of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

What is my book about?

A princess seeking to balance duty and her tempestuous heart... A wanderer searching for a purpose... A soldier destined for glory... A doomed civilization. The princess of an exiled kingdom, Gwenwhyfar's marriage was decided at birth. Enter Marcus Duilius, a career soldier with an eye for beauty. Although drawn to his fatal charms, she knows this son of a Roman naval hero will never allow a woman to stand in the way of his ambition. With her husband's untimely death, she discovers a freedom she never imagined possible. Ready to make her own destiny, Gwenwhyfar finds she must put aside her desires once more and reforge ties with the mighty Atlantis. Mysterious ships have arrived from the east, leaving destruction in their wake. The known world is threatened. To complicate matters, her former Norse bodyguard has suddenly returned to claim her for his own. Can she uphold her duty, save her world, and still find true love?

The Lost Empire of Atlantis

By Gavin Menzies,

Book cover of The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History's Greatest Mystery Revealed

Atlantis is another fabled island-nation, with a history that goes back much further in time than Utopia. The powerful island-nation is mentioned by Greek philosopher Plato as an antagonist to mighty Athens. There are a handful of theories about whether Atlantis ever existed (some claim Plato made it all up). If it did exist, what was the location before it sank below the waves?

Gavin Menzies takes up one of the real location theories in this fascinating book: that Atlantis was part of the advanced Minoan civilisation that extended from its Mediterranean base on Crete to locations much further afield. Since this all took place three millenniums ago, hard to prove anything, although Gavin Menzies tries his best with unearthed artifacts and DNA evidence to persuade the reader as to the veracity of his findings. Perhaps you should read this tale with a pinch of salt? It is about…


Who am I?

I have a life-long interest in the intersection of the real and the mythical when it comes to travel and adventuring in foreign lands. This has driven my own exploration of many parts of Asia and the Himalayan regions. One tiny nugget of information can take you on a wild journey that leads to great discoveries. Curiously, we keep losing precious knowledge through war and neglect—and then re-discover it. The finest example of lost and found cultural facets has to be hieroglyphics. The meaning of the writing was lost for over a thousand years until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799, which enabled us to decipher Egyptian temple art again. So hieroglyphics entered the realm of the mythical and then returned to reality once decoded.


I wrote...

Shangri-La: A Travel Guide to the Himalayan Dream

By Michael Buckley,

Book cover of Shangri-La: A Travel Guide to the Himalayan Dream

What is my book about?

Shangri-La is one of the most evocative myths of our time —so powerful that it has entered the dictionary as a synonym for paradise. As myths go, it is a young one: Shangri-La made its debut with the 1933 publication of British author James Hilton’s novel, Lost Horizon. No sooner was Shangri-La created by Hilton than a host of places staked claims to being the real location that inspired the book. Maybe something to do with finding the Fountain of Youth, as Shangri-La residents live to over 200 years old.

This guidebook to the mythical site of Shangri-La is rooted in the glorious reality of the Himalayas, encompassing parts of southwest China, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, and Ladakh. It forms a concise guide to the most remote areas of the region, with a focus on major mountain peaks, and some well-chosen treks in each area. Practical information and maps will ensure that visitors can make the most of their trip to this other-worldly destination, while armchair readers can browse and dream...

Masters of Atlantis

By Charles Portis,

Book cover of Masters of Atlantis

Remember how disappointed you were when you first tried to read Tolkien's The Silmarillion? You'd just devoured The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and you needed more Middle Earth, and you asked for The Silmarillian for your birthday and you received it!  And it was just a bunch of half-baked fleshless ideas! Well, there's nothing half-baked about Masters of Atlantis! Masters of Atlantis is my least favorite book by my most favorite author! Why did I choose it for this list over Portis's other four novels? Because, for the vast majority of its 300-plus pages, it reads like a hurried summary of a tangled web of bizarro characters negotiating an interwoven freak-o-system of conspiratorial cults!


Who am I?

You know that poem that instructs us to "see a world in a grain of sand?" I've done that, friend. It turns out that the world you see in a closely-examined grain of sand is largely covered with sand, each grain of which contains another world. For reasons that I can't explain (well, the Autism Spectrum Disorder might have something to do with it), I'm compelled to write novels that explore and exploit, obliquely or otherwise, the sub-worlds lurking within the grains of sand that are scattered across the American High Plains. 


I wrote...

Zebra Skin Shirt

By Gregory Hill,

Book cover of Zebra Skin Shirt

What is my book about?

From Colorado Book Award-winning author Gregory Hill comes Zebra Skin Shirt, a delightfully mad novel in which Narwhal Slotterfield, a corrupt, faux-intellectual basketball referee, becomes time-stuck on the unlikely landscape of the Colorado High Plains. With the clocks permanently stopped, and trapped in an immobile universe, Narwhal has the miraculous choice to either focus myopically on himself or, as an unlikely superhero referee, to right the wrongs of the world. He manages to do both.

The Atlantis Syndrome

By Paul Jordan,

Book cover of The Atlantis Syndrome

Whenever I encounter people who interrogate me concerning my archaeological skepticism that the “Lost Continent of Atlantis,” as described by Greek philosopher Plato in about 360 BC, was a real place or even one loosely based on an actual historical event, I invariably direct them to Paul Jordan’s thorough and definitive book. “But didn’t Plato say that Atlantis was real?” they ask. Nope. “But don’t ancient civilizations share so much in common they must have derived their cultures from a single source, Atlantis?” Nope. “But didn’t Plato base his discussion of Atlantis on the catastrophic destruction of the Minoan civilization?” Nope. Why all my “nopes?” Read Jordan’s authoritative book to find out. He is a terrific researcher and a damn good writer.


Who am I?

My fascination with the ancient past began when I was four years old and wanted to be a dinosaur, specifically a Tyrannosaurus rex. When it became clear that this option was not open to me, I decided instead to become an archaeologist. Archaeologists don’t study dinosaurs, but instead investigate human antiquity. When I began my 40+ years of teaching archaeology, I asked students what topics they wanted covered in class. Invariably they expressed an interest in things like ancient astronauts, Atlantis, Stonehenge, and pyramids. This led me to a career-long study of strange claims about the human past, it provided the raw material for multiple books on the subject.


I wrote...

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology

By Kenneth L. Feder,

Book cover of Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology

What is my book about?

Petrified biblical giants. Ancient aliens. Lost tribes, lost continents, and lost civilizations. Archaeology is beset by some pretty out-there claims and wild speculations concerning the human past. Newspaper headlines and social media pronouncements suggest that we archaeologists walk around in a state of perpetual bafflement about such things. I was first exposed to “pseudoarchaeology” during an encounter with a person who, upon learning I was an archaeology student, asked if I thought extraterrestrial visitors to Earth had built the pyramids of Egypt. When I became an actual archaeologist, that encounter provided one of my inspirations for writing a book debunking this and other claims about the human past that are unsupported by archaeological evidence. Sure, my message is serious, but we have a lot of fun along the way.

Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

By Stephen R. Lawhead,

Book cover of Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

Although magic doesn’t feature as strongly in this as the other recommendations and in the subsequent books in the series, I recommend this it cleverly disguises magic within the world, it's not showy but still believable, something which makes you think. It's also a gripping tale that connects Atlantis with the stories around King Arthur.


Who am I?

Ever since I was a child the world has fascinated me. I’ve grown up with a deep love of reading and passion for the natural world, so much so that this often inspires both my writing and my artwork. As an artist and writer I seek to showcase the wonder and magic in the world. I have been able to draw upon ancient legends for inspiration into how people’s minds worked in the deep past and use it to enrich my writing further to cement the stories into our world and become more tangible. As a part-time adventurer, it’s only natural that my novels should be that.


I wrote...

A Retreating Tide (The Mirror of Shadows)

By R.A. Whitworth,

Book cover of A Retreating Tide (The Mirror of Shadows)

What is my book about?

A thrilling adventure into the world beyond the ancient stones. Following Alicia, a woman who has no memory of her past and Nathan who’s desperate to escape the abuse he suffered in his, are thrust into an epic adventure through the wilds of the Eárie. In this world where hill tribes roam the mountains, and sprites live in underground caverns they will need to learn what it takes to survive the wilderness as well as the parasitic threat known as the Shadows. 

Meet Me in Atlantis

By Mark Adams,

Book cover of Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City

Mark Adams is simply a delightful writer. In this book, he dares to ask the age-old question: did Atlantis actually exist? He sifts through the facts and the fiction, taking the reader with him in his traipse across the globe to find answers. Like his other books, Meet Me in Atlantis is a fun read, where you’ll learn a lot and have some laughs along way.


Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.


I wrote...

Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

By Jennifer McKeithen,

Book cover of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

What is my book about?

A princess seeking to balance duty and her tempestuous heart... A wanderer searching for a purpose... A soldier destined for glory... A doomed civilization. The princess of an exiled kingdom, Gwenwhyfar's marriage was decided at birth. Enter Marcus Duilius, a career soldier with an eye for beauty. Although drawn to his fatal charms, she knows this son of a Roman naval hero will never allow a woman to stand in the way of his ambition. With her husband's untimely death, she discovers a freedom she never imagined possible. Ready to make her own destiny, Gwenwhyfar finds she must put aside her desires once more and reforge ties with the mighty Atlantis. Mysterious ships have arrived from the east, leaving destruction in their wake. The known world is threatened. To complicate matters, her former Norse bodyguard has suddenly returned to claim her for his own. Can she uphold her duty, save her world, and still find true love?

The Maracot Deep

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Book cover of The Maracot Deep

Master storyteller Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a few things to say about Atlantis. In The Maracot Deep, young zoologist Cyrus Headley travels to the edge of a deep ocean trench with a team of explorers. Suddenly, a giant sea monster attacks them and hurls them down into the trench. The explorers are rescued by the survivors of the destroyed Atlantis, who have dwelled on the seafloor for the past 8,000 years. Will Headley and his companions ever return to the surface again, or will they remain trapped for the rest of their lives like the Atlanteans? Readers expecting this novel to be like his earlier Sherlock Holms stories are in for a surprise, as it explores the spiritual and occult ideas he pondered later in his life.


Who am I?

I'm a novelis who's had a lifelong fascination with travel, lost civilizations, aquariums, swashbuckling stories (both true and fictional), dancing, dusty old bookstores and libraries, sangria, and sunny beaches. I grew up in beautiful south Louisiana and my earliest memories were in New Orleans. Living in “America's first melting pot” taught me to appreciate cultures, languages, cuisine, and music from a young age. Ancient and Medieval history and folklore remain major influences on my writing.


I wrote...

Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

By Jennifer McKeithen,

Book cover of Atlantis On the Shores of Forever

What is my book about?

A princess seeking to balance duty and her tempestuous heart... A wanderer searching for a purpose... A soldier destined for glory... A doomed civilization. The princess of an exiled kingdom, Gwenwhyfar's marriage was decided at birth. Enter Marcus Duilius, a career soldier with an eye for beauty. Although drawn to his fatal charms, she knows this son of a Roman naval hero will never allow a woman to stand in the way of his ambition. With her husband's untimely death, she discovers a freedom she never imagined possible. Ready to make her own destiny, Gwenwhyfar finds she must put aside her desires once more and reforge ties with the mighty Atlantis. Mysterious ships have arrived from the east, leaving destruction in their wake. The known world is threatened. To complicate matters, her former Norse bodyguard has suddenly returned to claim her for his own. Can she uphold her duty, save her world, and still find true love?

From Atlantis to the Sphinx

By Colin Wilson,

Book cover of From Atlantis to the Sphinx

Conventional Egyptologists still insist the mighty Sphinx in Egypt dates to around 4,500 BC. Well, those so-called experts really should start listening to the likes of Colin Wilson. In From Atlantis to the Sphinx, you’ll read how Boston University’s Robert Schoch has proven the Sphinx was damaged by floodwater, meaning it must be much older than it’s generally thought to be. Many believe the Sphinx actually dates from 10,500 BC! Read this book and you’ll probably agree.


Who am I?

I’ve been interested in ancient Egypt ever since I read Asterix and Cleopatra when I was a boy. The hilarious moment of Obelix accidentally knocking off the Sphinx’s nose has always stayed with me in particular. By my early twenties, I was reading authors like Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, and Colin Wilson, who showed me that what we think we know about ancient Egypt is not wholly correct. For instance, there’s little evidence that the Great Pyramid’s purpose was to be a tomb and the Sphinx seems to be much older than Egyptologists believe. In 2010, at thirty-four years old, I finally got to visit the wonders of Egypt myself.


I wrote...

The Road to Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash

By Harry Whitewolf,

Book cover of The Road to Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash

What is my book about?

When stress-headed Mad Harry spontaneously books a flight for Egypt after a rather nasty break-up, he doesn’t know he’s about to embark on a mad pot-smoking pilgrimage of adventure. 

Guided by signs in numbers, names, and otherworldly encounters, Mad Harry’s trip often seems to be a magical manifestation of his fragile mind. This good-humoured true travel tale is told in a frank, rhythmic, and playful voice. Set in 2010, shortly before Egypt's revolution, The Road To Purification is a backpacking odyssey through tremendous temples, towering pyramids, chaotic cities, small villages, dirty beaches, and deceitful strangers... with a backdrop of ancient spiritual gnosis. A holiday this is not.

Astronomy of the Ancients

By Kenneth Brecher, Michael Feirtag,

Book cover of Astronomy of the Ancients

Among the several fine essays here, Harald Reiche's "The Language of Archaic Astronomy: a Clue to the Atlantis Myth?" is a bonus treat. Reiche introduces the technological language of ancient mythology – the "tech talk of our ancestors" – and explains how "stories," recounted in the language of myth, track the "damage" to the heavens caused by the Precession of the Equinoxes. This easy-reading collection is a great aid for those with little inclination to study the heavens through light-polluted skies, or to plunge into the troublesome field of comparative mythology. 


Who am I?

As a geologist, I met and shared meals – occasionally under the stars – with individuals with strikingly different backgrounds. In time I realized that, whatever their DNA, they all shared certain beliefs, that the happy dead eventually go upward, for example, even if they start by going down or out to the horizon. Eventually, I concluded that the entire human adventure began in a single moment the day one of our forebears asked another "What shall we do about death?" and was understood. Humans have a single genetic heritage; we also have a single cultural heritage.


I wrote...

What the Stork Brought: African click-speakers and the spread of humanity's oldest beliefs

By John M. Saul,

Book cover of What the Stork Brought: African click-speakers and the spread of humanity's oldest beliefs

What is my book about?

The Bushman of southern Africa and the Hadza people far to the north in Tanzania have a greater difference in their DNA than any other pair of peoples. They represent the oldest split among surviving peoples. Yet Bushman and Hadza traditions both have a special place for "Eland" who long ago mounted the Milky Way to the heavenly Hereafter. 

The heavens, however, are not constant and Eland's path is no longer available, nor is the starry route of the migrating birds who return each spring seemingly reborn or renewed. Following Eland or the birds, "As Above, So Below," does not lead to rebirth. Later religions encountered related problems, which they countered by inventing new "World Ages" and great re-settings, as did the Bushman and the Hadza themselves.

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