The best books about Egypt 📚

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

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Book cover of A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

By Amelia B. Edwards

Why 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.
From the list:

The best books on travel and exploration written by women in the Victorian Era

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Book cover of From Atlantis to the Sphinx

From Atlantis to the Sphinx

By Colin Wilson

Why this book?

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.

From the list:

The best books that will make you rethink ancient Egypt

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Book cover of Heaven's Mirror: Quest for the Lost Civilization

Heaven's Mirror: Quest for the Lost Civilization

By Graham Hancock, Santha Faiia

Why this book?

Much of the key stuff that’s mentioned in the books above are contained in Heaven’s Mirror by the great Graham Hancock and his wife Santha Faiia. So, the book’s a great place to start if you’re new to all this rethinking ancient Egypt malarkey. Heaven’s Mirror also covers other civilizations like the Mayans and Incas. For me, this book is so special because it contains some absolutely glorious and spellbinding photos of key ancient sites in Egypt, such as Karnak, Dendera, Abydos, and the pyramids of Giza, Dashur, and Saqqara, which I was lucky enough to visit myself and which…

From the list:

The best books that will make you rethink ancient Egypt

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Book cover of Letters from Egypt: A Journey on the Nile, 1849-1850

Letters from Egypt: A Journey on the Nile, 1849-1850

By Florence Nightingale

Why this book?

If you, like me, have imagined Florence Nightingale as selfless, holy, good, unworldly, prim, and therefore probably very dull, this collection of her letters from Egypt will completely dash that perception. Nightingale was ferocious. Purely by coincidence, she set off on a three-month cruise down the Nile during the same week as Gustave Flaubert. Though the two apparently never met in their travels, they had many of the same experiences and visited the same places within two or three days of each other. Of the two, Nightingale was in fact the more daring and the more acute in her observations…

From the list:

The best books on floating down the Nile

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Book cover of An Egyptian Journal

An Egyptian Journal

By William Golding

Why this book?

At the age of seventy-two, William Golding, British author of Lord of the Flies, set off on a trip down the Nile with his wife and an Egyptian guide. Golding had long had a burning passion for Egypt, stating that ". . . for the last sixty years I must have read every popular book ever written about Egypt." But as his journalistic observations illustrate, there was still so much more to be learned by personal experience. I love this book for Golding's wry, gentle sensibility, his cozy erudition, his intellectual warmth, his wisdom about life and interpersonal relationships…

From the list:

The best books on floating down the Nile

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Book cover of The Cat in Ancient Egypt

The Cat in Ancient Egypt

By Jaromir Malek

Why this book?

This is a great coffee table book. Tons of lovely pictures and illustrations. A must for any cat lover who wants to get a better sense of the role—and place—of cats in Ancient Egypt. I still look at it from time to time because I enjoy the pictures so much. 

From the list:

The best books for serious thinkers about cats and dogs

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