The most recommended mummy books

Who picked these books? Meet our 23 experts.

23 authors created a book list connected to mummies, and here are their favorite mummy books.
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Book cover of The Mummy or Ramses the Damned

Patti Larsen Author Of Family Magic

From my list on stories to read over and over.

Who am I?

I grew up in a hard-core reader family. Everyone always had a book in their hands, so it came naturally to me to absorb everything in the house library before the urge to write caught up with me. My first typewriter was my mother’s from college, my twelve-year-old self delighted by the opportunity to express herself at last in ways that made sense to me (especially since I was the weirdo introvert who talked to the voices in her head). Since my parents exposed me to a multitude of genres, it’s no surprise I write everything from sci-fi to post-apocalyptic, fantasy and horror, cozy mysteries, and young adult paranormal.

Patti's book list on stories to read over and over

Patti Larsen Why did Patti love this book?

If you haven’t read The Mummy by Anne Rice, you’re totally missing out. Her deliciously intense prose and ability to render an environment with emotional impact always thrills me. And while I love the Vampire Lestat books, the tale of Ramses and Julie is part Beauty and the Beast, part Raiders of the Lost Ark, and all awesome. Anne Rice brings you to the early 20th century in London while Egyptian “recovery” was all the rage and I swear you can see, feel and taste that experience on every page. It’s billed as a horror, but I’ve always read it as a deeply adventurous and exciting love story.

By Anne Rice,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mummy or Ramses the Damned as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Ramses the Great returns in this “darkly magical” (USA Today) novel from bestselling author Anne Rice

“The reader is held captive and, ultimately, seduced.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Ramses the Great lives!

But having drunk the elixer of live, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied—for food, for wine, for women.

Reawakened in opulent Edwardian London, he becomes Dr. Ramsey, expert in Egyptology. He also becomes the close companion of voluptuous, adventurous Julie Stratford, heiress to a vast shipping fortune and the center…


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.

Who am I?

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 Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

Catherine Butzen Author Of Painter of the Dead

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

Who am I?

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?

When my father and I were getting ready to visit Egypt for the first time, he asked me for a book to introduce him to Egyptology. I gave him Red Land, Black Land. It brings you right into the distant yet familiar world of ancient Egypt: we see families fighting in letters, bored kids falling asleep in school, and scribes gloating over how amazing they are compared to everyone else. The past can seem so strange, but this book brings it to life.

By Barbara Mertz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fascinating, erudite, and witty glimpse of the human side of ancient Egypt—this acclaimed classic work is now revised and updated for a new generation

Displaying the unparalleled descriptive power, unerring eye for fascinating detail, keen insight, and trenchant wit that have made the novels she writes (as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels) perennial New York Times bestsellers, internationally renowned Egyptologist Barbara Mertz brings a long-buried civilization to vivid life. In Red Land, Black Land, she transports us back thousands of years and immerses us in the sights, aromas, and sounds of day-to-day living in the legendary desert realm that…


Book cover of Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art

Tamara Bower Author Of The Mummy Makers of Egypt

From my list on Ancient Egypt by an archaeological illustrator.

Who am I?

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 Bob Brier is the foremost expert on Egyptian mummies. He is famous for actually mummifying a human body as a science experiment, with Dr. Ronn Wade in 1994. This was the first time a human was mummified in 2000 years. This is a popular book, entertaining, but accurate. He covers everything we know about ancient Egyptian mummification. 

By Bob Brier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Egyptian Mummies results from research done in preparation for the mummification of a human body, the first to be done in the Egyptian style in two thousand years. Through these studies, noted Egyptologist Bob Brier has unearthed the gripping stories of grave robberies and stolen mummies, the forgotten language of the pharaohs, and the tombs of the royal mummies. In an easily accesible and lively style, Brier uncovers the complete historical context of ancient Egyptian culture and offers a fascinating contemporary interpretation of it. Illuminating their mysteries, myths, sacred rituals, and heiroglyphic writing, Egyptian Mummies brings the ancients to life.


Book cover of Morbid Curiosities: Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Angela Stienne Author Of Mummified: The Stories Behind Egyptian Mummies in Museums

From my list on why there’s an Egyptian mummy in your back garden.

Who am I?

When at 13, I declared that I’d become an Egyptologist, quite a lot of people thought it would pass. Fast forward 10 years, and I was starting a PhD on Egyptian mummies in museums – it did not pass. I journeyed from the Louvre where I was a gallery attendant trying to uncover the story of bodies buried in their garden, to England where I relocated with little English to pursue an Egyptology degree… and then two more! The ethics of human remains in museums is a complex topic: that’s why I like to make it more approachable to the public, from running my project Mummy Stories, to giving talks in pubs! 

Angela's book list on why there’s an Egyptian mummy in your back garden

Angela Stienne Why did Angela love this book?

It took me far too long to explore the history of medicine and the links between Egyptian mummies and medicine. Now, that’s all I talk about, and this book was pivotal in doing just that.

It’s a fascinating dive into the collections of human remains in Britain but is also an observation of the construction of medical knowledge through bodies. It is an academic book, one that I couldn’t put down.

After reading it, I started to explore the history of mummies and medicine and uncovered another story about a mummified foot. While Denon and Gautier were drinking coffee in Paris talking about a mummified foot, someone else did the same over tea in London.

By Samuel J.M.M. Alberti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the first comprehensive study of nineteenth-century medical museums, Morbid Curiosities traces the afterlives of diseased body parts. It asks how they came to be in museums, what happened to them there, and who used them.

This book is concerned with the macabre work of pathologists as they dismembered corpses and preserved them: transforming bodies into material culture. The fragmented body parts followed complex paths - harvested from hospital wards, given to one of many prestigious institutions, or dispersed at auction. Human remains acquired new meanings as they were exchanged and were then reintegrated into museums as physical maps of…


Book cover of Crocodile on the Sandbank

Harini Nagendra Author Of The Bangalore Detectives Club

From my list on historical crime books with spunky women protagonists.

Who am I?

I’m an ecologist who loves history. I love incorporating elements from the past in my non-fiction and fiction writing. I’ve learnt so much about parts of the world I have never visited from historical mysteries, especially those with strong female characters. My grandmother, born in 1907 during the British Raj, fought just to go to school. I love books that offer an insight into the lives and thoughts of fierce, feisty women like her, everyday women who did extraordinary things. Each of the books I’ve selected is the first in a series, and I hope they give you endless hours of reading pleasure, just as they did for me.

Harini's book list on historical crime books with spunky women protagonists

Harini Nagendra Why did Harini love this book?

Amelia Peabody, the heroine of this series, is that rarity, a female archeologist elbowing her way into digs and expeditions, the domain of men in 1890s Egypt. Amelia fearlessly deals with master criminals and tomb robbers, using a stout belt and large umbrella, solving crimes with panache.

In this book, the first of the series, she rescues a damsel in distress, falls in love, and uncovers the secret of a walking mummy.

It’s a rollicking romp of a read but doesn’t shy away from showing the divisions of the times between Europeans and ‘natives,’ men and women, rich and poor. The author is an Egyptologist herself, and her expertise shows through; as an academic myself, I’m very inspired by her work! This is one of my absolute favourites.

By Elizabeth Peters,

Why should I read it?

10 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 The Monkey's Paw

A.M. Kherbash Author Of Lesath

From my list on creepy titles you may have overlooked.

Who am I?

I grew up reading dark fiction, and the only two books I kept from that period were The Wicked Heart and Whisper of Death, both by Christopher Pike. Though both were categorized as horror, the first is a crime mystery that partly follows the murderer, while the latter feels like an episode out of The Twilight Zone. I never cared for pure horror, and a book doesn’t have to scare me for me to find them enjoyable. What I often wanted was a tangible sense of dread paired with insight into the human psyche, which I believe makes for a more potent reading experience. 

A.M.'s book list on creepy titles you may have overlooked

A.M. Kherbash Why did A.M. love this book?

The Monkeys Paw is one of those short stories we either read or heard someone tell us about it. And so it goes overlooked. If you havent read it, do yourself a favor and read it. If you have read it, do yourself a favor and revisit it. Its short, its available, its a horror classic, and its very likely what Stephen King had in mind when he wrote Pet Sematary

By W.W. Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Outside, the night is cold and wet. Inside, the White family sits and waits. Where is their visitor? There is a knock at the door. A man is standing outside in the dark. Their visitor has arrived. The visitor waits. He has been in India for many years. What has he got? He has brought the hand of a small, dead animal - a monkey's paw. Outside, in the dark, the visitor smiles and waits for the door to open.


Book cover of Weird Kentucky: Your Travel Guide to Kentucky's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Keven McQueen Author Of Kentucky Book of the Dead

From my list on Kentucky weirdness.

Who am I?

As a lifelong Kentuckian with a lifelong fascination for history, true crime, biography, and the supernatural, once I started writing, I pursued these and related topics. The writer Charles Fort’s research methods interested me: he read old newspapers looking for forgotten stories. That seemed a good way to find little-known information. I am a lecturer in the English Department at Eastern Kentucky University and have spent two decades reading old newspapers issue by issue between classes and taking notes on possible stories. The books on my list also include much detail on entertaining obscurities, and I hope you enjoy them. 

Keven's book list on Kentucky weirdness

Keven McQueen Why did Keven love this book?

This is a lavishly illustrated collection of old and new oddities from around the state, including cryptids, ghosts, cave mummies, UFOs, roadside attractions, the Melungeons (what’s a Melungeon? Read it and see), and the famous Blue People.

I was attracted by the entertaining writing style, the inclusion of both documented fact and folklore, and biographies of historical characters.

By Jeffrey Scott Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Best Travel Series of the Year 2006!"—Booklist

What’s weird around here?

That’s a question Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman have enjoyed asking for years—and their offbeat sense of curiosity led them to create the bestselling phenomenon, Weird N.J. Now the weirdness has spread throughout key locales in the U.S. Each fun and intriguing volume offers more than 250 illustrated pages of places where tourists usually don’t venture—it’s chock-full of oddball curiosities, ghostly places, local legends, crazy characters, cursed roads, and peculiar roadside attractions. What’s NOT shockingly odd here: that every previously published Weird book has become a bestseller in its…


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.

Who am I?

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 Mummy's Little Soldier

Max China Author Of The Night of The Mosquito

From my list on serial killers to stay with you long after you’ve read them.

Who am I?

I was fascinated by American True Crime magazines from an early age. I used to buy them with my pocket money from a second-hand bookstore near my home. I graduated to reading novels by the age of ten, sneaking my father’s book collection into my bedroom one at a time to read after lights out. His books covered everything from The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins to The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley. By seventeen, I promised myself I’d write a novel one day. Most of my books are crime themed with a supernatural flavour. My debut, The Sister was published in 2013 and since then I’ve completed three more novels and several short stories.

Max's book list on serial killers to stay with you long after you’ve read them

Max China Why did Max love this book?

In her first crime novel, Gaites portrays a psychopathic monster in Ivan Smallbone, and a relentless race against time by police to stop him. Populated by flawed characters, Gaites explores the human psyche to great effect in driving her novel to its inevitable and tragic conclusion. Not for the squeamish.

By Rikon Gaites,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mummy’s Little Soldier

1960 – Late in life Marjorie Smallbone gave birth to her only child. Relieved he was perfect, she named him Ivan. As the years went by, she discovered perfection is only skin-deep.

1983 – Sentenced to serve eight years in prison for the manslaughter of many young school children, upon her release in 1991 June Saunders’ appearance had changed. Shortly after, so did her name.

1994 – New Year’s Eve. DI Leo Thorne has identified similarities between two vicious rapes, but with no evidence to go on, his investigation’s stalled before it’s begun. Then, a sadistic rapist…