The most recommended books about Turkey

Who picked these books? Meet our 83 experts.

83 authors created a book list connected to Turkey, and here are their favorite Turkey books.
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What type of Turkey book?


Vulture View

By April Pulley Sayre, Steve Jenkins (illustrator),

Book cover of Vulture View

Maria Gianferrari Author Of Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story

From the list on read aloud bird books for kids.

Who am I?

I may not be an expert ornithologist, but I am an avid “birdologist” to borrow a term from Sy Montgomery—one who is awed and fascinated by all things bird. Bird-watching is meditative—it helps me to be present and to feel joyful. I love reading, learning, and writing about birds too! I am the author of these bird books: Hawk Rising, illustrated by Brian Floca, Whoo-Ku Haiku, illustrated by Jonathan Voss, and the forthcoming You and the Bowerbird, illustrated by Maris Wicks. I love writing about the natural world and its inhabitants as well as dogs—another love of mine!

Maria's book list on read aloud bird books for kids

Why did Maria love this book?

In mostly rhyming couplets, Sayre’s book celebrates the lowly turkey vulture, an unsung and underappreciated creature that plays a very vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem—scavengers are nature’s clean-up crew! View vultures as they circle, soar, and glide on thermals, up, UP! Watch them sniff, search, seek and eat things that reek, the more rotten the better. Vultures feast, then clean and preen. At night, they roost and rest in trees like families. Jenkins’ cut paper collages complete this homage to the venerable turkey vulture. Explore more turkey vulture facts in the concluding pages.

By April Pulley Sayre, Steve Jenkins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Turkey vultures soar on the balmy air, looking for their next stinky feast. These birds don't hunt―they like their food to be already dead, and their eating habits serve a very important ecological role. Vultures are part of nature's clean-up crew.

In her signature poetic, energetic style, acclaimed nature writer April Pulley Sayre introduces young readers to the world of the turkey vulture. The gorgeous illustrations by Caldecott Honor–winning artist Steve Jenkins capture these birds in all their surprising majesty.

Vulture View is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Turkey Trouble

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Book cover of Turkey Trouble

Dian Curtis Regan Author Of Fangsgiving

From the list on gather-round-and-share stories for Thanksgiving.

Who am I?

I am the author of many books for young readers, ranging from picture books to YA novels and novellas. Where did this book come from? After Scholastic published My Zombie Valentine, it did so well, they asked me to write another "funny/scary" title for Christmas, so I wrote The Vampire Who Came for Christmas. Then they asked me to write another holiday book for the next year, and this time, they gave me a title: Home for the Howlidays. Then, they asked me to write one more funny/scary story, but this time, for Thanksgiving. And again, they gave me the title: Fangsgiving. The books have become known as the Holiday Monster Series.

Dian's book list on gather-round-and-share stories for Thanksgiving

Why did Dian love this book?

Turkey has a problem. Thanksgiving is on the way. Maybe if Turkey wears a disguise, the farmer won't recognize him. He'll make the farmer think he's one of the horses. Great idea–until Cow figures it out. So, Turkey disguises himself as a cow. Another great idea—until Pig figures it out. Finally, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise. This story made me laugh out loud, and I'm sure it will have the same effect on young readers. Funny illustrations by Lee Harper add to the silliness.

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving...and you're the main course. But Turkey has an idea-what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?

After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

Wendi Silvano's comical story is perfectly matched by Lee Harper's watercolors.

Turkey Claus

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Book cover of Turkey Claus

Dawn Young Author Of Once Upon a Christmas

From the list on fun and festive Christmas pictures.

Who am I?

I write funny picture books. Since some of my best memories include reading to my kids while they were plopped in my lap, giggling at silly, fun picture books, I want to bring that same joy to families everywhere. I’m in awe of clever humor, and I’m especially fond of wordplay, puns, and jokes. Of all the holidays, Christmas is my favorite. The tree, the décor, and the traditions bring so much merriment. When my kids were young, reading Christmas books was a huge part of our holiday. Once Upon a Christmas gave me the chance to write a humorous, fun, and festive story that families can enjoy together.

Dawn's book list on fun and festive Christmas pictures

Why did Dawn love this book?

Turkey Claus is part of the Turkey Trouble series and my favorite of the set. Turkey’s attempts to disguise himself in order to see Santa are clever and fun, and his facial expressions are animated and spot on. Turkey’s Mrs. Claus costume is the best, and the earrings are a hoot! I love clever wordplay, and Turkey Claus is filled with some of the best – “Ho Ho Hold it” “Wait a merry minute!” and “Snow way!” Santa’s Village, the trees, and décor add to the Christmas spirit, and the humor makes it fun to read. 

And spoiler alert – count me in for pizza on Christmas!

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Turkey is in trouble. Again. He made it through Thanksgiving without becoming a turkey dinner, but now it's almost Christmas, and guess what's on the menu? Turkey decides the only thing to do is to ask Santa for help. He sets off for the North Pole, but getting in to see Santa at Christmastime isn't as easy as Turkey expected. It's going to take all his ideas-and his clever disguises-to find a way into Santa's house. After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise, and Santa has the perfect solution!

In this holiday treat, a companion to…

The Ottoman World

By Hakan T. Karateke (editor), Helga Anetshofer (editor),

Book cover of The Ottoman World: A Cultural History Reader, 1450-1700

Caroline Finkel Author Of Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire

From the list on the Ottoman Empire.

Who am I?

I am a Scottish Ottoman historian who has lived half my life in Istanbul. Realising that the archive-based research of my PhD and after was read by too few, I wrote Osman's Dream, which has been translated into several languages and is read generally, as well as by students. I am fascinated by the 'where' of history, and follow historical routes the slow way, by foot or on horseback, to reach the sites where events occurred. That's the thing about living where the history you study happened: its traces and artefacts are all around, every day. I hope I have brought a sense of Ottoman place to Osman's Dream.

Caroline's book list on the Ottoman Empire

Why did Caroline love this book?

The workings of the state and the actions of state functionaries have long supplied the essential narrative informing our understanding of Ottoman history. This new volume by University of Chicago partner scholars is the first to give a platform to a wide spectrum of voices hailing from across the sultan's multilingual realm. Women and men, Muslims, Jews and Christians, prisoners and prostitutes, mystics and scholars, and a host of others, reach across the centuries to beguile us with their dreams and legends, anecdotes and jokes, biographies, and hagiographies. Although billed also as a textbook, as is customary these days in order to reach the widest readership, this book is for anyone who seeks affinity with the people of the early modern Ottoman world.

By Hakan T. Karateke (editor), Helga Anetshofer (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Ottoman lands, which extended from modern Hungary to the Arabian peninsula, were home to a vast population with a rich variety of cultures. The Ottoman World is the first primary source reader to bring a wide and diverse set of voices across Ottoman society into the classroom. Written in many languages-not only Ottoman Turkish but also Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, and Persian-these texts, here translated, span the extent of the early modern Ottoman empire, from the 1450s to 1700.

Instructors are supplied with narratives conveying the lived experiences of individuals through texts that highlight human variety and accelerate…

Book cover of Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey: Who is a Turk?

Ceren Sengül Author Of Customized Forms of Kurdishness in Turkey: State Rhetoric, Locality, and Language Use

From the list on the relationship between Turkey and Kurds.

Who am I?

I have always been interested in political and social events around me, and being from Turkey, it was inevitable not to be surrounded by the news of the conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK that has been going on for decades. However, perhaps due to being a member of the non-Muslim minority community of Turkey myself, I have always been interested in the ‘non-mainstream’ explanations of a state-ethnic group conflict. This interest in alternative explanations led me to study an MSc in Nationalism Studies and to a PhD in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, with the focus of my thesis being Kurdishness in Turkey. 

Ceren's book list on the relationship between Turkey and Kurds

Why did Ceren love this book?

I read this book while I was writing my PhD thesis, and it has had a tremendous impact in shaping the historical chapter of my thesis, i.e. how the Kemalist Turkey of the interwar period viewed its citizens and how ‘the ideal Turk’ was constructed.

I have also cited many of the historical archives that were presented in this book.

If there are scholars and people who have an interest in Turkey with no earlier background in Turkey, this book is a brilliant introduction to understand why Kemalism, the founding ideology of the Turkish Republic, has an obsession with Kurds but also with other non-Turkish citizens. 

By Soner Cagaptay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is commonly believed that during the interwar period, Kemalist secularism successfully eliminated religion from the public sphere in Turkey, leaving Turkish national identity devoid of religious content. However, through its examination of the impact of the Ottoman millet system on Turkish and Balkan nationalisms, this book presents a different view point. Cagaptay demonstrates that the legacy of the Ottomon millet system which divided the Ottoman population into religious compartments called millets, shaped Turkey's understanding of nationalism in the interwar period. Providing a compelling examination of why and how religion shapes national identity in Turkey and the Balkans the book…

Book cover of The Architect's Apprentice

Coirle Mooney Author Of My Lady's Shadow: Power and intrigue in Medieval France

From the list on escape the everyday into sensuous landscapes.

Who am I?

In the Spring of 2006, I went to the south of France searching for troubadours. It was my MA year and my thesis was looking at the influence of the courtly love tradition on Chaucer’s writing. Troubadours (and the female, trobairitz) were nowhere to be found. The closest I came was a café named Le Troubadour. However, evidence of their lyrics was there in the beauty and lushness of Languedoc in spring. I'm always drawn to the poetry, landscapes, and love stories of the past and have experienced how these connections enrich my life. I've completed a PhD in seventeenth-century literature and become an historical fiction novelist and a devotee of history and historical fiction. 

Coirle's book list on escape the everyday into sensuous landscapes

Why did Coirle love this book?

A mammoth of an historical novel set in the time of the Ottoman Empire.

A unique love story between the elephant keeper (and royal architect) Jahan, his special white elephant, Chota, and the interesting princess Mihrimah. As funny as it is heartbreaking, with characters so compelling they felt like cherished friends mourned and missed at parting, but whom I’ll always remember with deep fondness.   

By Elif Shafak,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Architect's Apprentice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dazzling and intricate tale from Elif Shafak, Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World - chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall's online book club The Reading Room

'There were six of us: the master, the apprentices and the white elephant. We built everything together...'

Sixteenth century Istanbul: a stowaway arrives in the city bearing an extraordinary gift for the Sultan. The boy is utterly alone in a foreign land, with no worldly possessions to his name except Chota, a rare white elephant destined for the palace menagerie.

So begins an epic adventure that will see…

The Marquess is Mine

By Tamara Gill,

Book cover of The Marquess is Mine

Emmanuelle de Maupassant Author Of The Lady's Guide to Mistletoe and Mayhem

From the list on Christmas romances set at country houses.

Who am I?

Historical romance author Emmanuelle lives on the bonny banks of Loch Fyne with her husband and beloved haggis pudding Archie McFloof—connoisseur of bacon treats and squeaky toys.
While waiting on her own country house party invitation [sending a wink to Inveraray Castle—which is just down the road, and boasts a duke!] she makes do by serving up imaginary shenanigans.  

Emmanuelle's book list on Christmas romances set at country houses

Why did Emmanuelle love this book?

I have a super soft spot for ‘second chance’ romances. Here, our heroine’s long-broken heart skips several beats on being confronted by the dashingly handsome culprit at a Christmas Ball. Having forsaken the only woman he has ever loved, our hero has just one chance to make amends. How will he regain her trust, persuading her that he’ll never again let her down? You’ll be rooting for them both to find the happiness they deserve. 

By Tamara Gill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Marquess is Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She’ll never let anyone break her heart. Not again, anyway…

Lady Sarah Farley has learned many of life’s lessons the hard way. She now knows the ton will viciously turn on anyone, anytime. And love? That only brings devastation. But when a particularly handsome ghost from her past re-emerges, she can’t help but wonder if life is about to teach her poor wounded heart yet another painful, unwanted lesson.

Lord Giles Longe, Marques Gordan, never wanted to hurt Sarah. But he couldn’t have married her back then. His father wouldn’t have allowed it. Everything is different now, though. He will…

Rituals and Power

By S. R. F. Price,

Book cover of Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor

Rebecca I. Denova Author Of Greek and Roman Religions

From the list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans.

Who am I?

Growing up, I could never “get” the secrets of math or science. If I could, I would have been an archaeologist. But I was always interested in “origins;” where do our modern ideas come from? My passion for reading led me to begin to uncover “origins” (or, the element of “looking for clues” in a “murder mystery”). Uncovering “ancient origins” entails thoroughly exploring ancient society. I continue to daily keep up with the research and new interpretations in the study of these fascinating worlds.

Rebecca's book list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans

Why did Rebecca love this book?

Price traces religious concepts of Asia Province from their origins as Greek colonies to the changes adapted and introduced by Rome through Augustus’ Imperial Cult. This text highlights religious life in one of the major provinces. The advantage of this book is that Price coordinates the history with the latest archaeological excavations in Turkey

By S. R. F. Price,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his study of the Greek cults of the Roman emperor in Asia minor, Simon Price attempts to discover why the Roman Emperor was treated like a god. He contends that ever since the emergence of Christianity within the Roman Empire the problem has been misinterpreted; a Christianizing distinction between religion and politics has led to the cult being considered simply as a form of political honours. Drawing on anthropology as well as numismatics and archaeology, literary sources and inscriptions, Dr Price offers a fundamentally different perspective. He examines how the Greek cults of the Roman Emperor located the Emperor…

Book cover of The King at the Edge of the World

Clifford Garstang Author Of Oliver's Travels

From Clifford's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Fiction writer Globalist Lawyer Philosopher Seeker

Clifford's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Clifford love this book?

One thing that makes a book great is its uniqueness.

This story of a Turkish physician who finds himself in the court of Queen Elizabeth I and who becomes involved in the intrigue concerning the success of James I is unlike anything I’ve read before. It felt thoroughly authentic and compelling.

While thephysician's charactern is fictional, the period’s conflict between Protestants and Catholics is very real and was an added, informative element of the novel.

By Arthur Phillips,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The King at the Edge of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Queen Elizabeth’s spymasters recruit an unlikely agent—the only Muslim in England—for an impossible mission in a mesmerizing novel from “one of the best writers in America” (The Washington Post)

“Evokes flashes of Hilary Mantel, John le Carré and Graham Greene, but the wry, tricky plot that drives it is pure Arthur Phillips.”—The Wall Street Journal

The year is 1601. Queen Elizabeth I is dying, childless. Her nervous kingdom has no heir. It is a capital crime even to think that…

Defeat of Rome in the East

By Gareth C. Sampson,

Book cover of Defeat of Rome in the East: Crassus, the Parthians, and the Disastrous Battle of Carrhae, 53 BC

Peter Darman Author Of Pacorus

From the list on the Parthian Empire from a history lover.

Who am I? Why this topic?

My interest in Parthia began with a desire to write a novel about the Spartacus slave rebellion. I first became interested in the Thracian after seeing the Stanley Kubrick film Spartacus as a boy, my interest growing over the years. Knowing there were quite a few fiction accounts of the slave leader, I wanted to find a new perspective. This led me to devise a story around a Parthian prince who is captured by the Romans and ends up fighting in the slave army. ‘The Parthian’ was born, as was my interest in the Parthian Empire, which would lead to the Parthian Chronicles series of novels and to date over 10 years of research into the Parthian Empire. I do not pretend to be an expert on the topic, but I hope my novels have shed light on an empire that lasted nearly 500 years but is almost unknown in the West. I also hope they spur readers on to explore the history of Parthia for themselves and to discover more about a fascinating people.

Peter's book list on the Parthian Empire from a history lover

Why did Peter love this book?

Rome suffered many military reverses during the course of its 800-year history, but of them all the reverse at Carrhae in 53BC was more keenly felt than any other (even the disaster in the Teutoburg Forest resulted in the loss of only three eagles). The loss of seven eagles to the barbarian Parthians stunned the Roman world and led to a crisis of confidence, made worse by the realisation that an army of 50,000 Romans had been defeated by 10,000 Parthians. This excellent title explores the background to the battle and how the numerically inferior Parthians were able to defeat the army of Marcus Licinius Crassus.

By Gareth C. Sampson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Defeat of Rome in the East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 53BC the Proconsul Marcus Crassus and 36,000 of his legionaries were crushed by the Parthians at Carrhae in what is now eastern Turkey. Crassus' defeat and death and the 20,000 casualties his army suffered were an extraordinary disaster for Rome. The event intensified the bitter, destructive struggle for power in the Roman republic, curtailed the empire's eastward expansion and had a lasting impact on the history of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It was also the first clash between two of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world. Yet this critical episode has often been neglected by writers…