Top 10 books (sort of) about Egyptology
Published on: 06 January 2017 Author: Rob Lloyd Jones
Rob Lloyd Jones, the author of Wild Boy and Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake, gives us his top ten books about ancient Egypt: a perennial favourite, both at school and for imaginary adventures.
1. The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles 1)
By Rick Riordan (Puffin)
Riordan jumps from the Ancient Greek world of Percy Jackson to an adventure based on the myths of Ancient Egypt. The story is a bit complicated, but it's dripping with interesting information about Ancient Egyptian religion.
2. Casting The Gods Adrift
By Geraldine McCaughrean (A&C Black)
Geraldine McCaughrean! Ancient Egypt! Together! This is a cracking little thriller, set during the reign of one of the most interesting rulers in Egyptian history – the 'heretic king' Akhenaten.
By Dugald Steer and Nick Harris, illustrated by Helen Ward (Templar)
This fictional journal, of an explorer's search for a lost tomb, is bursting with novelties – little treasure maps, letters in envelopes, sketches, and mysterious jewels. So fun you barely notice how much you're learning along the way.
4. Egypt: In Spectacular Cross-Section
By Stephen Biesty (Oxford University Press)
Wonderful cut-away illustrations of temples, pyramids, palaces and tombs. The scenes are incredibly detailed, and super accurate. So much research must have gone into this.
5. Kingdom of the Dead (Voyages Through Time)
by Peter Ackroyd (Dorling Kindersley)
A great overview of Ancient Egyptian history. For such a slim book, it manages to cover a vast period without ever feeling rushed.
6. The Pharaoh's Handbook
by Sam Taplin (Usborne)
Wanna be a pharaoh? This handbook will set you on your way. Tons of information, written in such a fun way, and Paddy Mounter's illustrations are a joy.
7. Egyptian Grammar
by Alan Gardiner (Griffith Institute)
This isn't for children. Or many people, really. It is dry and dull. And huge. And stupidly expensive. But for three years at university it was my best friend, teaching me to read Egyptian hieroglyphics. I used that knowledge as I wrote about Jake Atlas, so I owe this book a shout-out.
8. Crocodile on the Sandbank
by Elizabeth Peters (C&R Crime)
I could fill a whole list with these novels, but I picked the first of historian Amelia Peabody's 19 adventures set in Egypt – where she investigates a murder, and takes on the stuffy male establishment of Victorian archaeology.
9. Cigars of the Pharaoh
by Hergé (Egmont)
Tintin – the world's most famous roving reporter – travels to Egypt to investigate a (slightly complicated) mystery. It's old-fashioned, but I didn't notice that as a boy; I just loved it all.
10. Fingerprints of the Gods
by Graham Hancock (Century)
Egyptologists sneer at so-called 'pyramidiots' – writers with wild theories about who really built the pyramids (Aliens! Survivors from Atlantis!) But I adored this book as a teenager, and it inspired parts of my new novel about the treasure hunter Jake Atlas. Just don't take any of it too seriously...