Recommended Readings

Suggested by Susan Dixon Renoe…

Books for children ages 10 and older, Roman, Greek, and Gilgamesh themed books, historical novels, non-fiction, and mystery stories.

For ages 10 and up

Digging for the Past Series

This series is great because the books are written by well-known writers and scholars so the books are easy to read and archaeologically accurate.  The books have excellent illustrations.

Stonehenge by Caroline Malone and Nancy Stone Bernard
Valley of the Kings by Stuart Tyson Smith and Nancy Stone Bernard
Cahokia Mounds by Timothy Pauketat and Nancy Bernard Stone
The Palace of Minos at Knossos by Chris Scarre and Rebecca Stefoff
Chaco Canyon by R. Gwinn Vivian and Margaret Anderson

Roman times

The October Horse:  A Novel of Caesar & Cleopatra by Colleen McCullough is a superb finale to this series with  a literate telling of  the last days of Caesar's life.

The King's Gambit (SPQR I) by John Maddox Roberts is an intriguing #1 in  a  5-book   Roman Republic series.  

Pompeii by Robert Harris and Gods & Legions: A Novel of the Roman Empire (portrait of  Emperor Julian, The Apostate, set in AD 354) by Michael Curtis Ford (author of The Ten Thousand: A Novel of Ancient Greece set in 400 BC).  Both are based on  fascinating  archaeological/historical  evidence.

Greek times

The Athenian Murders by Jose Carolos Somozo is a strange murder mystery that interweaves  an ancient Greek manuscript with the modern translator's anxieties.

Gilgamesh theme

West of Babylon  by Eduardo Garrigues  combines 19th century  New Mexico, with the Navajo myth of the twins who resemble Gilgamesh & Enkidu.

Historical novels

India Treasures: An Epic Novel of Rajasthan & Northern India through the Ages by Gary Worthington featuring Ashoka, the Buddha, the Ajanta cave artist  and Emperor Akbar all connected to the hero, a 1970s tax collector.

The Music of the Spheres by E. Redfern set  in 1795  London  with French spies and clerks seduced by astronomy.  

The Archer's Tale and Vagabond, a series  about the 100 years war (14th century) by Bernard Cornwell

Time & Chance by Sharon Kay Penman (Henry II, Thomas Becket  & Eleanor of Aquitaine)

Colour by Rose  Tremaine (19th century New Zealand gold rush)

Flashback by Nevada Barr (unusual glimpse of the end of the Civil War at a Union prison camp).

Traditionalists and modern Indians clash in Tracking Bear by Aimee & David Thurlo as well as in Blood Is the Sky by Steve Hamilton - both good reads! 

Ex Libris by Ross King (author of excellent Brunelleschi's Dome) set in 17th century London about a lost library (amazing how many of these books really exist - check Google!)

Two by David Liis: The Coffee Trader set in 17th century Amsterdam and A Conspiracy of Paper set in 18th century London

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl set in 19th century Boston starring Longfellow, Lowell & Oliver Wendell Holmes. 


T Rex & the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez

Intrigued by the best seller  The Da Vinci Code?  Read the pseudo-non-fiction account that it's based on:  Holy Blood, Holy Grail by  Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.

The Last Crossing (includes Jerry Potts, a historical "half-breed" hero) by Guy Vanderhaeghe

I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company: A Novel of Lewis and Clark by Brian Hall.  


The Lost Army of Cambyses by Paul Sussman

Dragon Bones by Lisa See

Haunted Ground by Erin Hart. 

The Jupiter Myth: a Marcus Didius Falco mystery novel by Lindsey Davis set in Londonium

The Right Hand of Amon by Lauren Haney is another Lt. Bak ancient Egyptian tour de force. How does she get the smells, sounds and looks  of Hatshepsut's  world at  the  2nd cataract?

For Navajo policewoman Ella Clah series by Aimee and David Thurlo:   Red Mesa, Tracking Bear and Wind Spirit  are some of the best.

Dug to Death and Death by Theory by Adrian Praetzellis--love these books!


Posted by P.L. Jeppson 03/22/05