Books to Take for a Holiday in Hotels in Side Turkey

If you're the kind of traveller who lets someone else do all the pre-holiday work, and you just show up at the airport with a toothbrush and your passport, then the concept of research may seem a little foreign to you. But those in the know, know: an adventure abroad can be all the better for a little insider knowledge. For example, if your partner tells you they're looking up hotels in Side Turkey on the Internet, imagine being able to say, "Ah yes, I read about that in the Lets' Go, darling - er, let's go!" Even if you only read fiction, there are plenty of opportunities to glean at least a little information on your proposed destination. Here are a few books on Turkey that will help make you an armchair expert.

The Blue Guide to Turkey

If you're planning on a sun holiday in Turkey, just lazing by the pool at one of the luxurious Belek hotels, then you're probably not going to want to give your brain too much of a workout either. No book that deals with the Ottoman or Byzantine eras is going to be a walk in the park, so for some lighter reading, and the opportunity to learn about the history in plain English, the Blue Guide to Turkey is easy to handle and packed full of information. The Blue Guide franchise is known for its no-nonsense yet comprehensive approach to research and accuracy of detail. Often delving into the lesser-known parts of Turkey, the Blue Guide won't give you a review on the best Gumbet hotels, but it will give you a fascinating insight into the country's rich past - and it makes great shade too!

The Forty Rules of Love - Elif Shafak

Yes, we were surprised there were only forty too! While the title of this book has overtones of a self-help book for lovelorn twenty-somethings, it is, in fact, a fictional tale of self-discovery - but not as you have ever known it before. Set mainly in the 13th century, the tale is about a contemporary American housewife who is transformed when she reads an unpublished manuscript about a Sufi poet, Rumi, and the parallels she draws to her own life and loves. Elif Shafak is one of Turkey's most celebrated young authors, winning the Rumi prize for mystical literature. The Forty Rules of Love has sold over half a million copies and is one of the most intriguing and thought provoking cultural novels to come out of Turkey.

Bright Sun, Strong Tea - Tom Brosnahan

You won't find this on any of the best-seller lists, but Tom Brosnahan's amusing and witty memoir is an insightful slant on a foreigner's view of the sometimes closed and confusing world of Turkish culture. Arriving in Turkey in the 1960s as part of the Peace Corps, Brosnahan's easy style and humorous prose take you through his personal experiences in the country as well as touching on some of the history. It is a great all-round portrait of his adopted and much-loved country, but also a very funny and clever read.

Snow - Orhan Pamuk

The recommendations would not be complete without mention of the brilliant Orhan Pamuk - Turkey's most prominent living author and winner of the Nobel Prize. Snow is an extremely thought-provoking novel of modern Turkey, capturing both the political and cultural issues in a web of perfect prose and characterization. Recounted mainly through the voice of Ka, a poet, the themes of love, war and politics blend seamlessly to create a fascinating and suspenseful story.

For your first trip to Turkey, sometimes the unfamiliar names and the impossible pronunciations can make choosing a destination a little confusing. Let's say you start looking and hotels in Side Turkey come up on your screen. Wouldn't it be a little easier if you had actually heard of Side before? Or even knew a little about it? Too much pre-holiday research isn't for everybody, but it is possible to make it fun by reading up not only guidebooks and holiday brochures, but fiction as well. Here are some books with a Turkish flavour that may reveal some interesting facts, or at the very least make for a good read by the pool once you're there.