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Silk Road reading recommendations!

Hi Dear Cameleers!

So we’ve assembled a small reading list for you to consider reading or at least scan through, please note that these are only recommendation we give just to whet your appetite for the upcoming travel.

Some of these books might be bit “heavy” but the knowledge they offer is quite comprehensive. If any of you have a specific topic they are interested in, don’t hesitate to ask!

So first, our absolute favorites:

  • Lost Enlightenment by Frederick Starr – An in depth account of the lost civilization of medieval Central Asia in all its glory, from Math to Architecture, to Poetry and Art.
  • Life along the Silk Road by Susan Whitfield – A very lively and approachable view of the classical age of the Silk Road and the people who walked along it.
  • The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov – An almost must read. The great Kyrgyzstan novelist Chingiz Aitmatov tells a timeless story about love, friendship and tradition during the challenges of the Soviet Era.

Then some extra dive-in options:

  • The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land – Gardner Bovingdon – Dealing with the sad and complex realities of Uyghur existence in contemporary China
  • History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol 1-6 – Advanced reading loaded with fascinating facts and historical reviews.
  • Religions of the Silk Road by R. Foltz – If you are into religions, this book is a great gateway for the ancient traditions of the Great Silk Road, from Zoroastrianism to the Manichean religion, and from Buddhism to Islam.
  • The Silk Road in World History by Xinru Liu – An academic account of the silk road in its global context.
  • The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia by Peter Hopkirk – Of espionage, imperial dreams and conquest during the “Great Game” between Czarist Russia and the British Empire.
  • From Shamanism to Sufism: Women, Islam and Culture in Central Asia by Razia Sultanova – Another recent academic release dealing with women, modern Central Asian societies and  religious practices.
  • Rethinking the Silk Road China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Emerging Eurasian Relations by Mayer, Maximilian (Ed.) – Exploring modern China’s emerging role along the old routes and beyond.
  • The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism by Henry Corbin – A now classic review of some aspects of Sufism in the Persian and Central Asian sphere.
  • Being Muslim in Central Asia by Marlène Laruelle (ed.)- A collection of articles dealing with the many faceted issues involving Muslim communities in post-Soviet Central Asia.
  • Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim On The Silk Road by Sally Wriggins – The story of the great Buddhist scholar and pilgrim Xuan Zang, who also gave inspiration to the great Chinese novel “Journey to the West”
  • The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur – A poetic 13th century Sufi classic.

Enjoy, and see you soon!