Complete Idiot's Guide to Ancient Egypt
most of the "idiot's guides", this one is
a simplistic, often gradeschool-level, introduction
to the culture of ancient egypt. The style of the
book is very tongue-in-cheek, with icons and humorous
line drawings interspersed with short descriptions
and historic notes.
The information is accurate enough, if a bit short,
and the book does give you a high-level overview
of Ancient Egypt that is more than adequate preparation
for a trip. I have to admit that the cutesy drawings
are a bit of a turn off for me -- it's hard to take
the author seriously when the whole books is so cartoonish
-- but it's a fun read, nonetheless.
I don't usually buy the Idiot's Guides, or their siblings
the ___for Dummies books or K.I.S.S. books. They don't
go into enough depth to be really useful but if you
want to be reasonably conversant on the basics after
a single sitting, these are the books for you.
That sounds terrible, doesn't it? Like I've just
insulted anyone who would buy one of these books.
That's not what I meant at all. It's just that if
you are serious about learning the history of Egypt,
this book will get you started but it just can't
fulfill the needs of a serious student or interested
A much more interesting intro (although not as complete
as even the Idiot's Guide's are) is the Horrible Histories books, which are a quick, funny look at the culture.
I picked up about a dozen when were were in Scotland.
To be honest, they are bathroom reading -- you know,
the books you leave on the back of the sink... --
If you're looking for a readable, non-dry history
book, then I'd definitely recommend Temples, Tombs
and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz, a very readable, enjoyable history
of Egypt that is a far cry from the scholarly works that put me to sleep in college.