Thames & Hudson, $18.95, 144 pages
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit ancient Egypt in 1250 B.C.? You’ll feel just like a time traveler when you read Donald P. Ryan’s Ancient Egypt on 5 Deben a Day. Written like a travel guide, the book is filled with advice on everything from deciphering hieroglyphics to where to find the best souvenirs (textiles, papyrus, amulets, jewelry, and a wooden or stone pillow). A list of Gods and their powers will aid visitors in better understanding the culture. Take advantage of the most modern clothing options while you tour the marketplaces, temples, and palaces. A tunic, skirt, and sandals will keep you cool. Are you looking for a remedy for baldness? The local soonoo (Egyptian physician) will likely slather your head with fat from a lion, hippopotamus, crocodile, cat, snake, and ibex!
One of the book’s funniest sections is “Useful Phrases” where travelers will find important Egyptian vocabulary such as “My donkey is ill,” “Does this loincloth make me look fat?” and “Truthfully, mummies frighten me.” Ryan has a great sense of humor and this reflects in his travel advice. Have a wonderful armchair vacation!
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin