Turkish Reflections by Mary Lee Settle

Turkish Reflections

Mary Settle offers us an intimate portrait of a Turkey rarely seen-a land where the cutting of a tree is a crime, where goats are sacrificed to launch state-of-the-art ships, and where whole towns emerge at dusk to stroll in the streets. She finds ancient monasteries converted into discos, underground cities carved out of rock, and sleek jet-set yachts alongside camels piled high with copper pots. She follows in the footsteps of emperors and noma...

Details Turkish Reflections

TitleTurkish Reflections
Release DateJun 15th, 1992
GenreTravel, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, History

Reviews Turkish Reflections

  • Leanna
    After reading a culture guide on Turkey, I discovered a review on Amazon recommending Mary Lee Settle’s “destination book” Turkish Reflections: A Biography of a Place. I immediately bought the book, but my eagerness quickly disappeared after I opened it.Settle travels throughout Turkey and concentrates on the places she visits rather than the people she meets or the Turkish culture. Unfortunately for me, I am much more interested in human-h...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    This is my last Turkish read in a year where I tried to read a lot of books about, from, and set in Turkey. I have to admit that this was a bit of a let-down. Mary Lee Settle returns to Turkey in 1989 after spending three years there in the early 1970s, and attempts to write a biography of the country based on her own encounters with it. 1989, when even a westerner was still seeing Atatürk through rose-colored glasses (she mentions him often, an...
  • Teneke
    I couldn't make it past 50 pages of this book. The author's style was terribly disjointed and standoffish. Although I very much hope to visit Turkey someday, if I was on the fence, this book would have pushed me over to the other side. Disappointing.
  • Paul Haspel
    The nation of Turkey has held an important place in the literary career of Mary Lee Settle; she lived there from 1972 to 1974, and her 1978 novel Blood Tie, with its Turkish setting, won the National Book Award. Perhaps it is no wonder, therefore, that she has written Turkish Reflections: A Biography of a Place as her contribution to Touchstone Books' "Destination Series," a series of travel books written by authors of recognized literary excelle...
  • Al
    Ms. Settle writes engagingly of early days living in Turkey, and how she became a lifelong fan of all things Turkish. Much of the book is devoted to her travels through central and eastern Turkey in search of particular archaeological remains. She is a comfortable companion, and provides many nice descriptions and vignettes of Turkish daily life. Ms. Settle's style didn't really appeal to me, but this is certainly a good read for those who are in...
  • Kyra
    Interesting but a bit too long & repetitious towards the end. If you are interested in Asia Minor and/or Turkey and its Seljuk/Byzantine/Ottoman past this book does add a different perspective to the popular Western perception of Turkey. Reading it in conjunction with Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres might be a good idea. I mean, was Kemal Ataturk that perfect a hero ?
  • Bob Newman
    Turkey---It's More Than Just RuinsEveryone who writes a book about their travels around the USA, or on life in some part of it, is not required to write sections on the genocide of the American Indians or on slavery. They MIGHT, but it's not how we need to judge the quality of the book. Similarly, books on Turkey do NOT have to have judgements or pronouncements about Armenians. Turkey is a lot more than that awful chapter in human history---and a...
  • Aisha
    Seriously one of the best books I have ever read. Take your time while reading... Settle gives you so much information, culture and history about Turkey that you might have difficulty digesting it all in one sitting.
  • Roberta
    A very contemplative read and a good companion the The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire, which covers parts of the same territory. I haven't read other books by this author but she seems to have a reflective style, presenting history, myth, opinion and observation in an unhurried and involving way. I love the way she describes the innate dignity and courtesy of the Turkish people and it's i...
  • Lorraine
    Oh, this was lovely, lovely, lovely! History, culture, travel, it evokes the mystery and beauty of Turkey in a way that made me feel like I was revisiting well-known and loved places! And yesterday, when I went to Chicago's 5th Annual Turkish Festival, I didn't feel like a stranger, but more like a friend! The dancers and costumes and food and music and art were great, and especially moving were the whirling dervishes, which I had always envision...
  • Kathy
    I bought this book to read before traveling to Turkey this summer. Sadly, I didn't have a chance to read it before the trip and only started it on the day we flew from Istanbul back to the States. Nevertheless, I found it a good read and beautifully written. Having been to some of the places written about, it was a wonderful re-visit and a delightful extension of the trip. It piqued my interest for a return trip to explore other areas I missed. T...
  • Tuck
    author settle goes back to turkey to re-visit some of the themes and places she was at back in the 70's. this starts a bit slow (just as her novels) but its all worth it to stay with it. fantastic insight in to turkey, western civilization (so-called), and how her novel "blood ties" came to be (though she doesn't specially ever even mention her novel, you can just tell). this is part of a series by touchstone book, called Destinations Book, jan m...
  • Cheryl
    An interesting look into the history and character of Turkey which I picked up to read prior to my trip to Turkey. I finished reading it about 45 minutes before my ride to the airport to leave Turkey. For some reason, I was expecting a travelogue/travel narrative, but the book was exactly what it purported to be: a biography of a place. It covered pre-historic times to modern times, including Genghis Khan and Ataturk and all manner of other thing...
  • Laurie
    Great book to read if you're traveling or have traveled to the Turkish cities Mary Lee Settle reflects upon as she travels to find evidence of the lasting impact of the Seljuks reign on Turkish culture (1016AD-1155AD). Her book offers a mix of historical facts and personal experience living in Turkey for three years.
  • Nancy
    Recommended by my childrens' pediatrician upon hearing we will be traveling to Turkey next week. A destination travel book, written by a novelist. Not finding the historical detail I was seeking, I skimmed the book for those passages related the the areas we will explore: Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ephesus and Izmir (on the Aegean coast). A good introduction into the culture of Turkey.
  • Jetreno
    An author goes to Turkey to find a place to write. Along the way she explains aboutthe country, the people, the formation of the countries, etc. Well written. She letsyou "see" the environment from many different views. I think this would be a good bookto read if you have an interest in history or in visiting this part of the world.
  • mim
    This is the sixth book I'm reading that is about or takes place in Turkey. So far, I'm really enjoying this book and would recommend it to anyone who plans to go to Istanbul or who has been to Istanbul (or Turkey.)
  • Hummingbird Farms
    A wonderful historical overview as she searched for traces of Aladdin's Kingdom by finding the remnants of the Seljuk Era (1016AD-1155AD) architecture along the ancient Silk Road. Also Settle's cultural reflections will be helpful for an upcoming trip to Turkey.
  • Thavakumar Kandiahpillai
    The author is very passionate about her travels in Turkey and indeed, there is a lot to share, understand, and see in this proud and complex country with a very, very, long history. But the writing could be more engaging.
  • Atalay
    Compared to Seal's, Lawlor's Glazebrook's travel accounts Settle gives a more balanced representation of Turkey. She ties to understand the the Turkish Zeitgeist.
  • Lydia
    a good book to read after you've read a Turkey travel guide...it was hard for me to keep the places straight while Mary Lee was rambling from encounter to encounter.
  • Milt
  • Jon Stout
    I read this book because I had previously enjoyed Spanish Recognitions. The book indeed gave me a wonderful sense of place, as Mary Lee Settle interacted with the Turkish people.
  • Katherine
    A leisurly visit to the country with history and culture liberally sprinkled throughout.
  • Megan
    Lovely armchair travel, but what I want to know is how the author mastered a language that has something like 30 verb tenses in such a short time.
  • Kristin
    So good, it got me excited for my trip. Gave me a real sense of the place and atmosphere.