Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Books about Marrakech

Since we made Marrakech our base we have basically bought all available books, fiction as well as non-fiction, related to Morocco and Marrakech. In our library, aka "the gold lounge", we have a nice little collection by now and it is great to be able to just go in and browse through the shelves and select a new book to read, for inspiration, education or pleasure.

If you are on your way to Marrakech and - like us - think it is nice to read books about the destination of your travel or if you just want to bring som Moroccan magic into your home we give you our favourite books about our favourite town. All books are available on Amazon (Une Passion Marocaine is however rare and a bit harder to find)

Design Books

Marrakesh by Design by Maryam Montague
This is an amazing book by our dear friend, Maryam. It is both a beautiful coffee table book with inspirational pictures and also a source of information about Morocco, Marrakech, architecture and design. It gives you great ideas for styling and how to bring Marrakech design into your home. If you just buy one book, buy this one!

Yves Saint Laurent - Une passion Marocaine, by Pierre Berge
This is a unique book with private photos and comments by Pierre Berge, the partner of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The book is a piece of art and contains a lot of both photos and drawings by the couple. Pierre writes his own handwritten personal notes and comments. The book has the feeling of a private album and it is an exciting peak into Marrakech in the 60s and 70s when the rock myth begun. 

A peak into the private and fascinating lives of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge in Marrakech. 


Marrakech - living on the edge of the desert by Massimo Lisiri & Daniel Ray
The team from Architectural Digest present their favourite Marrakech properties and pursuade the owners to open up their magnificent homes. This is a beautiful coffee table book showing off some amazing homes and covering both the medina, the Palmairie and surounding areas. Prepare to be seduced!

Living in Morocco by Barabara & Rene Stoeltie
Also here we find seductive pictures of beautiful homes, but we also get to meet the owners who explain their passions for Morocco and the magic of their homes as well as share stories from their lives in Morocco. Living in Morocco - we sure see no reason why not.

Fiction - books featuring Marrakech and/or Morocco as the main character

A year in Marrakesh by Peter Mayne
We bought this book for our very first visit to Marrakech back in 2008. This classical book from 1953 tells the story of Peter Mayne settling down in the Marrakech medina and getting to know the mysteries of the city from within. It is a very well written book about life in the medina in the 50s, not so very different from today. We loved this book som much that we named our blog in it's honor.

The last storytellers by Richard Hamilton
The storyteller tradition is the very heart of Moroccan culture and these ancient stories have been told for thousands of years on the Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakech. The author tracks down the last remaining traditional storytellers and document their stories for the future and for the English speaking audience. A very unique insight in Moroccan culture and heritage. Did you know that movies like "Inception" are based on the ancient "layer over layer" storytelling technique from the Arabic culture?

The caliphs house & In Arabian nights, both by Tahir Shah
Tahir Shah is a Moroccan cult author. The first book "the caliphs house" is about the adventures, cultural clashes, fortunes and misfortunes when his family buys a run down riad in Casablanca. There are many books based on the adventures of foreigners buying a riad in Morocco, other exampes are "a house in Fes" and "Cinnamon City", but the book by Tahir is by far the best one. The second book "in Arabian nights" captures traditional Moroccan storytelling in a modern format.

The voices of Marrakesh by Elias Canetti
Nobel prize winner Canetti was swept away by Marrakech and wrote this novel where he explains his love for the city by focusing on the many sounds of the medina. A beautiful little story about a man's love for a newly discovered city. Very well written.

Marrakesh through a writers eyes, by 10 different writers
George Orwell, Peter Harris and 8 more aclaimed authors share their stories of, and reflections about, Marrakech in 10 short stories. This book collects all Marrakech loving authors in one volume.

Guide Books

Your best source of information when travelling today is of course Trip Advisor, blogs and guide app:s. Printed guide books tend to be outdated before they hit the shelves and especially when it comes to restaurants and hotels where the scene changes so quickly. If you want a traditional guide book you can buy First Class or Lonley Planet.

Hg2 Marrakech (Hedonist guide to Marrakech) & Wallpaper City Guide Marrakech
For relevant information on bars, restaurants and hotels the lates edition of these two books are your best choice. Thet focus on the trendy and upscale scene in Marrakech and where our loyal advisors during our first trip. For personal and updated information on bars, spa:s, restaurants and hotels check out the Insiders Guide section of this blog, where we collect our favorites.

Our little library in "the gold lounge" of our riad

We know you will find new inspiration and learn more about Morocco if you pick up some of these books before your travel and why not bring some Moroccan magic into your own home?

Time to put down the iPad and pick out a new book!
Have a great day!

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