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Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses, and Saints
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Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses, and Saints

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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  22 reviews
When Joy Stocke and Angie Brenner meet on the balcony of a guesthouse in a small resort town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, they think they have only a mutual friend and a summer dream in common. Soon, they discover a shared love of travel, history, culture, cuisine, and literature; and they begin a ten-year odyssey through Turkey.

Inspired by the poetry of thirteent
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Paperback, 264 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Wild River Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 595)
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Blue
Thanks Goodreads First Reads giveaways for a copy of this book.

When I picked up this book, I was worried that it was going to be either the unrealistic, romanticized view of Turkey by foreign women or a comparison piece, where Turkey is compared to the East and West relentlessly. Instead, Stocke and Brenner tell a frank, entertaining, and informative story of their many visits and their developing relationship with the country, its culture, and its people. This is not to say that they are unbias
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Ricardo Ribeiro
Mostly boring. The only chapter catching my attention was the one in Van. Otherwise the prose didn't appeal to me. Too many times I felt like reading a girlie book. And the male writing this is one of the biggest fans of Sex and the City and usual spectator of all those films labeled as "for the girls". But with this book I often felt excluded, like... the authors are writing to girls, not to me. This was just one of the reasons I didn't like the book though. Overall I found nothing entertaining ...more
Jan
I was expecting to fall in love with Turkey while reading this book. But the writing did not appeal to me and often got the way of achieving that outcome. I never really got a sense from these two women’s experiences what wonders this country holds for those who visit it. Over and over again, I’d think it was going to pick up when the author shared a bit of history that sparked my interest and I thought – here is what I was hoping for. But then the narrative would somehow fall flat or the subjec ...more
Melissa
I have dreams of traveling to far off places. But lacking a passport and the funds I do my traveling through reading. And this was a nice book to read, although I didn't quite get the vision of Turkey like I had hoped.

Joy Stocke and Angie Brenner meet when they agree to help a friend with a pension (bed & breakfast) she has bought in Turkey. Arriving though, they find the place in deplorable shape and their help no where to be found. After trying to make it work they decide to move on, but b
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Amy Softa
This book was an enjoyable read for me, and probably meant more to me than to someone who has never been to Turkey. You can tell these ladies loved Turkey and they did a good job of showing the good along with the bad of Turkish Culture. Turkey and Turks are not perfect, but the country is what it is, a clash of old and new, east and west, and is a wonderful place to fall in love with...if you can accept its good along with its bad. You also need to remember that the Turkish Republic is itself a ...more
Frank
I've been slow doing this review because this book is special and is not one to be rushed nor fully appreciated in one reading. I could tell that when I first started it. This truly is a love affair between two women and a certain land. That land is not just a place but a feeling; a culture; a people of past countless souls; yet all blended into the present moment. I have always been intrigued with Turkey and have it on my list for this year. I was on a ship headed there ten years ago but the wa ...more
Barbara
I loved this book. Not only a great travel book but a lesson in history, religion and relationships. I felt like I traveled right along with them. A great experience, one that I will probably never get to experience in person but at least I could ride along with Joy and Angie. They left some of the mystery of Turkey with me. Enough so, that I want to read more and more. Thank you for the book I won. First class.
Claire
I couldn't access the computer for a while, so I just kept reading this travelogue until it ended.

The good things about it are that it helped me start to learn Turkish (merhaba! *wavewavewave* But also this book referred to stuff like rakı which I should only sip, like maotai or vodka, though I think the two liquors I named are a bit stronger), was quick and easy, and gave me sort of a cultural overview from the viewpoint of two American tourists.
I also really like the pronunciation guide at the
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Allison
A great book for anyone wanting to learn more about Turkey, without being dull. I loved the personal narratives within this book, fused with history and culture. Very well written.
Sarah
I read this while traveling through Turkey. Perfect! I was sad when the book ended -- and sad when my trip ended!
Nick Marsellas
This piece of travel literature holds all of the presuppositions that Edward Said fought against in his critique of Orientalism, but one cannot help but feel drawn to Stocke's beautiful portrayal of Turkey. The two main characters show a genuine interest in the cultural and religious history of the country. However, having visited Turkey, I can safely say that not all of Anatolia is as picturesque as this book imagines. As Said mentions, we have a hard time breaking out of our preconceived notio ...more
Kari
Unfortunately boring. I was hoping to fall in love with Turkey while reading this book, that sadly did not happen.
C-shaw
Interesting, well-written, real-life adventure of two women traveling around Turkey.

* * * * *
Later: Well, I really liked the first 2/3 of this book, which had some good quotations, simple Turkish words to learn, and intriguing scenarios. The two chicks who wrote it went back to the States, then returned for another trip, dividing the book between the two trip adventures. The second part was pretty dull, mostly about them visiting old friends, drinking and waxing wishy-washy. I downgraded my init
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Magda
I don't know. Too superficial? Too much historical information pressed into what should have been spontanious conversations. It did not feel genuine because of that. Showing off there historical knowlegde of Turkey did not convince me at all of there love for the country. I still think they are a bit naïeve. And that bothered me reading it. What should have been a personal book still feels like a school assignement. I was dissapointed... I like turkey a lot. And i know some more About it's rich ...more
Annette Lyttle
This book doesn't seem to have a point, other than "we went here, we went there, we met some people, we liked some of it, some of it was weird." I had little more sense of Turkey when I'd finished than I did when I started, which is too bad because I really wanted to learn about Turkey. Neither writer had a recognizable voice, so it was hard to remember who was writing which chapter, unless there was sex involved, in which case I knew it was the unmarried one.
Hummingbird Farms
Agreed: "Interesting, well-written, real-life adventure of two women traveling around Turkey."
"Turkey is an unconventional beauty, waiting for someone to recognize just how special, strange, and unexpected it really is. Stocke and Brenner have done just that in their book."
Allison
This book started much stronger than it finished (for me), but I loved it nonetheless. The details were so evocative, I could almost imagine I was there. I'm a fan of travel writing already, and this was definitely one of the best of the genre.

I've definitely added a new destination to my map for the future.
Amanda
An ok travelog that makes you interested to experience Turkey for yourself, but not memorable enough to make you feel like you there if you never were.
Kelley
I enjoyed the historical, cultural, and travelogue sections of the book but could have done without all the drama!
Katherine
Enjoyable look at Turkish culture from the eyes of two young women looking for adventure.
Linda Caldwell
A bit frivolous and superficial....
Jenni
Marvelous evocative prose.
Ismail
Ismail marked it as to-read
Aug 01, 2015
Meltem
Meltem marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2015
Maha Khan
Maha Khan marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2015
Allyson
Allyson marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2015
Marcel Patrick
Marcel Patrick marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
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Joy E. Stocke has been traveling to and writing about Turkey and the eastern Aegean since 1982. Her quest to discover the roots of Western religion has brought her to all of Turkey's borders. She is the author of a novel, Ugly Cookies, and a collection of bilingual poems (English/Greek), The Cave of the Bear, based on her travels in Crete. Founder and editor-in-chief of the online magazine Wild Ri ...more
More about Joy Stocke...

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