Books about Israel and Hiking the 1000-km National Trail


Before hiking the 1000-km National Trail in Israel, we updated our Kindles with books to read about Israel in general and hiking the National Trail in particular.

As so many are inspired by our book lists, I decided to share my books on Israel too.

1. History Books about Israel

Three books were recommended to me by Israelis when I asked for books that would provide me with insight into what has happened, and is happening in Israel.

There are numerous books on this complicated subject, and I am so glad with the recommendated books. Each in a very different style, they provide different insights and a good general image of the history and present situation in Israel / Palestina.

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East, by Sandy Tolan 

A humanized story about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict

My Promised Land; The triumph and Tragedy of Israel, by Ari Shavit
A New York Times bestseller and winner of several awards

This book examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition through the author’s personal narrative.

Israel, a History, by Martine Gilbert

According to the Sunday Telegraph ‘the most comprehensive account of Israeli history yet published’

2. Historical Novels about Israel

The first three  books are historical novels written in the 1980s. They gave me my first insights into the complicated history and cultures of Israel, the Jews, Palestina, and the Arabs. The fourth one, however, is from this decade.

The Source, by James Michener

Through the use of a fascinating saga, the long, intense history of Israel becomes very readable.

Exodus, by Leon Uris

Like the above-mentioned book The Source, the Exodus is another novel that provides insight into Israel’s past, in this case particularly the 19th and 20th centuries, and the zionist movement.

The Haj, by Leon Uris

The Haj complements the Exodus book in the sense that where the Exodus, history is viewed from the Israeli/Jewish point of view whereas the Haj that same time period is detailed from the Palestine / Arab perspective. This is another novel that offers a good way of learning a thing or two about a country and its history.

The Siege of Masada: A Historical Drama of the Famous Battle Between the Jews and Romans, by Kosta Kafrakis

A captivating novel that tells the tale of siege of Roman soldiers on the Masada fortress and the Jewish families living there.

3. Travel Memoirs about the National Israel Trail

My Israel Trail; Finding Peace in the Promised Land, by Aryeh Green

Aryeh walked the National Trail and in this books describes the hike as well as the insights he gains during that walk

The book got a deeper meaning after we had hiked about half of the trail and had the privilege of being guests of the author Aryeh and his wife Miriam.

4. Guidebooks about Israel

Travel Guides for Israel

(click on the images to look inside)

Bradt Travel Guides – Israel

Insight Guides – Israel

The Israel National Trail – Jacob Saar

Products from Amazon

Tips, Suggestions, Feedback?

Interested in more books about long-distance hiking? Check out this list.

Do you have suggestions on books about Israel & Palestina that I should add to my list? I’d love to hear them. Feel free to share them in the comment section below or send me an email. Thanks!

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