If you voted on which country we should read in October, then you may already know which area of the world we're reading next. If not, here are a few hints.
It has camels & world class scuba diving (not that I'm obsessed with scuba or anything). During ancient times, fly swatters made from giraffe tails were a popular fashion item in this country & one of its leaders supposedly smeared naked slaves with honey to attract flies away from him!*
Today, the country's official name is Junhuriyah Misr al-Arabiyah, which in English means the Arab Republic of Egypt though Egyptians themselves refer to Egypt as Misr.
Crazy COuntry facts
To whet your appetite for October, I give you 5 astonishing Egyptian facts:
1. 150 years ago, Americans & Europeans believed that mummies had healing powers & used ground up mummy powder as medicine for many diseases.*
2. To stay cool & avoid lice, ancient Egyptian men & women shaved their heads & often wore wigs. The rich wore human hair wigs made while the poor wore wigs made from wool or vegetable fiber. The women would top their wig with a cone of a greasy substance that gradually melted giving off a pleasing scent of myrrh.*
3. The "ripper" was the embalmer who made the first cut into the body during the mummification process. Since this was an offense to the body, the rest of the embalmers threw stones at the ripper & chased him away with curses.*
4. In ancient Egypt, every big city supported one favorite god much like people support football teams today.*
5. There is an ancient Egyptian obelisk known as Cleopatra’s Needle which in NYC! Sadly, it has suffered more damage in the 125 years it has stood in Central Park from pollution & weather than in the THOUSANDS of years it stood in Egypt.**
Have Any Egyptian Book Suggestions?
We'd love to hear book suggestions from you. Just let us know by Thurs., Sept. 14 11PM ET. (That's NYC time. See this converted to your local time below.)
Please note - We're specific in the books we read, they must:
- Largely occur in the country specified unless the world described is an alternate universe
- Be written by an author born there who has spent a good portion of their life there
- Exist in paperback & ebook available on both Amazon & Kindle at least in the US & hopefully elsewhere
* Walker, Jane. 100 Things You Should Know about Ancient Egypt. Broomall, PA: Mason Crest Publishers, 2003.
** Briquelet, Kate. (2014 June 14) How Cleopatra’s Needle got to Central Park. The NY Post. Retrieved from http://nypost.com/2014/06/14/how-cleopatras-needle-a-3500-year-old-egyptian-obelisk-got-to-central-park/.