Books To Enhance Your Morocco Journey



A book can transport you to another time and place without ever leaving your living room. If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, or even if you’re just dreaming of one, reading can be a great way to prepare for your journey. This list of fiction, non-fiction, guides, and travel books will give you a glimpse into the culture and history of Morocco, as well as provide some fun and escapism along the way.


For a taste of Morocco in the 1940s and 50s, pick up Paul Bowles’ “The Spider’s House.” This novel is set in the 1950s when Morocco was still a French protectorate. If you’re interested in women’s rights in Morocco, Leila Slimani’s “Lullaby” is a must-read. Another Slimani great read is in the Country of Others. For short stories set in Morocco, look for “The Sand Child” by Tahar Benjelloun and “Larabi’s Ox” by Tony Ardizzone.


Read “Lords of the Atlas” by Gavin Maxwell to learn about the country’s recent history. For a look at Moroccan women through the ages, try “Women Artisans of Morocco” by Susan Schafer Davis. And for an account of modern-day life in Morocco, Adventures in Morocco by hipsters Brooke Pickering and W. R Pickering is a fun read. “A Street In Marrakech” by Elizabeth Ferme, provides a readable account of an American family moving into a traditional part of Marrakesh and getting acquainted with their Moroccan neighbors. The book gives you an idea of what’s going on behind some of those doors you may pass in the Marrakesh medina. Also, “The House Of Si Abd Allah: The Oral History Of A Moroccan Family” by Henry Munson provides a picture of contemporary Moroccan society presented through family quotes as each describes their lives and relatives. And “Bargaining For Reality” by Lawerence Rosen gives a complex and accurate picture of how Moroccan society functions, centered around individuals and how they define reality.

Guides and Travel

First, “The Blue Guide to Morocco” is most likely the best and most complete overview of the cultural/historical sites of the country. Pick up the lasted printing before you leave.

For a historical view on travel in Morocco, try “In Morocco” by Edith Wharton. For something truly different, try “The Travels of Ibn Battutah,” which is edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. This 14th-century account of Battutah’s travels is considered one of the greatest travel books of all time and makes for fascinating reading. It is the source of one of our favorite travel quotes.

“Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Finally, for all the foodies out there, Paul Wolfert’s cookbook “Moroccan Cuisine” is essential reading (and cooking) for anyone interested in this amazing cuisine.

No matter what book (or books) you choose to read before, during, or after your journey to Morocco, enjoy! I am sure you also will become a storyteller. The pictures show moments in my latest journey in Morocco that led to stories.