Before I visit a new country, I like to pump myself up with a little thematic reading. Here is a list of 12 books I read before vacationing in Malta.
The Shield and the Sword – Ernle Bradford
The Knights of Saint John are a huge deal in Maltese history, read this one before you go so you know who the heck they are.
The Sword and the Scimitar – David Ball
This book follows a brother and sister who are separated before the historic Siege of Malta, when Christianity and the Islamic Ottoman Empire were at hella odds.
The Jukebox Queen of Malta – Nicholas Rinaldi
A young American auto mechanic turned corporal is sent to Malta to serve during the height of World War II. While there, he meets a girl who works with her brother to make, of all things, Jukeboxes.
Brass Dolphin – Caroline Harvey
A young woman moves to Malta with her father, just before the Nazis begin relentlessly bombing the island during World War II.
The Kapillan of Malta – Nicholas Monsarrat
This novel follows a priest and his good deeds during, you guessed it, World War II.
The Information Officer – Mark Mills
Yet another story about that takes place during World War II, but this time there’s a murder mystery!
Earthly Powers – Anthony Burgess
Written by the same snarky Brit that wrote A Clockwork Orange, this historical fiction is a memoir about a closeted gay novelist.
The Phantom of Valletta – Vicki Hopkins
You’ve probably wondered how the Phantom of the Opera would fair in Malta. Well, here’s your chance to find out.
Man on Fire – A.J. Quinnell
Yes, Denzel Washington was in the film adaptation, but they completely cut out the Malta portion, so you’ll have to actually read the book before you write that report.
Death in Malta – Rosanne Dingli
A writer moves to Malta to escape a failing marriage and find inspiration for his next book, which comes in the form of a missing child.
Like Bees to Honey – Caroline Smailes
A Maltese native returns to the island to cope with the untimely death of her son.
The Malta Exchange – Steve Berry
It’s James Bond meets The Da Vinci Code meets National Treasure and the pope has died.
Have any other Malta books suggestions? Let me know in the comments!