The Road to Petra by D.C. Baramki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Petra has been a fascination of mine since reading Richard Halliburton's description of the city in his Complete Book of Marvels. While I don't remember where or how this really slim book came into my life, that's definitely why.
This isn't really travel writing, it's a factual tour guide for those interested in visiting Transjordan; since the 6th edition is dated 1961, one can only imagine the trip the author describes as much has changed in the intervening half-century. Example: the recommended route is Jerusalem to Amman then to several cities, a simple process (albeit one with many police check-ins) back then.
The many black-and-white photos hint at how beautiful these antiquities must be (describing the es Siq gorge, "Here one enters a dream-like, unreal world. Soft sandstone cliffs of varied and unusual colours and fantastic shapes tower to a height of 200 to 300 feet"). One of these days, I'll get to visit and this book will come with me.