John Freely is a magnificant author and obviously in love with Istanbul. Actually he is a physic professor. You can follow his precise style in all of his books. The very fascinating film "Notting Hill" from Julia Roberst and Hugh Grant made this book popular all around the world. The travelbooks-shop owner Hugh Grant recommends this book to Julia Roberts just in the beginning of the film and emphasizes its high quality.
It goes without saying that Istanbul is a well written and well illustrated book. If you have been to Istanbul before, it will remarkably reinforce your memories. If you are a real fan of history and architecture and adore intellectually written books, dont skip this one. Really breathtaking! It will take you to a whimsical yet magnificent city and its history; particulary Byzantine era. The detailed information about Istanbul's monuments, Thedosian walls, churches, mosques, geography and historical events which were successfully chronicled will definetly help you to understand both its glory and history.
I must say that if you are interested in these type of books, it worths it, if not you may get a little bit bored. So consider your preferences and then order this one.
Also recommended; anything by John Freely, Atatürk by Andrew Mango and My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk.