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The Agora => Greek News => Greek History & Culture => Topic started by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:07:46

Title: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:07:46
A popular topic so I've resurrected the posts from previous GGi message boards. Links liable to have been amended to help the GGi preservation fund. Originally titled 'Books about Greek Life and Language' it wandered off track, as things do in Greece, to include any books relating to Greece. Here's the posts:


#1 TonyKath. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 01:12

We don't seem to have a thread about books about Greece and Greek so I thought I'd start one. I read finished one and read another book while in Katelios last week and though they might be of interest to GGi members. They are both set in northern Epirus not far from the Albanian border but 50 miles and 50 years apart but light years in terms of experience and tone. Both are available from Amazon in Kindle format.

Eleni (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003ARUTMY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B003ARUTMY&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) by Nicholas Gage is an utterly harrowing and deeply personal account, vividly and graphically told, of the author's retelling of his mother's life and his discovery of the truth about her execution by the Greek communist army in 1948 during the civil war and his own reaction to meeting some of the participants nearly 40 years later. The progress of the war is briefly sketched out as the book develops to explain the destructive forces which eventually centre on the village. It is set in a very remote village high in the northern mountains of Greece a couple of miles from the Albanian border and gives a detailed and stark picture of the highly primitive conditions especially for women. Nicholas's mother Eleni shoulders the responsibility for the family after her husband

leaves to work in America bringing upon her the jealousy of the other villagers because of the money he sends back and the suspicions of the partisans for her political sympathies. The role and conduct of the communists in the civil war has been a highly contentious issue in Greek politics ever since (as has that of the Royalist/right wing side) and Gage's book, although fictionalised to a small degree serves as evidence in the debate. About £6.99 but a lot of book for your money and one of the most remarkable reads you will ever have.

To counter that I also read The Papas and the Englishman: From Corfu to Zagoria (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00HQIA50O/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00HQIA50O&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) by Roy Hounsell which I had seen in Corfu airport in July. Hounsell's book is a totally feelgood "no going back" account of his move to Zagori (as it should be known) with his wife in 1991 when hardly anyone outside Greece had heard of it and Greeks were only just waking up to it's rugged beauty. For a change this is not the usual story of miserable and insular foreigners and slow and inept builders but one of community and belonging in a tough physical environment. Hounsell befriends the local priest (the "papas") and the other 14 villagers who constitute the rest of the winter inhabitants of the village and comes to share their lives and becomes totally accepted. A book that deserves to be better known.

Tony


Edit: typo
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:08:49
#2 Aristarches. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 10:37

Setting up a thread about books about Greek life etc is a very good idea. I have read a great many books, fictional or otherwise, some good some pretty awful, but I am always looking for more. This thread would be an excellent way of finding something "new". For example, Tony's sugestions:

I have read Eleni but not The Papas and the Englishman etc". I will have to search through my collection and see if I can think of anything to recommend.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:10:35
#3 Maik. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 11:07

Probably you've already seen this, and probably read any you fancy (I found The Consolation Prize very readable but largely unheard of): GGi Bookshop (http://www.goinggreek.info/books.html)
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:30:27
#4 Bryan-in-Kilkis. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 14:17

What a thoroughly superb idea, Tony!!! I have a few suggestions:

1) Dinner with Persephone (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1862070520/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1862070520&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21), by Patricia Storage. This is described (at least in the blurb!) as having been "hailed throughout the English-speaking world as a classic, one of the finest books ever written about Greece. Storace explores the dreams and sensuous realities of a country caught between East and West, its glorious past and its difficult Balkan present." I have only read half of it, despite having had it several years, but it is an enjoyable account of an American woman setting up home (or flat!) somewhere in Athens (what a nightmare that must be!) and her encounters with local people. To my mind, though, having lived here for 27 years, it is a tad too sentimentalist and rose-coloured spectacles...

2) (Three books by the same author) Crying Blue Murder (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002RI9C5M/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B002RI9C5M&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) / The Last Red Death (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002RI9BYO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B002RI9BYO&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) /  The Golden Silence (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002RI9C66/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B002RI9C66&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21), all by Paul Johnston. Paul Johnston struck on the ingenious idea of inventing the character of Alex Mavros, an Athens-based private investigator who is half Scots and half Greek, and these books are detective stories, a genre almost totally unknown in Greek literature itself. Such great authors as Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver and Val McDermid have given these books glowing reviews. I have to admit that what I read in them as regards life in Greece was thoroughly convincing. I usually pencil in a note in the front of books I read after I have finished them saying when I read them and my impressions of the book, and for each of these I have put the one word "Excellent".

3) Το Πλατύ Ποτάμι, by Γιάννης Μπεράτης. OK, this one is in Greek and I first read it at university some thirty years ago, but it has stuck in my mind as a stunning account of the life in 1941 of a Greek soldier fighting the Italian fascist army in the areas now in north-western Greece and Albania.

4) Anything by Antonis Samarakis, especially Το Λάθος (translated into English as The Flaw), which is a brilliant literary strike against totalitarianism. A man is arrested for an undisclosed crime against the state and has to be transferred to another city by the arresting "officer". Το Λάθος is about how the human relationship between the two men develops and works against the totalitarian system behind the arrest. Samarakis wrote many short stories, but Το Λάθος is his best-known work and is a novella - a 90-minute read.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:31:46
#5 Bryan-in-Kilkis. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 14:23

Maik, do you reckon it's a good idea to make Tony's posting here into a pinned topic? I think there could be a lot of very interesting suggestions here...
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:32:32
#6 Maik. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 14:36

Sure, pin it if you (or Tony, or Rog, or Phil) want to. Think there's a previous post or two that could be merged into the same thread.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:33:39
#7 Jolly Roger. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 17:29

Excellent idea Tony to include this topic and yes, it should be pinned so that it can be added to easily from time to time.

Eleni, I can thoroughly recommend, although be warned that it will change your outlook on Life! There is also a film version of the book, which is better than most films that have followed on from books.

Here are a couple of books by local authors.

The Promised Journey (Pontus to Kefalonia) by Sophia Kappatos. Sophia from Tara Beach in Skala has written an account of the story of her father during and since the troubled times of the exile of Greeks from Turkey.

Nagis - Growing up in Kefalonia 1940-1950 by Panagis Spiliotis. A local lad from Ratzakli describes his early life growing up during WW2 and the Civil War that followed. This book is available from Aeolis Hotel, Skala.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:38:33
#8 TonyKath. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 21:05

Wow guys! I did not expect such a rich crop of replies. I'll take a day or two to digest them and the books should fill some retirement days over the winter. I also thought of Maik's excellent recommendation about village life after the civil war, which I read a couple of years ago.

Quote
Maik, on 06-11-2010 @ 02:50, said:
Quote
As a boy in 1940s Greece, my friend Costas, now a retired banker, had a pistol shoved in his face by a communist guerrilla screaming that he wanted to requisition the family mule. Knowing that the animal meant his family's survival in desperate times, Costas refused. He might have been shot then and there if the guerrilla had not been restrained by more compassionate comrades. Many years later, attending his nephew's wedding in Athens, Costas was stunned to recognize the best man. It was the very fellow who had nearly killed him over a mule.

Such stories are common in Greece, where a merciless occupation by Germans and Italians during World War II, violence between left and right, and foreign meddling during the civil war (roughly 1945-49) and the Junta years (1967-74) left Greeks living cheek by jowl with people they could never forgive.

Kevin Andrews experienced the dangers of the countryside during the civil war. "The Flight of Ikaros," the book he produced from his travels, remains not only one of the greatest we have about postwar Greece—memorializing a village culture that has almost vanished—but also one of the most moving accounts I have ever read of people caught up in political turmoil. (It is richer than George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" because Andrews spent more time getting to know the people he wrote about.) "Flight" was first published in 1959 and last reprinted by Penguin in 1984. For too many years, this rare account has languished out of print.
online.wsj.com (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703735804575536320623293144?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052748703735804575536320623293144.html)

Tony


The Flight of Ikaros: Travels in Greece During the Civil War (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007JNRNRY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B007JNRNRY&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21)
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:46:25
#9 colleywobble. Posted 13-09-2012 @ 14:55

North of Ithaca (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00942YOJ8/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00942YOJ8&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) by Eleni Gage is a follow up to Eleni by Nicholas Gage and tells the story of Elenis return to her family's old house and how she starts to make it habitable again and a home for herself. Also Louis de Bernieres book Birds Without Wings (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005Y0N2FQ/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B005Y0N2FQ&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) tells the story of the migration of the Greeks and Turks after the collapse of the Otterman Empire,the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks. Two books by Victoria Hislop The Thread (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005KK5DI4/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B005KK5DI4&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) about Thesaloniki and again the time of the migration, and The Island (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002TXZRV8/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B002TXZRV8&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21), about the island of Spinalonga and its lepper colony. Both i can recommend. A great thread and look forward to everyones recommendations for the long winter months.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:48:05
#10 Paul Dillon. Posted 13-09-2012 @ 23:39

Hi,

Maik suggested I mention my Kefalonia novel, The Magic In The Receiver (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008ILD4GA/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B008ILD4GA&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21). It's been out for a couple of months and starting to get some traction in the Amazon bestseller list for "Books about Greece." There's a review in The Greek Star Summer Book Review 2012.

I'd love to get some feedback.

-paul
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:54:55
#11 jayforbes. Posted 14-09-2012 @ 18:26

Well what a storm, hope everyones properties are ok.

I too have read a couple of the mentioned books: the Paul Johnston - Crying Blue Murder is excellent - I read it in a remote part of Crete and cetainly I was looking over my shoulder on those walks to the only taverna in the dark quiet village, I have The Last Red Death ready for a winter read - I don't want it to fall apart in the sun !!! With Crete in mind another excellent read is Caron's Children it was hard to get hold of and my copy is in UK so I'm not sure of author or ISBN. The story is an unusal account of Spinalonga I beleive very factual yet still fictional. The House of Dust and Dreams (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0043M67AS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B0043M67AS&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) by Brenda Reid is a good ladies read but not too 'girly'.

A couple of good Greek language reference books if learning Greek are A Basic Grammar of Modern Greek ISBN 960-12-1105-5 M.Tsiotsiou-Moore, well set out and easy to follow, and also same author Compendium of 850 Modern Greek Verbs ISBN 978-960-12-1617-1 really useful if studying the language. I bought mine from Amazon.

Will be looking out for the other book recommended. Good reading to you.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:55:32
#12 TonyKath. Posted 14-09-2012 @ 18:59

Thanks Collywobble - have just downloaded a sample of North of Ithaca to my Kindle. Looks interesting. May need a bit of time to recover from reading Eleni first, though!!

So many suggestions here now it's hard to keep up with them! Good job the thread is pinned - so I can come back and check out some of the titles over the winter.

Thanks everybody - didn't think the thread would be this popular.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:56:42
#13 jeanskala. Posted 24-09-2012 @ 12:09

A couple more for you:-


The Roads of Cefalonia by Helen Cosmetatos

Helen Cosmetatos was curator of the Corgialenios Museum and compiled a fascinating guide to the history of the roads of Kefalonia, the work being dedicated to the memory of Charles James Napier (Resident on Kefalonia 1825).

ISBN 960-90220-0-6: Available in local book shops and at the museum.


Point and Counter Point by Nicholas Enessee

Two stories run in parallel - the history of the island of Kefalonia and that of a remarkable woman, Nicholas's mother, Helen Cosmetatos, who had landed on Cephalonia from England in the middle of the war, armed only with her violin. The narration, which makes liveral use of her witty diaries, follows her as she experienced, and empathized with, the plight of the common people and, through her direct actions, became for many a beacon of hope and a safe haven.

ISBN number - 960-87338-5-5: Available from local bookshops and from the Gentilini Wine Estate shop during the summer months.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:57:13
#14 Alan. Posted 28-10-2012 @ 17:30

Hi Paul, just finished the book. Really enjoyed the earthquake narrative, and the description of present day Kef were enough to whet my appetite for next year! Worth the £2.99 on Kindle for that alone. Keep writing.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 01:58:08
#15 kefman. Posted 29-10-2012 @ 23:23

For anyone who has ever had a house built in Greece or is planning to have a house built then John Humphrys "Blue skies and Black olives" is a must. It is interesting and funny and so very very true.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:00:32
#16 Maik. Posted 30-10-2012 @ 13:32

Thanks, kefman, looks like a good read. Short review and brief extract in the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/artsandculture/travelbooks/6261166/Travel-book-reviews-Blue-Skies-and-Black-Olives-and-The-Lore-of-Scotland.html), longer extract in the Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211358/Our-big-fat-Greek-adventure-When-John-Humphrys-son-persuaded-build-holiday-home-sounded-simple.html). Available as an ebook or pre-read paperback on Amazon: Blue Skies & Black Olives (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Skies-Black-Olives-ebook/dp/B003OIB9ZK/).

Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:01:15
#17 TonyKath. Posted 30-10-2012 @ 19:37

Thanks Kefman. Just downloaded a sample to my Kindle. Trouble is I have a few Greek books there plus all the others. Even retired now there's not enough time.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:06:02
#18 colleywobble. Posted 31-10-2012 @ 20:39

Whilst on holiday begining of October i bought a copy of Nagis from The Muses reception. Writen by Panagis Spiliotis who is the owner of The Muses i found out he is cousin to my Greek family (the Zapanti's) in Skala. This made reading the book doubly interesting as i could imagine the different areas that they still cultivate, portions of land outside the village. I had to keep reminding myself that Skala was up on the hill at the time of the book and i was facinated by all the names that different areas were called, places that we had often walked especially on Mounda head and surrounds ie Aliki, St Nicholas even the area Tara from which Tara beach hotel must be named. I had heard some of the stories from my Greek family about the war time but did not realise that a very large battle had ensued on Mounda Head itself. Makes me feel very sad when i think about it, knowing now that many lost their lives there. Interesting to read about the roof tile making especially now that the workings have been renovated for all to see. I knew that more people had died on Kefalonia as a result of the civil war than in the actual war and also how harrowing this had been especially with regard to the death of one of the locals. When we were told about this several years ago it was glossed over rather and we thought it a bit suspicious at the time now i understand that it is still very sensitive and the locals feel very ashamed that they could have resorted to such atrocities. I loved the book and because it has a special meaning to me i will overlook the price of 16€ which is rather high for a paperback of 280 pages. I hope Mr Spiliotis will carry on writing as i felt a little bit left in thin air, and that Nagis will be brought up to the present as he has certainly had a very interesting life. I did not meet up with him this time but he signed my book with a very special message and i hope to meet up with him on my next visit to hopefully discuss the book.


A further recommendation that i have just loaned from our local library was a book by Bruce Clark called, Twice a Stranger, How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1862079242/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1862079242&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21). A very good book for anyone interested in how modern Greece and Turkey came into being. I thought this book might be more like a students reference book but i found it very interesting especially the real life experiences of a generation of people now almost died out from both sides and how the results of this period of Greek and Turkish history are still being felt.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:06:44
#19 TonyKath. Posted 01-11-2012 @ 14:39

Thanks Colleywobble. It sounds very interesting indeed and would like to know more particularly about the war and the civil war on Kef . I don't suppose Panagis could be persuaded to lower the price a bit. I looked at the website you mentioned previously and they have family in the US and I wondered if they could issue it as an ebook to reduce overheads.

I have Twice a Stranger on my Amazon wish list and would like to read that to. And all the others!

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:07:24
#20 Paul Dillon. Posted 24-11-2012 @ 21:50

Hi Alan,

Glad you enjoyed it. The Magic in Receiver has consistently been in the top 10 on Amazon in the Greek Travel Category. For those that haven't picked up a copy, I'm doing a promotion for Kindle in the UK at 99p. Also, you might be interested in my guest blog about Kefalonia on the Official Greek Tourism site.

Best,

-paul
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:08:08
#21 Maik. Posted 24-11-2012 @ 22:01

Offer sounds good, managed to pick up a paperpback version but haven't had time to read it all yet, first few pages are pretty impressive though.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:09:42
#22 Paul Dillon. Posted 24-11-2012 @ 22:20

Thanks Maik.

The tourism people seem to like the book. I'm hoping to get more copies into Kefalonia for next Summer. Right now Happy House Books in Lixouri has a few left. If anyone has questions about the book or wants more info, please feel free to contact me directly paul AT pauldillon DOT net. I really appreciate any and all feedback (even negative  :) )

-paul
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:11:11
#23 Jolly Roger. Posted 24-11-2012 @ 22:31

I have just finished reading Nagis, which I had mentioned at the beginning of this thread. Like Collywobble talked about above, it was fascinating to read about the places that we still know of today around the Skala and Ratzakli area. Also very interesting to read about the unsuccessful battle led by the Italians, that took place at the German fort of Mounda. There is a particularly moving chapter about the planned execution of eleven villagers in the stream bed of Hionata, all saved by a very heroic young man by the name of Mitsos Frangos. Also mentioned in the book is the land at Tara, which must have been somewhat bigger than the land now occupied by Tara Beach Hotel. The land at Tara was owned by the grandfather of Sofia Kappatos, present owner of the hotel. Sofia has also written an account of her father's exile from Turkey and his journey which ended in Skala (see my post near the beginning of this thread).
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:11:39
#24 TonyKath. Posted 25-11-2012 @ 19:54

Hi Paul - 98p on Kindle sold!!

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:12:28
#25 Maik. Posted 30-11-2012 @ 15:33

Might be of interest to anyone interested in ancient Greece or Greek marine art, a number of free e-books in English available at latsis-foundation.org (http://www.latsis-foundation.org/en/1/homepage.html)
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:13:06
#26 TonyKath. Posted 30-11-2012 @ 17:37

Thanks Maik. I found substantial and lavishly illustrated books of the collections of various major archaeological museums in Greece. Not ebooks in the downloadable sense but presented as books. You can further zoom in to make the text readable by clicking on a page. Very interesting - just need the time.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:15:26
#27 Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:04 PM by TonyKath

Brilliant - thanks for getting this back Maik!  Must have been a bit of a chore re-posting one by one.

I had looked at this a couple of days before the changeover.  It prompted me to buy Patricia Storace's Dinner with Persephone that Bryan recommended above.  Managed to get the last copy (second hand) from Amazon for - I kid you not - £1.88 inc postage.  Got a few other things on before I start it though.

In addition my Greek teacher has put us on to http://www.bibliagora.co.uk a Greek online bookshop in the UK.  Carries a huge amount of Greek fiction as well as language books.  But very pricey  :unsure:. Grant & Cutler used to be good but now part of Foyles and declined somewhat but still worth checking out.  Visited the shop once as a student - lovely place full of foreign language books.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:17:40
#28 Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:44 PM by Jolly Roger

Just released in EBook form, Ionian Storms.

Quote
Price: $4.75

During WW2, two former allies, the Germans and the Italians, fought a little-known, mini-war on the island of Cephalonia, with tragic consequences for the local inhabitants and catastrophic ones for the Italians. The period of foreign occupation was followed by bitter civil strife which lasted a good seven years. And then, as the Cephalonians had, at last, started to rebuild their lives, the earthquakes of 1953 destroyed not just their towns and villages, but the very cultural fibre of their society.
The story runs in parallel to the active involvement, during this entire period, of a remarkable woman, who had landed on Cephalonia in the middle of the war, armed only with her violin.

The narration, which makes liberal use of her witty diaries, follows her as she experienced, and empathized with, the plight of the common people and, through her direct actions, became for many a beacon of hope and a safe haven.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:19:03
#29 Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:29 AM by TonyKath

Sounds great and excellent value but only available in Epub format so won 't work on the Kindle.  There are some (illegal) ways round this but require some sleuthing and enhanced computer skills.  Any chance of them using the Amazon self-publishing system where I would think sales would be greater?  I'm involved in a Kindle Forum and authors seem to find Epub/iStores better for more "popular" books.  If it's self-published nothing to stop authors using both!

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:20:59
#30 Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:04 AM by Maik

Quote
#13 Jeanskala

Point and Counter Point by Nicholas Enessee

Quote
#28 Jolly Roger

Ionian Storms

Looks like the same book by the same author, wonder if "Ionian Storms" is the title in the US?
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:23:42
#31 Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:29 PM by Ian

Some of you may well remember Peter Hemming (the artist) and his partner Pam from when he was on the island a few years ago 2001 - 2007 ?

He's just released an autobiographical book called "Oil Paint and Greece (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B9II522/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00B9II522&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21)" based on the time he spent on Kefalonia.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:24:33
#32 Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:09 AM by jed.w

I wonder is it something about the island that inspires people to write.

I've often thought about putting down all the stories I've been told and adventures we've had over the last 30 years.  Maybe one day when life isn't so hectic!

Just bought your book Paul, I'll get down to reading it over the next few days.

jed.w
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:25:15
#33 Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:25 PM by TonyKath

Just downloaded a sample.  Looks quite expensive for a new ebook by an unknown author.  I'm also on the Kindle Users Forum where quite a number of indie authors discuss pricing ad nauseam.  Usually they have a period of free or nearly free sales to bump them up the sales ranks to get noticed.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:35:32
#34 Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:57 PM by TonyKath

I've just finished reading Dinner with Persephone by Patricia Storace and recommended by Bryan above last September - thanks Bryan - I owe you a tsipouro or two for that!  :).  It is truly one of the finest books I ever read anywhere, let alone about Greece.  Storace is an American woman who spends a year in Athens and is obviously very well connected in literary circles and travels about considerably, particularly round the islands.  She is extraordinarily observant about Greek life, character (especially the religious life of Greece)  and the language.  She combines this with a dazzling, at times almost overwhelming erudition constantly linking present behaviour and attitudes to Greece's history, be it classical Greece, the Byzantine empire or the struggle for Independence.  Few Greeks can have the depth of knowledge she has.  Arriving at the time when the crisis over Macedonia was at its zenith Storace lifts some stones on the darker side of Greek national superiority.  She finds Greece funny, frustrating, enchanting, welcoming and at times repellent.  She reminds us that whatever the tourist face of Greece may be Greece has a long past and much of it in an Eastern tradition unknown to us.

Some of the best bits are quoted here: http://wordsutteredinhaste.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/dinner-with-persephone-by-patricia.html

If you get a chance buy this book.  Unfortunately I bought the last copy (second hand) from Amazon for an amazing £1.88, though here is the link http://amzn.to/1bw7CRC. 

I'm just starting it again!

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:36:52
#35 Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:01 PM by Bryan-in-Kilkis

It is indeed a book to admire,Tony.  I still haven't finished my copy, bought years ago, but that is because of personal concerns rather than the quality of her writing, which is top-notch.  I do have to admit that what I have read so far does seem to view Greece, and especially Athens, though melancholically rose-tinted spectacles, but again that is quite probably a result of me reading it through my own highly cynical spectacles.

I remember only too well the years when Greece initially took against Macedonia - in those days the news was full of how the tanks from Macedonia would soon be rumbling across the border and taking over Northern Greece!!!   Greek paranoia at its height.  Knowing both countries well, I have to shake my head sadly and laugh at the pathetic Greek stance of the time.

Storace's Dinner with Persephone is definitely a book worth getting your teeth into.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 02:37:31
#36 Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:02 PM by Bryan-in-Kilkis

PS I'll hold you to those two tsipouros, Tony!!  :)
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 03:10:33
#37 Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:00 AM by Maik

Kefalonia - An Insider’s Guide (http://goinggreek.info/kef-ebook.html) by yours, truly under the pen name Mike Leonidas is now available from Amazon.co.uk (http://astore.amazon.co.uk/goinggrinfo-21/detail/B00BEMMARO) and kobobooks.com (http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Kefalonia-An-Insiders-Guide/book-wvDc9d5NzkWIH6XzY3FVeg/page1.html).

There’s a couple more books by Paul Johnson in Alex Mavros series now available, The Silver Stain (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ADP4M4W/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00ADP4M4W&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) and The Green Lady (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AXO4KRW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00AXO4KRW&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21).

Books (e-books and ‘dead tree’) recommended in this thread are now available via the GGi bookshop (http://goinggreek.info/store_ebooks.html), along with a few more I’ve added. Proceeds help pay GGi running costs.

Thanks for supporting GGi.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 03:11:42
#38 Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:00 PM by TonyKath

Well done Maik for getting this done - I realise there has been an absolutely massive amount of work into the book (excellent!!), the publishing and now the Store.

Reviews from readers will help keep the book visible, as well as sales.  I am slightly implicated in it so can't review it myself as Amazon have started a tough policy on removing "authors' friends' " reviews.  I'm on a forum for Kindle users and authors, and even reviews that merely mention the author's first name have been summarily removed by Amazon.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 03:16:16
#39 Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:47 PM by Maik

Another book that might be of interest: Not Even My Name (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003J5UIFU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B003J5UIFU&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) by Thea Halo
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 03:17:01
#40 Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:38 PM by Paul Dillon

Thanks to all those who read and commented on my Kefalonia novel, The Magic in the Receiver. The Kindle version is FREE on Amazon until midnight this Saturday. Please download the heck out it. If you haven't got a Kindle device, there are free Kindle reader apps for most platforms.

I hope you enjoy. Please pass this on and help spread the word about Kefalonia.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 03:40:44
#41 Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:16 AM by Maik

Just added a couple more books to the GGi bookshop. The first is the latest in the popular Greek Village series by Sara Alexi, titled The Gypsy's Dream (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00C3NZJQC/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00C3NZJQC&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21).

The second I came across by chance when I was looking at the line of succession to the British throne (and was slightly surprised to find that 'gender equality' succession only received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013. Succession to the Crown Act 2013)
 
While wading through all the info I came upon a reference to Michael Abney-Hastings. The name struck a chord: Frank Abney-Hastings was one of the heroes of the Greek War of Independence whom I first read about about many years ago, either in George Finlay's History of the Greek Revolution (Vol. 1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1402172370/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1402172370&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) / Vol. 2 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1402172362/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1402172362&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21)) or Thomas Gordon's History of the Greek Revolution (Vol. 1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1402182562/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1402182562&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) / Vol. 2 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1402182554/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=1402182554&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21)).

Seems there's reasons to doubt whether Edward IV was the legitimate son of Richard, Duke of York, and therefore whether he was a legitimate king of Britain. According to records, it seems his father and mother were 160 km apart when he was likely to have been conceived. If that were the case George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, would have been the rightful king of Britain. In turn, Francis Hastings, 10th Earl of Huntingdon and Frank Abney-Hastings' grandfather, would have become king. However, the 10th Earl never married and his son, Charles, was also illegitimate. Had Charles been born in wedlock his first born son, also named Charles, would have become king. As Charles (the son) died without issue Frank Abney-Hastings would have become king of Britain. Britain's Real Monarch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain%27s_Real_Monarch)

Had he not earlier died a (largely forgotten) hero to the cause of Greek independence.

Frank Abney-Hastings joined the Royal Navy at age 11 and saw action at the Battle of Trafalgar. As a matter of honour he later challenged a senior officer to a duel and was subsequently discharged from the Royal Navy. He found the Greek War of Independence a suitable challenge and volunteered his services.  He introduced, and largely funded, the first steam-powered warship to see active service (the Royal Navy having rejected the idea). He was also the first to use shells and hot shot in modern warfare. He died of a relatively minor wound in the harbour of Zakynthos on 1 June, 1828. General Gordon, who served in the war and wrote its history, said of him: "If ever there was a disinterested and really useful Philhellene it was Hastings. He received no pay, and had expended most of his slender fortune in keeping the Karteria afloat for the last six months. His ship, too, was the only one in the Greek navy where regular discipline was maintained."

Haven't had a chance to read it yet but No. 1 on my book list: Commander of the Karteria: Honoured in Greece. Unknown at home. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005FQJDDO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B005FQJDDO&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21)

Both available via the GGi bookshop (http://goinggreek.info/store_ebooks.html)

Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 03:41:33
#42 Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:37 PM by Tony Kath

Very interesting !! Have downloaded a sample - so many books on my Kindle to read.  One or two that have been read to be mentioned here as well!

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 03:51:35
#43 Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:08 PM by IslandHopper

What a find!  Thanks very much for all the books listed at http://www.goinggreek.info/books.html! Have bookmarked the page and look forward to becoming immersed for a good few months!

I second the above recommendation of "Dinner with Persephone" by Patricia Storace.  Absolutely superb.  So good that I've often looked to see if she's written another book but she hasn't.  (I heard she was sued by some Greeks for possible plagiarism and had a hellish experience.  They claimed she'd lifted a number of pages from another book, possibly one in Greek.  Not sure how the court case panned out but she's not published anything since.)  Anyway, yes, a stunning book.

I think I may be able to add a winner for you.  Found it in "Public" (Syntagma) two months ago.  "Athens - the Truth: Searching for Mános, Just Before the Bubble Burst (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00FI5OI46/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00FI5OI46&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21)" by David Cade.  Tons of juicy stuff, mainly on Athens but also on Greece - modern history mainly.  Very good if you like Greek music.  Lots about Hadjidakis and Theodorakis and others.  I'd rate it as being as good as the Storace.

Many thanks.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 04:04:12
#44 Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:32 PM by TonyKath

Hi and welcome IslandHopper,

Nice to meet another "Persephone" fan.  Bryan here recommended it but he has a "love-hate-relationship" with it.  Didn't know the author got sued!! I've just checked and it's back on Amazon with various sellers. The price for h/b is remarkably anything from £0.01 s/h to £26.75 new.  Would make a great Crimbo pressie!!

I also noticed recently that The Flight of Ikaros (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007JNRNRY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B007JNRNRY&linkCode=as2&tag=goinggrinfo-21) by Kevin Andrews is now available for Kindle.  Recommended by Maik and another great read.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Thursday, 06 February, 2014 @ 17:47:50
Thanks for resurrecting this thread, Maik.    Thinks.... must read some of those books stacked up in my Kindle!

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maarm on Friday, 07 March, 2014 @ 12:54:02
The Magic In The Receiver - review

On the very last chapter of this book but wanted to give my opinion - very much enjoyed the historical side re earthquake, Yannis story and getting a better version of the Saint Gerasimus story (other than the tourist version), also lovely to be able to sink back into Kef mentally with the descriptions of Argostoli, Fiskardo, lovely food, evenings in the gardens..........  But, and I'm sorry to be critical, I understand why the modern day story is in there for the family link but I don't think it was really needed.  The historical aspect/story would have been enough to make this an enjoyable read.  Found myself getting impatient with the "newer" characters and I read a great amount of escapist/pap fiction. 

This is just my opinion and I greatly admire anyone who can write this well, which I couldn't.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Friday, 07 March, 2014 @ 20:37:11
I recently read Patrick Leigh Fermor's Roumeli having had it on my Kindle for a few months.  For those who don't know Fermor who died only fairly recently became well known with his books about his youthful walk across Europe in the early thirties.  He served with special forces/SIS during the war in Greece before the fall and then with the partisans in Crete where he famously captured the German commander on the island.  He was a lifelong Hellenophile living in Greece until his death.  "Paddy's" remarkable funeral is described on his blog along with many other aspects of his life and can be easily found via a Google search.  His Mani is probably his best known book,

Roumeli is an area of Northern Greece that has referred to various places over time and PLF just uses it as a hook for his tales about his visits to places that took his fancy in the North.  He also includes some wonderful descriptions of roughing it in the mountains of Crete just because he felt like including them.  Roumeli is one of those many Greek words where the stress is not where English would place it, in this case on the first syllable.

PLF delights in the the old and the obscure and in bringing them to life for the modern reader.  Topics include a wedding in the ancient semi-nomadic Sarakatsan people, the (then) run down and decaying monasteries of Meteora perched high on pinnacles of rock and an extensive chunk on the mainland opposite Kefalonia, including why there are no lobsters in Astakos and his attempt to repatriate Byron's slippers from Missalonghi.  He notes in passing that Kefalonians are noted for their flamboyant swearing!

At times this is a difficult book for those not so interested in the obscurities of language and history, though his lengthy excursus on the differences between romios and ellinos is right up my and Bryan's street!  :blink:   The descriptions of both landscape and his encounters with remarkable people are truly extraordinary and not to be missed. This book is a love letter to a Greece long past where modernity is rarely glimpsed and the first glimmers of tourism back in the 60's are greeted with a shudder.  For those who want to look more into what Greece was and  what still shapes it in present this is a book to both to work at and for sublime enjoyment.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Sunday, 09 March, 2014 @ 15:22:45
Might be of interest, an article on concordmonitor.com today about Patrick Leigh Fermor:
80 years after he walked across Europe, a travel writer’s final volume  (http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/10970643-95/80-years-after-he-walked-across-europe-a-travel-writers-final-volume)
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Sunday, 09 March, 2014 @ 19:48:19
Thanks for that Maik.  It contains a wonderful account of PLF's writing style and it's a pretty fine piece of writing in its own right.  However I've just checked the PLF blog and see it was originally published in Slate Book Review in a longer version: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2014/03/volume_3_in_patrick_leigh_fermor_s_trudge_series_the_broken_road_reviewed.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2014/03/volume_3_in_patrick_leigh_fermor_s_trudge_series_the_broken_road_reviewed.html).

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Monday, 10 March, 2014 @ 15:37:26
Another article / book that *might* be of interest (and another mention of PLF):
‘The Ariadne Objective:’ Spooks, Germans and the battle for Crete (http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite4_1_08/03/2014_537767)
Title: Kidnap in Crete
Post by: Maik on Monday, 08 September, 2014 @ 08:04:39
Quote
Hellraisers with deadly intent: the hard-living war heroes who captured a Nazi general

One evening, just before Christmas in 1943, three ex-public schoolboys sat naked in a steamy bathroom in Cairo discussing how to capture a German general from outside his headquarters on the island of Crete. They were agents of the Special Operations Executive (Force 133, Middle East).

For their Christmas lunch, Leigh Fermor cooked turkey stuffed with Benzedrine tablets.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/11078599/Hellraisers-with-deadly-intent-the-hard-living-war-heroes-who-captured-a-Nazi-general.html


Article's an interesting read.
Title: Re: Kidnap in Crete
Post by: TonyKath on Friday, 19 September, 2014 @ 16:33:39
Thanks for that Maik.  I a bit of a PLF fan but didn't know that he'd kept in touch with Kreipe.

There's rather a glut of books about the kidnapping at the moment and the original Ill Met by Moonlight by "Billy" Moss has never been out of print since the early fifties.  "Paddy" has his own  version out at the beginning of October but not sure how as he popped off a couple of years back and was a notoriously slow writer.  Presumably Artemis Cooper will have ghosted it for him as with the latest of the walking across Europe books.

Tony
Title: Re: Kidnap in Crete
Post by: Maik on Friday, 10 October, 2014 @ 11:05:19
There's rather a glut of books about the kidnapping at the moment and...  "Paddy" has his own  version out at the beginning of October but not sure how as he popped off a couple of years back


Quote
A new account of the kidnap of a German general in WW2 from occupied Crete sheds light on one of the 20th Century's most interesting men... Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor.

A decorated war hero, brilliant conversationalist, historian, Hollywood scriptwriter, perhaps the finest travel writer of his generation - the list of the achievements of Paddy, he was never called Patrick, goes on and on.

And now, three years after his death at the age of 96, Leigh Fermor's own account of the audacious wartime exploit, capturing General Heinrich Kreipe, the commander of a division on the island of Crete, evading his pursuers and getting him to Cairo, has been published, further gilding his glittering reputation.

The book, Abducting A General, recounts the incident with typical Fermor erudition and flair.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29518321
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Friday, 04 September, 2015 @ 00:05:43
Haven't read The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece by Josiah Ober, Mitsotakis Professor of Political Science and Classics at Stanford University, but the Washington Post article is quite interesting:
Classical Greece was incredibly politically innovative. Why did it rise — and then fall? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/09/03/classical-greece-was-incredibly-innovative-politically-speaking-why-did-it-rise-and-then-fall/)
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Saturday, 12 September, 2015 @ 04:35:16
Quote
Timely new graphic novel recalls how democracy first took root in Greece
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/timely-new-graphic-novel-recalls-how-democracy-first-took-root-in-greece-10493170.html
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Friday, 17 June, 2016 @ 18:36:10
Quote
A brief history of sex and sexuality in Ancient Greece

The sexual habits of people in Ancient Greece – from prostitution to pillow talk – are explored in a new book written by Paul Chrystal. Exploring the many layers of sex and sexuality in various Greek societies – from the Minoan civilisation through to Sparta and Hellenistic Greece – In Bed with the Ancient Greeks examines homosexuality, pederasty, mythological sex and sex in Greek philosophy and religion

In the beginning was sex. To the ancient Greek mythologisers, sexuality, love and sex were inextricably connected with the creation of the earth, the heavens and the underworld. Greek myth was a theogony of incest, murder, polygamy and intermarriage in which eroticism and fertility were elemental; they were there right from the start, demonstrating woman’s essential reproductive role in securing the cosmos, extending the human race and ensuring the fecundity of nature.

Simultaneously, Zeus, the top god, wasted no time in asserting his dominance over the other gods (both male and female).
http://www.historyextra.com/article/ancient-greece/brief-history-sex-and-sexuality-ancient-greece
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Thursday, 14 July, 2016 @ 13:51:13
Quote
The whimsical fable of Greece’s financial insolvency that you’ve been waiting for

Some crises are sexier than others. People are inclined to ask about the Great 9/11 Novel or the Definitive Novel of the Arab Spring. They are less concerned about the Whimsical Fable of Greece’s Financial Insolvency.

Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk” is, somewhat unexpectedly, that fable.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/the-whimsical-fable-of-greeces-financial-insolvency-that-youve-been-waiting-for/2016/07/13/7b21c16a-37fe-11e6-9ccd-d6005beac8b3_story.html


 :hmm:
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Saturday, 22 October, 2016 @ 12:32:04
Quote
Poop and pray: on domestic devotion in ancient Greece and Rome
New discoveries are changing how we understand ancient domesticity

Asclepius was the god of medicine, introduced from Greece to Rome in the early third century BC. The chapter “Health Matters: Kitchens and Bathrooms” is characteristically full of fresh insights. Sofroniew notes the presence of a lararium near the latrines in a house in central Pompeii decorated with a fresco of Fortune and a man emptying his bowels. An inscription above him reads “cacator cave malum”—“crapper beware of evil”.
http://theartnewspaper.com/comment/reviews/books/poop-and-pray-on-domestic-devotion-in-ancient-greece-and-rome/
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Tuesday, 25 October, 2016 @ 16:24:25
Quote
Byzantium or Medieval Greece?

I received my master’s degree in “Byzantine” history and during my studies I never questioned the legitimacy of “Byzantine” in describing or distorting the history of the Greeks after their forced conversion to Christianity in the fourth century of our era. Greece had been a Roman province since 146 BCE.

Emperor Constantine, for reasons unfathomable to this day, dumped the many gods Greco-Roman civilization for the one Jewish-Christian god. He triggered that civilization earthquake in his new capital, Constantinople, now Istanbul.

But neither Constantine, later emperors, nor Christian Greeks and Christian Romans would imagine their empire was Byzantium or that they were Byzantines. They considered themselves Roman.

I prefer Medieval Greece to Eastern Roman Empire because, starting in the seventh century, most emperors were Greek and the language of the state was Greek. This Medieval Greece included the territory of the Eastern Roman Empire: Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor and Italy. It lasted for more than 1,000 years.

The conquest of Medieval Greece by the Turks in 1453 was a result of centuries-long enslaving of the peasants, the loss of young men to monasteries, the abandonment of national armies for mercenaries, and the hostility between Greek East and Latin West. In 1054, the Eastern and Western Christian churches excommunicated each other. This civilization schism was followed by the fourth crusade. In 1204, Venetians, Germans and French sacked Constantinople, slaughtered its residents for days, burned its libraries, and dismembered Greece.

The Greeks recaptured Constantinople in 1261 but they remained vulnerable to powerful enemies. The Europeans exploited them. This was ideal for the Turks. They stepped into the power vacuum the Westerners had created in Medieval Greece.

There was a silver lining to the fall of Medieval Greece. Its scholars rushed to Padua, Venice and other great cities of the West. They carried with them the culture of ancient Greece. They translated into Latin key Greek scientific and philosophical texts, which triggered the Renaissance.

A few European scholars also saw the value of editing Medieval Greek texts, thus inaugurating the study of Medieval Greek civilization. One of those scholars was Hieronymus Wolf, a sixteenth-century German intellectual who edited Medieval Greek historians. Wolf coined the term Byzantium for the Eastern Roman Empire. He and other European scholars thought “Greek” ought to be reserved for ancient Greece. As for “Roman,” it was out of the question since the West had its own Roman emperors.

Wolf’s “Byzantium” triumphed in the scholarly community, at great cost to the integrity and understanding of Medieval Greek history and culture. Few people understand that under “Byzantium” there are centuries of Greek history, not ancient Greek history, but Christian Greek history, which is Greek history nevertheless. “Byzantium” and “Byzantine” obscure the contributions of Medieval Greece to this very day.

“A Short History of the Byzantine Empire” (I. B. Tauris, 2015) by Dionysios Stathakopoulos demystifies Medieval Greek history.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/evaggelos-vallianatos/byzantium-or-medieval-gre_b_12626380.html


Quote
Byzantium (Greek: Βυζάντιον Byzántion) was an ancient Greek colony on the site that later became Constantinople, and later still Istanbul. Byzantium was colonised by the Greeks from Megara in c. 657 BC.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantium
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Friday, 05 May, 2017 @ 18:11:47
Quote
Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis review – one of the greatest political memoirs ever?

The leftwing Greek economist and former minister of finance tells a startling story about his encounter with Europe’s ‘deep establishment’
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/03/yanis-varoufakis-greece-greatest-political-memoir
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Friday, 05 May, 2017 @ 21:36:33
Quote
Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis review – one of the greatest political memoirs ever?

The leftwing Greek economist and former minister of finance tells a startling story about his encounter with Europe’s ‘deep establishment’
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/03/yanis-varoufakis-greece-greatest-political-memoir (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/03/yanis-varoufakis-greece-greatest-political-memoir)

Thanks Maik - have just downloaded the review to my Kindle to read at leisure.  Saw the end of an interview with him  on ? Newsnight the other night but hadn't realised he was plugging his book.  Available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adults-Room-Battle-Europes-Establishment-ebook/dp/B01ICK4IWK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494008934&sr=8-1&keywords=varoufakis) for £9.99 (Kindle) £10 ish p/b.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Alan on Thursday, 13 July, 2017 @ 16:19:58
Its a shocking read, as European leaders allow the brutal punishment of the Greek people following the collapse of French and German banks, leaving Tsipras and Varoufakis with only impossible choices. Shameful.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Monday, 24 July, 2017 @ 14:22:45
Thanks for your comments Alan.  Must admit I've only read the first 20 or so pages in the Kindle sample which underwhelmed me after all the hype.  However you have spurred me on plus the the article in Protothema (http://en.protothema.gr/varoufakis-revelations-in-new-book-spark-political-firestorm/) that  Maik picked up.  It stays at £9.99 so I will list it on IQReader and see if the price drops.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: U4ea on Monday, 24 July, 2017 @ 17:08:27
Not sure if this  sheds any more light on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGt82RFfg3U
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Alan on Tuesday, 25 July, 2017 @ 09:29:10
The story is told in dramatic terms, but the events were part tragedy and part farce. Shouldn't be surprised what happens when Europe is run by undemocratic means, but I did still find it shocking.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Friday, 18 August, 2017 @ 21:01:19
#4 Bryan-in-Kilkis. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 14:17

What a thoroughly superb idea, Tony!!! I have a few suggestions:

2) (Three books by the same author) Crying Blue Murder / The Last Red Death / The Golden Silence, all by Paul Johnston. Paul Johnston struck on the ingenious idea of inventing the character of Alex Mavros, an Athens-based private investigator who is half Scots and half Greek, and these books are detective stories, a genre almost totally unknown in Greek literature itself. Such great authors as Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver and Val McDermid have given these books glowing reviews. I have to admit that what I read in them as regards life in Greece was thoroughly convincing. I usually pencil in a note in the front of books I read after I have finished them saying when I read them and my impressions of the book, and for each of these I have put the one word "Excellent".

Well, I finally got around to reading the first in the series and really must follow up on the rest. Anyone who likes the genre might like The Destroyers, by Christopher Bollen (Kindle version (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destroyers-Christopher-Bollen-ebook/dp/B01MSIIMRP/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=) available). Haven't read it but there's a favourable review in the New York Times: Money, Murder and a Missing Heir in a Thriller Set in Greece (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/books/review/the-destroyers-christopher-bollen.html).
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Saturday, 19 August, 2017 @ 14:31:11
Thanks for the re-post of this, Maik.  Helps explain why I couldn't find any Greek language crime fiction in the bookshop in Ioannina last May- apart from translations of US/British books, of which there were quite a few, but which I didn't want.  I was trying to find something with relatively easy vocabulary and which reflected modern Greek society and language.  In the end I followed the a recommendation from the assistant and got Το Σπίτι με τους Πέτρινους Αέτους (The House with the Stone Eagles) for only €4 as it turned out - a bargain for a Greek book.  Fairly much reflected the first two criteria though not terrifically well written which has led me to pause it.  Greek language review on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11539939) - looks like with spoilers.

The Paul Johnson books are not on Kindle but have just bought the first one s/h via Amazon £0.01 plus £2.80 p+p.

Tony
Title: The Sinking of HMS Perseus and the seaman who survived
Post by: Aristarches on Friday, 06 October, 2017 @ 12:12:41
Just gor back from Kef. and I thought I must mention this book by Jeanskala, a regular contributor to this site and the auther of several books about Kef.

I must declare an interest as I was given my copy by Jean and although I abhor the criticism of an eleemosynary treat I can honestly say that I found this book both very enjoyable and very informative.  It will be of interest to any visitor to Kef but, in particular, any visitor to the southeast of the island where much of the action takes place.  I can thoroughly recommend it.

I am not sure where the book is on sale but I am sure if you pm Jeanskala on this site she will let you know where you can buy a copy.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Monday, 26 March, 2018 @ 17:41:29
#4 Bryan-in-Kilkis. Posted 12-09-2012 @ 14:17

What a thoroughly superb idea, Tony!!! I have a few suggestions:

2) (Three books by the same author) Crying Blue Murder / The Last Red Death / The Golden Silence, all by Paul Johnston. Paul Johnston struck on the ingenious idea of inventing the character of Alex Mavros, an Athens-based private investigator who is half Scots and half Greek, and these books are detective stories, a genre almost totally unknown in Greek literature itself. Such great authors as Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver and Val McDermid have given these books glowing reviews. I have to admit that what I read in them as regards life in Greece was thoroughly convincing. I usually pencil in a note in the front of books I read after I have finished them saying when I read them and my impressions of the book, and for each of these I have put the one word "Excellent".

Well, I finally got around to reading the first in the series and really must follow up on the rest. Anyone who likes the genre might like The Destroyers, by Christopher Bollen (Kindle version (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Destroyers-Christopher-Bollen-ebook/dp/B01MSIIMRP/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=) available). Haven't read it but there's a favourable review in the New York Times: Money, Murder and a Missing Heir in a Thriller Set in Greece (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/books/review/the-destroyers-christopher-bollen.html).

Have finally read Crying Blue Murder during the cold winter months in the UK. Great recommendation and a great read.  It's set on the fictional Cylcades island of Trigano some time round 2000 and touches on traditional values in Greek family life, the international art trade and the British role with the Greek resistance in WWII.  The private eye is Alex Mavros who investigates several rather bloodthirsty murders but like most of his kind has flaws of his own which I would imagine are resolved in the final volume of the trilogy.  I look forward to reading the next two but they are slightly tricky to track down.  I got mine for £0.01 s/h + p&p off Amazon. 

**My copy is available to anyone here for free and no postage for a donation preferably to KATS  or alternatively a charity collection box of your choice.  Please PM me with your details.  UK only, please.
**Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Monday, 26 March, 2018 @ 17:58:50
...in the final volume of the trilogy.  I look forward to reading the next two but they are slightly tricky to track down.  I got mine for £0.01 s/h + p&p off Amazon. 

No longer a trilogy! Not sure what it is but there's (now) seven of 'em. Paul Johnston: Greek Private Eye Novels (http://www.paul-johnston.co.uk/pages/books/greek_page.htm). *Looks like* they next two are available on Amazon, haven't checked for the later ones. I found Crying Blue Murder in my local library.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Monday, 26 March, 2018 @ 18:13:55
Gosh thanks Maik.  Had no idea.  The site also gives summaries of the now seven Alex Mavros books.

 :btu:

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Colleywobble on Wednesday, 28 March, 2018 @ 20:04:14
Just got "The White Sea", the seventh book in the series, from the library yesterday. Don't usually read detective books but will give it a try. Keep you all posted!!
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 @ 03:18:31
(http://goinggreek.info/gallery/1_14_04_19_3_10_40.jpeg)
Patrick Leigh Fermor pictured in 1946 on the Greek island of Ithaca

Quote
Fall in love like a literary giant! The legendary Paddy Leigh Fermor adored Greece's Peloponnese - and so will you, says his biographer

'They'll have the coat off your back, they'll skin you alive, my child!' This was the warning Patrick Leigh Fermor was given in Sparta, when he said he was going to the Mani in the early Fifties.

Having walked across Europe at the age of 18 and kidnapped a German general on Crete from under the noses of the enemy during World War II, Fermor was not put off, although he'd heard the Maniots were a wild lot.

Poor and fiercely patriotic, they fought like tigers against the pirates and Turks who threatened their stony shores; and when the danger had passed, they returned to their own bloodthirsty feuds.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travelsupplement/article-6918443/The-legendary-Paddy-Leigh-Fermor-adored-Greeces-Peloponnese-says-biographer.html

Interesting article about Fermor and a less discovered part of Greece

Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, by Artemis Cooper, is published by John Murray, at £9.99
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 @ 20:21:16
Nice article - I enjoyed the description of Kardamyli. The biography is worth reading.


Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Alan on Wednesday, 12 June, 2019 @ 13:18:32
Just read the latest Victoria Hislop book 'Those who are loved'. It may not be great literature but the subject is interesting. It tells the story of Greece since 1930 through the lives of a single family. Although there is nothing really new in the story, it nevertheless puts events into perspective and I think its worth a read. 
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Wednesday, 02 October, 2019 @ 09:47:58
Quote
‘The Last Monk of the Strofades,’ out now in English

Following its publication in Greek last year, “The Last Monk of the Strofades: Memories from an Unknown Greek Island” is now available in English from Abbeville Press.

The book by US photographer Robert A. McCabe and Greek journalist Katerina Lymperopoulou is a unique record of the fortified monastery on Stamfani, the larger of the two Strofades islets off Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea. The 13th century monastery suffered serious damage during an earthquake in November of 1997 and was shut down after another temblor in October 2018.

For centuries, the monastery served as a refuge for seafarers and a target for pirates and Turkish raiders, while in its heyday it was home to some 40 farmer-monks. By 1976, however, only one monk remained, Father Gregory Kladis (1937-2017), who alone tended the monastery until 2014.

The book is intended to tell the world about the Monastery of Strofades and encourage its preservation.
http://www.ekathimerini.com/245051/gallery/ekathimerini/life/the-last-monk-of-the-strofades-out-now-in-english
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Wednesday, 20 November, 2019 @ 02:18:23
Quote
Top 10: Crime, guns and Greek-inspired literature

Over the years there are Greeks who have written good crime fiction and English-speaking writers who are inspired by Greece and have proved very adept at trawling the Greek underworld. Here are 10 of the best writers of crime novels either based in Greece or featuring Greek protagonists. With summer approaching, perhaps it’s time to take a Greek Noir crime novel to the beach with you.

1. PETROS MARKARIS
2. YANNIS TSIRIKOMOS
3. POL KOUTSAKIS
4. SERGIO GAKAS
5. ANNA ZOUROUDIS
6. GARY CORBY
7. JEFFREY SIGER
8. PAUL JOHNSTON
9. GEORGE PELECANOS
10. PHILLIP KERR
https://neoskosmos.com/en/151739/top-10-crime-guns-and-greek-inspired-literature/
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Saturday, 30 November, 2019 @ 19:16:33
That's very helpful Maik.  I've seen Markaris's untranslated books  recommended for learners of Greek - with some grounding in the language, but haven't tried myself.  Expensive in the UK via Bibliagora.

Tony
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Annie P on Sunday, 01 December, 2019 @ 07:59:47
How about Beryl Darby, can't see her mentioned? She wrote a serious of books set in Crete. They follow the lives of a number of different family members spanning the years 1918  onwards. I have only read the first one, Yannis but enjoyred it very much.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Bryan-in-Kilkis on Sunday, 01 December, 2019 @ 12:11:51
I have read and can highly recommend Paul Johnston's 'Alex Mavros' series.  Alex Mavros is a half-Greek half-Scots private investigator based in Athens who comes up against some very unsavoury people in the course of his investigations.  Johnston's portrayal of various aspects of Greece and Greeks is highly realistic and his storylines make the books hard to put down...
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Sunday, 01 December, 2019 @ 15:44:27
How about Beryl Darby

Thanks, Annie. Hadn't heard of Beryl Darby, as you say, she's written a number of books set in Greece, twenty four from what I can see on the list! Plus a guide to Spinalonga written in 1982.
beryldarbybooks.com (http://www.beryldarbybooks.com/about-the-author.html)

I read the first Alex Mavros and keep meaning to find time to read more... one day... provided I don't have to pay silly prices on Amazon
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Colleywobble on Saturday, 11 January, 2020 @ 12:38:25
Have just read Victoria Hislop's new book," Those who are Loved".About the time from the German occupation through to present time.Gave a good insight into the time of the Greek Civil War and the time of the Junta from one family's aspect.Had heard from locals in Skala that more people died at the time of the Civil War than during the occupation and how it had affected people locally.Can recommend but i would wait until the paper back comes out in the Spring.I had  the hard back as a Christmas present but its a bit expensive.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Maik on Tuesday, 19 May, 2020 @ 16:20:27
Quote
10 of the best novels set in Greece – that will take you there
From the natural beauty of Corfu and Kefalonia to the caves and myths of Crete, Greece has inspired writers for millennia
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/may/19/10-best-novels-set-in-greece-corfu-kefalonia-crete

Well, yes, Louis de Bernières is in there but so are a few authors you might never have heard of.
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: kef97 on Tuesday, 19 May, 2020 @ 17:17:11
When I was in Patras last October for some medical tests, I met Kostas Kremmydas who played the Police Superintendant in 'The Durrells'.
He was staying at the same Hotel & joined me for breakfast.
What a lovely man!!!
Besides being an Actor he is also an Author. He was in the middle of a book-signing tour to promote his books & very kindly gave me a signed copy of one of his books, a novel titled 'Cave of Silence' which I thoroughly enjoyed reading
His books are all available from Amazon
Title: Re: Books about Greece
Post by: Misty on Tuesday, 19 May, 2020 @ 21:13:06
Thank you for the recommendation Kef97, I've just bought it for my kindle.
Also I finally got round to reading Blue Skies & Black Olives by John Humpreys recently, a very entertaining read.