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My Greek Books—December Reads

by Maria A. Karamitsos   ·  3 years ago   ·  

Welcome back! This month, My Greek Books take me to Northern Greece, Troy, and Ancient Greece. Click through to find out what I’ve been reading.

My Greek Books

The December edition of My Greek Books is here! Greetings from my little corner of the world. Books provide me a much-needed escape from the realities of our time. I read on mostly own, but this past month we’ve started a family “book club” with our daughters. I hope that books bring you respite.

This month’s reads include a just-out English translation of a novel by an author I’ve read before, and two from my “To-Read” stack… one just two years old and the other now 80 years old.

And of course, my To-Read stack is ever-growing. 😉 How about you?

Keep reading to find out what’s new in My Greek Books.

Maria A. Karamitsos supports independent booksellers through Bookshop supports indies in two ways: 10% of regular sales on are added to an earnings pool that is evenly divided and distributed to independent bookstores every 6 months. As a affiliate. She’ll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The Siege of Troy: A Novel by Theodor Kallifatides

Translated from Swedish by Marlaine Delargy

Other Press (September 10, 2019)

About the author

Born in Greece but living in Sweden for more than 50 years, Author Theodor Kallifatides has published novels, poetry collections, travel essays, and plays, plus has written film scripts and directed a film. He writes in Swedish. His works have been translated into 20 languages.

The award-winning author’s inspiration stems from his experiences in Greece as a Greek living abroad. In 2016 interview with Greek News Agenda, he said that his interest in writing and books began at a young age.

“My father, who was a teacher, had already taught me how to read and write. It was during the Occupation of Greece in WWII. The Germans executed a man in our village, and to set an example, we were all forced to observe the execution.”

About the book

This experience is central to The Siege of Troy. During WWII and the German occupation in Greece, a teenage boy and his friend witness the horrors of the war. Danger lingers in the village and their teacher leads the students to shelter in cave. To help them deal with the reality they’re living, each day she reads a passage from The Iliad. She brings the ancient story to life, focusing more on the mindsets of the warriors, their driving force. In this quest, she highlights the horrors and senselessness of war and its cost.

It’s been years since I read The Iliad, and I appreciated the retelling in a new voice. I hope this will intrigue readers who may not have read Homer’s epic to seek it, and others who read it decades ago, to revisit with fresh eyes and perspective. Theodor Kallifatides did a splendid job juxtaposing the past and present and drawing us into this world. In it, he shows us that, unfortunately, some things don’t change.

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Evora by Kostas Krommydas

Translated by Maria Christou

Independently published (October 22, 2020)

About the author

The most recent translated work by Kostas Krommydas does not disappoint. The Greek author of several novels (5 translated to English) is also an actor. You may have seen him as the police superintendent in The Durrells in Corfu. Like his other books, Evora is inspired by true events.

About the book

Driving through a snowstorm with limited visibility, Ariadne swerves off a narrow mountain road to avoid hitting a dog. Her vehicle stuck in the bushes; she rolls down the window to try to escape. Offsetting the fragile balance, it sends the car careening into the icy lake. The dog’s frantic barks alerted two couples who stayed in a nearby cabin. Antonis dives in and rescues her. Back at the cabin, she warms but the fire and he tends to her head wound. He saved her life, but there’s some other connection. However, Antonis is married, and his wife is present.

At Evora, her home/wellness retreat, she convalesces. She’s adopted the dog. Months later Antonis appears in her town. The physicist, a specialist in climate change, headed to Thessaloniki, he stops to check in on her. He’s newly divorced and exploring the area for a job relocation. They’re connection still strong, they’re drawn together. Ariadne hadn’t been in a relationship for a long time. They fall in love. An unfortunate accident on her birthday, brings tragedy. As another life hangs in the balance, family and love are tested.

Kostas Krommydas is an amazing storyteller. His stories grab your heart and don’t let go. This is another you won’t be able to put down. This story will transport you to an idyllic mountaintop in Northern Greece and challenge what you know about enduring love.

Buy it on Amazon

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Alexander the Great: a Novel by Nikos Kazantzakis

Translated by Theodora Vasils

Ohio University Press (January 15, 1982)

About the author

As a fan of Nikos Kazantzakis’ works, I’m always eager to dive into another. Someday I hope to read them in the original Greek. The translation of At the Palaces of Knossos by Themi and Theodora Vasils, is one of my favorites. I knew the sisters. Theodora died in 2017.

About the book

Recently, I stumbled upon Theodora’s translation of Alexander the Great: a Novel. The book, at once inspired by Kazantzakis’ life, is written for the younger reader, thought adults will also enjoy it. The colorful characters are ancient, yet modern, bringing to life an engaging portrait of the mighty king who carried the light of Hellenism from Greece all the way to the Far East. In this fictional account, we see into Alexander’s world, his thoughts, through the lens of Kazantzakis’ imagination. The sisters have translated other of the great Cretan author’s works and I can’t wait to dive into the next one.

Buy it on Amazon

My Greek Books December_Image by lisa870 from Pixabay
Image by lisa870 from Pixabay

My Greek Books—December Edition

That’s it for this edition of My Greek Books. Hope you’re enjoying this series. I’ll be back next month with more My Greek Books. It’s getting cold around here. Hope you’ll curl up with a steaming cup of tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate, and escape with a good book!

Till next time – keep reading!

Books make greats gift! Check out my “store” on and support independent bookstores. I add new books to my lists every week! If you aren’t sure what book to gift, give a gift card! Go to my store, then click Happy Shopping!

Read more ‘My Greek Books’:

July Reads

May Reads

April Reads

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Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos is a journalist, author, and poet. She's the founder & former publisher/editor of WindyCity Greek magazine and former associate editor & senior writer for The Greek Star newspaper. Maria currently pens a literary column for NEO magazine and also contributes to Greek City Times and TripFiction. Her work has been published in The Magic of Us-A Moms Who Write Poetry Anthology, The Pen Poetry Magazine, Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, Highland Park Poetry, GreekCircle magazine, The National Herald, GreekReporter, Harlots Sauce Radio, Women.Who.Write, KPHTH magazine, XPAT Athens, and more. Maria has contributed to two books: Greektown Chicago: Its History, Its Recipes and The Chicago Area Ethnic Handbook. She's currently working on her 1st novel.

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