My Greek Books
My Greek Books is back with some fantastic reads to kick off your summer! I’ve logged a lot of reading hours in the past month, including those authored by Greeks, about Greece, and set in Greece, and also some fantastic fiction by non-Greek authors. I typically post about ‘non-Greek’ books I’ve read on my Facebook page on #whatchareadingwednesdays. Are you following me there? If not, visit the Maria A. Karamitsos page, like AND follow, so you don’t miss anything!
This month, I’ll share with you a novel set on the amazing island of Crete, a how-to, and memoir. So, let’s get to it!
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Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother, and Beyond by Chris Hillman
Bmg Books (October 19, 2021)
You may know Chris Hillman as a member of the groups The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, or you may know him as a solo artist. The man credited with the birth of country rock is a proud Greek Orthodox Christian! And, he’s married to a Greek—the Chicago-born-and-bred Connie Pappas Hillman, his wife of more than 50 years. Connie is a music industry exec who worked for Elton John for several decades.
About Time Between
In this memoir, Chris recounts his escapades growing up in Southern California, learning to play his instruments, his father’s suicide, his roller coaster adventures in the music business, and more. I enjoyed learning about his journey through the years, including finding religion, meeting his wife, and ultimately, converting to Greek Orthodoxy. He’s refreshingly candid. No subjects are off limits here, as he recants his mistakes and wrong turns. But he also speaks to what he’s learned—and even shares the times it took him a while to learn some lessons. He pokes fun at his youthful follies and is frank about his father’s passing and its effect on his life. You’ll recognize many of the names he mentions, and it’s like you’re on a ride with him down memory lane.
My Greek Books Review of Time Between
Even after all these years, Chris Hillman isn’t done. This tome chronicles his life so far, but there’s much more in store. His fans, music lovers, and those who like to read about circuitous paths to fame will enjoy this book. After I read it, for a week “Mr. Tambourine Man” played on continuous loop in my head!
Learn more: chrishillman.com
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The Crete Walking Society by Richard Clark
Independently published (May 10, 2022)
Over the years I’ve read and reviewed several of Brit Author Richard Clark’s books, from his travel memoirs of Greece, to his novels The Lost Lyra, Return to Turtle Beach, and The Forgotten Song. Richard has a home on the island of Crete, and his love for the island shines through in his work. I couldn’t wait to read his latest, The Crete Walking Society. It’s a quick read, perfect for a day at the beach.
About The Crete Walking Society
Amy, a young artist escapes the fallout of the dissolution of her parents’ marriage, leaving England to settle on the island of Crete. Her sister stays behind to pick up the pieces, and their lives follow different paths. Over the years, she assimilates into island life, sells her art, and is happy in her little corner of the world. She and her friends assemble to hike some of the island’s famous gorges, informally calling themselves, The Crete Walking Society. Her boyfriend, Nick, is part of these treks. Life is perfect, until he proposes. She isn’t looking for commitment and turns him down. That’s not the life she wants.
Then we meet Isabelle and Andrew, a young British couple, who fall in love with a long-forgotten Cretan home. They purchase it to renovate and make it their own. The couple, who are doctors, are struck by the news of the Covid-19 outbreak. The UK is short on medical staff and Isabelle is compelled to return home to help. Later, Andrew, who remained on the island to jumpstart their project, receives the tragic news—Isabelle succumbed to the virus herself. He’s not sure how to pick up the pieces, until he meets Amy. The two becomes friends, and she helps him to fix up the gardens, as Isabelle had envisioned.
When Amy returns to the UK for her mother’s funeral, she learns that her sister Emma’s picture-perfect life isn’t what it seems. Not sure what to do, she convinces her sister to come to Crete. Just as Amy and Andrew had grown close, Emma teams up with Andrew to fix the interior of his house. The sisters will have to determine what this means for them and their future. And just what does that future hold? You’ll have to read it to find out.
My Greek Books Review of The Crete Walking Society
As this is another year of “staycation” for us, I relished this trip to one of my favorite places on earth—Crete. I felt like I was right there, following them through the island. Richard Clark’s The Crete Walking Society is not only a much-needed escape, but it’s also a story of love, loss, friendship, redemption, and the power of a gorgeous island. Add this to your summer reading list!
Learn more: notesfromgreece.com
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Draw a Circle (Not A Line): A Modern Guide to the Ancient Art of Hospitality by Melanie Wolf
Sea Salt Books (January 1, 2022)
Hospitality is part of our Greek blood, right? You may be thinking, “So why do I need this guide?” Well, this book is more than just a how-to guide to hosting. Melanie gathered ideas, tips, and tricks from her years living abroad, including five years in Greece, where she learned to speak Greek and converted to Greek Orthodoxy. She also has a home there. Melanie has been working on this book on and off over the years, while raising five kids. She is my dear friend, and she’s hosted me many times in her home. I can tell you for a fact that she’s a spectacular hostess. Melanie is a bright light in person, and that comes shining through here.
About Draw a Circle
Melanie offers modern-day tips and tricks to level up your hospitality. Her PLUM method will help the novice and the seasoned host prepare for a gathering. She also offers tips for extended stays, overnight guests, and even how you can be a good guest. I love how she incorporates ways to get the kids involved, and to teach them to be good hosts as well.
My Greek Books Review of Draw a Circle
Draw a Circle (Not a Line) is perfect for hosts of all experience levels. Melanie Wolf lovingly draws a circle around us and our guests to help us make our get-togethers most enjoyable. I have hosted many times, but I picked up some new tips here, including some things I hadn’t considered. I love her suggestions on getting yourself ready for the event, so you can enjoy it as well. And tips to get the kids involved are priceless! Lines divide, but circles unite. And with Melanie’s tips, we can all come together for many more delightful gatherings. If you host–or want to–this book is for you. And it’ll make a great gift. Think bridal showers, housewarming parties, birthdays, and more.
Learn more: seasaltbooks.com
My Greek Books—June 2022 Edition
That’s it for this month! I’m already lining up some great books to share with you next time. It’s summer. Time to relax and recharge. Perfect time to catch up on your reading. See you next month!