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My Greek Books—June 2023 Reads

by Maria A. Karamitsos   ·  1 year ago   ·  

It’s My Greek Books time! This month let’s travel back in time, and to some exotic places. Click through to find out what I’ve been reading.

My Greek Books

Welcome back! This month, I’ll share two novels and a travel memoir, all of which transport us to another time and place.

No need to pack your suitcase. Just keep reading!

Maria A. Karamitsos is an Amazon affiliate. As an Amazon affiliate, she earns money from qualifying purchases. By clicking through the links, when you make a purchase, she will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. It helps to support her writerly endeavors.

Wake Me Up for the Elephants: Comic Tales of a Restless Traveller by Marjory McGinn

Pelagos Press (April 15, 2023)

About the author

If you’ve been following me over the years, then you’re surely familiar with Marjory McGinn. The Scottish-born author and journalist spent her formative years in Australia, and now lives in Cornwall, England. She and her husband Jim moved to Greece in 2010, along with their cheeky dog Wallace. They stayed for four years and in different locations. She chronicled their adventures in four bestselling travel memoirs–Things Can Only Get Feta, Homer’s Where the Heart Is, A Scorpion in the Lemon Tree, and A Donkey on the Catwalk–that highlight their love for Greece, plus tales of cultural flubs and crazy dogs, and the warm and colorful people they met along the way. She’s also written two novels set in Greece: A Saint for the Summer and How Greek Is Your Love? that follow Expat Bronte McKnight. (All books from Pelagos Press)

My Greek Books June 2023_Wake Me Up for the Elephants by Marjory McGinn cover
The latest travel memoir by PhilHellene Author Marjory McGinn

The story

Marjory delves back into her days as a journalist in Australia, traveling on press junkets to exotic locations. A prequel to her Greek travel series, we can see her passion for travel, quick wit, and adventurous spirit as guiding forces. We follow her to incredible locales in India, Africa, Fiji, and more—and ultimately to Greece. But her stories are not all fun and games. There are also wild animals, eccentric colleagues, creeps, and scary situations. But none deter her intrepid spirit. When the adventures end, she wrestles an important question: where is home, truly, and where does she go from there.

My Greek Books review

As kid activities keep my family grounded this year, Marjory’s book came at the perfect time. Her stories transport readers to different countries, and we delve into the various cultures along with her. You’ll laugh, you’ll wince, and you’ll reflect. Marjory draws us in with her signature wit, colorful descriptions, and poignant recollections. You’ll love this one too. Get ready for some new adventures—no passport required!

Buy it on Amazon


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Yesteryear by Stephen G. Eoannou

Santa Fe Writer’s Project (October 3, 2023)

About the author

Greek-American Author Stephen G. Eoannou culls inspiration from his hometown of Buffalo, NY, where he sets his stories. His published works include a novel, Rook (Unsolicited Press, 2022) and the short story collection Muscle Cars (SWP, 2015). An award-winning author, he’s received the Honor Certificate from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 36th Starz Denver Film Festival, and the 2021 International Eyelands Award for Best Historical Novel. He earned an MFA from Queens University in Miami.

My Greek Books June 2023_Yesteryear by Stephen G. Ioannou
New from Greek-American Author Stephen G. Eoannou

The story

Based on the often-controversial story of Fran Striker, the creator of ‘The Lone Ranger’, Yesteryear takes us back to 1930s Buffalo, as the Depression hits and Striker’s family obligations are growing. He’s to write a new radio pilot, but he’s blocked. On a walk, he ends up at the local watering hole and has a drink. There, he becomes the reluctant guardian of diamond rings belonging to a former boxing champion, who runs in some dangerous circles. On his way home, Striker is attacked. The rings are stolen, and he’s left for dead.

When he regains consciousness, he is embroiled in a perilous quest to recover the rings, which ultimately inspires the creation of the iconic ‘The Lone Ranger’. And with all the mobbed-up figures involved, he winds up in a fight for his livelihood—and his life.

My Greek Books review

With his evocative imagery, Stephen G. Eoannou captures the Depression years and immerses us in those tumultuous years. Complete with mafiosa, oddballs, and all manner of bad guys—and gals—Yesteryear is a fascinating glimpse into the life and challenges of ‘The Lone Ranger’s creator, and the inspiration for the famous show. This roller coaster ride of a caper will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Buy it on Amazon


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.

Arrested Song by Irena Karafilly

Legend Press (March 28, 2023)

About the author

Award-winning author Irena Karafilly was born in the Urals and has lived in five different countries—including Greece. She’s the recipient of the National Magazine Award, the CBC Literary Award, and others. She’s also a poet, and her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary and commercial magazines. Irena has penned seven books, two of which are in Greek. She divides her time between Greece and Canada, “still looking for home”.

New from PhilHellene Author Irena Karafilly

The story

It’s 1941. Hitler invades Greece, and life turns upside down. Calliope Adham, the multilingual schoolmistress in Molyvos, is recruited by the Germans as a liaison officer. The recently widowed woman works for Lt. Lorenz Umbreicht, and they develop a friendship, which proves fortuitous for the outspoken woman. Calliope has never been one to be held by traditional roles and expectations.

Then Calliope joins the Greek resistance, risking everything—including a growing attraction to the German officer. As the war rages, the stakes get higher, and suspicions mount. When Greece is liberated, the country plunges into a civil war, and struggles to recover. Calliope stands firm to her principles, through ongoing challenges, as Greece is later oppressed by military leadership. Her relationship with Umbreicht endures over the decades, though their lives take different paths. Always ahead of her time, she fights stereotypical roles for women and girls and dedicates her life to giving them a voice, even amongst political upheaval.

My Greek Books review

Through vivid descriptions and heart wrenching tales, Irena Karafilly distills decades of Greek history into a sweeping saga of love, loss, war, and triumph. With her story of a bold and brave woman who defies stereotypes and lives life her way, we re-examine women’s roles from the 1940s to now, and also see how war alters lives forever. Arrested Song is an ode to fearless women past, present, and future.

Note: Due to exceptional demand, Arrested Song is now in its 2nd printing and will restock soon. Pre-order paperbacks on Bookshop and Abe Books. Kindle version is available now on Amazon. Audio version is available now through Audible.



My Greek Books—June 2023 Edition

Well, now you have three new books to add to your list! Check back next month for more My Greek Books. Happy Summer Reading!

Read more:

My Greek Books—May 2023 Reads

My Greek Books—June 2022 Reads

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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