The best books for a virtual odyssey in ancient and modern Greece

The Books I Picked & Why

Vignettes of Modern Greece

By Melissa Orme-Marmarelis

Vignettes of Modern Greece

Why this book?

An American scientist and her Greek-American professor husband relocate to Greece with their young children as the millennium approaches. Dr. Orme, now back in the USA and a Vice President for Boeing, writes eloquently about her family’s decision to establish their home in Greece, a country whose language and customs are new and often challenging for an American immigrant. Her journey into the arms of a warm Greek community is shared through a series of vignettes that give readers an honest glimpse into the life and culture of modern Greece, and its positive impact on her own life and her family’s future.


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Murder in Mykonos: An Inspector Kaldis Mystery

By Jeffrey Siger

Murder in Mykonos: An Inspector Kaldis Mystery

Why this book?

In Book 11, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, fresh from Athens to the picturesque Greek island, must find the perpetrators of a gruesome murder of a young woman found dead in a rural church. Siger, via his blunt investigator Kaldis, is an expert in sprinkling the beautiful Greek landscape with notes of suspense and mystery, and, like the earlier entries in this attractive series, Murder in Mykonos does not disappoint.


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American Kid

By Constance M. Constant

American Kid

Why this book?

Katherine, a Greek immigrant to the US, took her American children to Greece in the late 1930s to live on her family’s farm and escape from the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the arrival of the Nazi invaders trapped the family in Greece during the Occupation and the end of World War II. Based on a true family story, American Kid movingly describes the experiences of the children in the remote mountain village of Katherine’s birth, and their efforts to survive the occupation of their home by Nazis. Would they ever see their beloved America again? An authentic glimpse of the devastating war’s impact on innocent youth and the value of hope.


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Legacy of Courage: A Holocaust Survival Story in Greece

By Frederic Kakis

Legacy of Courage: A Holocaust Survival Story in Greece

Why this book?

Frederic Kakis, a brilliant scientist and moving writer, shares a personal story of survival and fortitude for a Jewish family in Northern Greece during the Nazi occupation. Close to 80,000 were relocated to Nazi concentration campus far from their homes in Thessaloniki and close to 60,000 did not survive the Holocaust. Dr. Kakis describes the terror experienced as well as the courage shown by Greek Jews and their local Christian neighbors during this tragic invasion, and how their efforts helped as many of the vulnerable as possible survive. 


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The Athenian Murders

By Jose Carlos Somoza

The Athenian Murders

Why this book?

As an author of mystery-thrillers, including the Sherlock Holmes Pastiche, “Elementary, My Dear Spock” as well as a longtime fan of Agatha Christie, I was drawn to the appeal of an ancient Greek “detective”, Heracles Pontor investigating murders in Plato’s Athens. And, Somoza does not disappoint, inviting us to share Pontor’s journey down a rabbit hole that grows ever more intriguing and dangerous page by page. Somoza welcomes us with a beautifully translated murder mystery that soon envelopes us in a fascinating exploration of Plato, reality, and, as reflected in the original Spanish title, the Cave of Ideas. 


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