The best books on Greece 📚

Browse the best books on Greece as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Monarchy in Modern Greece

Monarchy in Modern Greece

By Costas M. Stamatopoulos

Why this book?

How do monarchies begin and why do they fail? Remarkably few serious studies of Greece’s deposed royal family have appeared in print. Monarchy in Modern Greece, now available in this excellent English translation, offers readers a highly informative and thoughtful account of Greece’s experiment with “crowned democracy.” Written in essay form, scholars and general readers alike will find much to illuminate and entertain as Costas Stamatopoulos judiciously reviews the reigns of the seven monarchs whose reigns were buffeted by domestic and international crises. The lengthy footnote section is a veritable gold mine for anyone wanting to explore further and dig…

From the list:

The best books on modern monarchy

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Book cover of Eleni

Eleni

By Nicholas Gage

Why this book?

For many Greeks and Greek-Americans, Eleni is a literary north star, especially in the world of non-fiction. On one hand, it’s an urgent and imperative testimony to a brutal and tragic event that the world and history at large have over-looked and forgotten, and on the other, and a more personal level, it’s a poignant and devastatingly powerful testament of a son’s love for his mother. Revenge and forgiveness are constantly at odds and at the forefront of this journey, which also doubles as an important and specific type of immigrant story and experience. Which one will ultimately win out:…

From the list:

The best books set in Greece

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Book cover of The Stuffed Coffin

The Stuffed Coffin

By Dieter Moitzi

Why this book?

I’m a gay writer living in France, so of course, I had to read The Stuffed Coffin when it won France’s national 2019 Prize for Gay Thriller. And as a bonus, it’s set in Greece, the country which stole my heart long ago. After breaking up with his boyfriend, Damien needs to get away and chooses a bucolic Greek village next to the sea. His first night there, he falls for a handsome youth, Nikos, but their relationship is anything but simple. Meanwhile, bodies start appearing: drowned, run over, whatever. It’s hardly the calm respite Damien envisioned but readers will…

From the list:

The best contemporary gay novels set on the Mediterranean

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Book cover of The Corfu Trilogy

The Corfu Trilogy

By Gerald Durrell

Why this book?

As an animal-lover who has spent many blissful years on holiday in Greece, I had wanted to read this much-loved classic for ages. Gerald Durrell writes about his life in Corfu with brilliant humour. Vignettes about his unconventional family and that strange assortment of hangers-on who keep appearing had me in stitches. These, and the accounts of intrepid expeditions to pursue new creatures for his collection, fill the book with colour. I found his portrayals of Corfu and its locals utterly captivating. His romance with the island is enough to inspire anyone to pluck up the courage and move abroad.
From the list:

The best books on moving abroad to Europe

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Book cover of Greece and the Augustan Cultural Revolution

Greece and the Augustan Cultural Revolution

By A.J.S. Spawforth

Why this book?

Rome appropriated many aspects of Athenian (and Greek) culture for its political and cultural needs – so much so that the poet Horace spoke of ‘captured Greece capturing the rude conqueror’. This book discusses the ‘Romanization’ of Greece and the impact that Greek culture or Hellenism had on the Romans, and by extension, how the Romans (or at least educated ones) came to view the Greeks. In this cultural interaction, Athens played a key role, as the author shows. This book is an important balance to the ‘usual’ political and military approach to the period, and shows the importance of…

From the list:

The best books on a neglected period: post Classical Athens

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Book cover of Circe

Circe

By Madeline Miller

Why this book?

When I first picked up Circe years ago, I didn’t know what to expect, only that I was always up for a retelling of a myth and the witch Circe was someone I didn’t know much about. By the time the witch lands alone and exiled on her island, I was head over heels in love. Who was this beautiful writer? What couldn’t she do? Turns out, everyone else in the world was thinking the same thing. If you love myth, magic, and gorgeous storytelling, I heartily recommend this book. 

From the list:

The best witchy books that aren’t YA for YA readers

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