Sunday, February 20, 2011

BW8: G is for Greece

Hotel "Homeric Poems", Firostefani, Santorini.
Courtesy of Klearchos Kapoutsis

Our armchair travels take us this week to Greece.What do you think of first when you think of Greece.  The architecture, art, theatre, mythology, or  the great philosophers? One of my favorite paintings is The School of Athens by Raphael.

School of Athens by Raphael
When we think of ancient Greece, we think of the philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.   Plato learned from Socrates and continued his ideas when he died and started his own school. Aristotle learned from Plato.  Who did Socrates learn from.   The first Greek philosopher and scientist who became known as the founder of philosophy was Thales of Miletus.  He was one of the Seven Sages of Greece. The sages were 7 men who were statesmen, lawgivers and philosophers known for their wisdom and responsible for such sayings as:

Solon of Athens - "Nothing in excess"
Chilon of Sparta - "Know thyself"
Thales of Miletus - "To bring surety brings ruin"
Bias of Priene - "Too many workers spoil the work"
Cleobulus of Lindos - "Moderation is the chief good"
Pittacus of Mitylene - "Know thine opportunity"
Periander of Corinth - "Forethought in all things"
From the ancient Illiad and the Odyssey to the modern, there is a wide array of books about Greece or set in Greece.   I'm not in the mood to read ancient literature this week so let's go in search for something modern, entertaining.   Our starting point since it's the only book I can think of is Zorba the Greek

Discovered it was written by Nikos Kazantzakis, who had a very interesting life.  In addition to Zorba, his works include:  The Last Temptation of Christ which actually sounds intriguing and nearly got him excommunicated from the Greek Orthodox Church. Plus he wrote a new Odyssey which picks up where Homer left off.   

Discovered through Matt Barrett's Travel Guides is an interesting book called Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession by Apostolos Doxiadis.

On Packabook's post about Through the World Party Reading Challenge, discovered (how could I have forgotten about this one) Corelli's Mandolin.  Remember the movie, Captain Corelli's Mandolin with Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz.  Yeah, I forgot about it too.   It is an adaptation from the movie.  Haven't seen it yet, although I'm a Nicholas Cage fan. Packabook has some other great suggestions, so go check it out. 

Crime Writer Paul Johnston has written a new series set in GreeceCrying Blue Murder, The Last Red Death, and the Golden Silence.

I'm finding all kinds of cool books including the debut novel of Gary Corby called The Pericles Commission about a murder mystery in ancient Athens which looks quite interesting and it's available in book or e-book.   

And for all things Greek - travel, food, history, politics, languages and customs check out these books on Matt Barrett's Travel Guide.   

My poor wish list is starting to creak and groan from all the books I've added today. 

Your goal this week - do some armchair traveling and discover Greece.  Check out the books I listed or do your own search. You just may be surprised and pleased with what you find. 

Authors Birthdays this Week - Choose one and read one of their books in honor of their birthday.


Link to your reviews:  No matter what book you are on, whether it is 3, 6, 8 or 12 link to your reviews here. Please include the name of the book or multi if you have multiple reviews in parentheses after your name.  Link to the specific review or just your general url if you have multiple reviews.  

Please note: Mr. Linky will be doing maintenance and upgrading starting on February 23rd, so may be unable to link temporarily. 


  1. I went through a Kazantzakis phase. I loved Zorba the Greek and the movie is fantastic. One of my top 10 favorite movies ever. I didn't think Kazantzakis did a believable job with The Last Temptation of Christ. Jesus comes off as schizophrenic. I thought it was his weakest novel. I think it is well known because it is controversial. However, he wrote another wonderful novel about how some village folks' lives which are transformed as they participate in a Passion play for Good Friday. Very powerful!

  2. I went to Greece in college and I always think of the islands. Beautiful white buildings and gorgeous sea. And the Parthenon. Athens was so ancient. You felt like your were breathing the dust from forever ago.
    Dekker covered a lot of ground in "Green." My review is here: I enjoyed the rest of the circle trilogy more.

  3. I read the New Normal by David Wann, a book on sustainable living.

  4. This is my first time linking this week. I hope it's okay that I'm linking the book I reviewed this week (which I read several weeks ago) instead of the books I finished this week. I finished Ava's Man by Rick Bragg and One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. You can let me know if it's not okay that my reviews are a few weeks behind what I'm actually reading.

    Great challenge!

  5. I didn't know Captain Corelli's Mandolin was based on a book. I loved the movie!

    I read and reviewed Cinders this week thanks to the recommendation here. :-)

  6. I finally managed to concentrate on a single book long enough to finish it! Now back to the ten or so others I'm spreading my time across...

  7. @Faith - Thanks. I'll probably go with Zorba firth.

    @LL Now I'm jealous. You've actually been there.

    @Sherri - sounds interesting

    @Amy - Yes it's okay. There isn't any wrong way to do it. I think most of us are a bit behind on our reviews, so doesn't always coincide.

    @Brian -- Yeah! Good feeling to finish.


Thank you for your kind comments.