2020 TBR List Review

Sometime around February, I had posted a TBR List with the top 25 books I wish to read this year. After Monday’s post, I thought it would be nice to go back and see where I’m at with that.

1.’A Storm of Swords’ by George R. R. Martin

Starting from the top of the list, I have not read Storm of Swords yet. I have finally watched the last season of Game of Thrones and I hated it, so I decided that I am not going to spend any more time on the books. Especially considering how hard it was for me to actually read them. That means there’s one less book on my TBR already.

2.‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

I haven’t touched this one for several months now. I had started reading last December, I think, but after a few chapters, I put it down. Austen’s books are often hard for me to get into. I think there is a chance I might not actually like her as an author, but I have yet to reach a decision. I think what I’m going to do with this is read at least half of it and if I still do not like it, then it will be a dnf and a donation to the library.

3.‘The Social Contract and Discourses’ by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

What’s keeping me back from reading this one is my fear that it is a very dense book. I’m afraid that reading this one will put me in a reading slump and that it will be difficult for me to read anything at all after it. I should probably pick it up in December, after I’m done with everything else on my list. That way it will be less stressful for me. I won’t have to think about all the books I have to read after it.

4. ‘City of Lies’ by Sam Hawke

I have not yet read City of Lies. However, it’s one of the books at the top of my list. I cannot wait to read it!

5.‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Another one that I don’t know what to do about it. It is a little bit intimidating for me. I want to read it and I don’t want to read it. One thing is for sure, if I have not read it by the end of this year, I will have to get rid of it. It’s been too long since I bought. I to finally make a decision about it.

6.‘Grimms’ Fairy Tales’ by Brothers Grimm

This one I did read. But I did not enjoy it as much I thought I would. I’ve no idea why. It’s a collection of some of the most well-known fairy tales. Or maybe this is exactly why; these are no fairy tales.

To be fair, I did enjoy a few, but most of them I did not.

7.‘The Cleft’ by Doris Lessing

Unfortunately, I have not read that one either. In this one’s case, however, I think it is a book that I will actually enjoy after the first few chapters. So, I’m not giving up on it, but I do have to set aside some time for it. I don’t want to transfer it into next year’s TBR.

8.‘The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton

No, I have not read it. Just like City of Lies, it is a priority book and I am hoping to read it as soon as possible.

9.‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte

In all honesty, I’ve always thought of this book as one of the worst in the history of Literature. It’s bad enough to compete with the idiocy of the famous “Juliet and her Romeo”. However, I have not read it. I have read summaries of it, watched video analyses on it, but I have not read the book itself. Keeping this in mind, up until recently (when I finally picked it up and read it) I used to think of ‘Jane Eyre’ as one of the most ridiculous romances ever written. But now, having read it a couple of times, and watched 3 different movie adaptations of it several times, and having read several notes and analyses of the book on the internet, I still consider it one of the most ridiculous romances in history, however, it is also one of my favourite books of all time. One that has touched my heart in a way that very few books have. So, I wish to give ‘Wuthering Heights’ a chance to surprise me. Most likely it won’t, but at least I will be able to say that I have formed an educated opinion about it based on my personal experience reading it. And after all that, I will finally be able to get rid of it, because my mom bought the most unattractive edition of it that she could find.

10.‘The Hero of Ages’ by Brandon Sanderson

I’m not really sure how I liked the first two books in this trilogy. I fear I was a little bit ‘meh’ about them. But, now, it is a struggle for me to remember any detail about the plot. I think I will have to read a few spoiler reviews of the first two books before sitting down to read this on. But the good thing is that I do want to get ‘The Hero of Ages’ off my TBR. It means I am motivated to read it.

11.‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown

This one, like ‘The Cleft’, I think is a book that I will actually like after reading the first part of it. This is how it is usually with me and mystery novels. I also am the proud owner of the next two books in the Robert Langford (?) series, which means that I have to read this one so that I can get to the other two.

12.‘Pillow Thoughts’ by Courtney Peppernell

I don’t like how this post is going. I hope I’ve read more of the books further down on my list. The good thing about this one is that it is a short poetry collection. It must be less than 200 pages. So, it will be a very quick read. I’d need less than a day to finish it.

13. ‘Sacrifice’ (‘Θυσία’) by Anna Galanou

It’s been a while since I read historical fiction and this book in particular came highly recommended. I am intrigued to see whether I’ll like it or not.

14.‘Philosophy: The Latest Answers to the Oldest Questions’ by Nicholas Fearn

I’d started reading this a few months ago, but I didn’t like the format. At the time, I was looking for something easier to read. I’m hoping to find some time for it this summer.

15.‘Scent of Lemon’ (‘Άρωμα Λεμόνι’) by Antigone Pommer

Have yet to it. However, it looks like the perfect summer read. I have high hopes for it.

16.‘Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary’ by J.R.R. Tolkien

‘Beowulf’ is a book that I bought with the intention to read it as soon as possible. And then Covid-19 happened… 4 months later and I am just now returning to my home and my library, where I left it. Of course, I’ve always thought of ‘Beowulf’ as a ridiculous epic story. Once again, I’ve not read the book, but I have read summaries and analyses of it. It doesn’t really hold any interest to me plotwise, but I would like to be able to say with confidence: “You guys, I’ve read it and I can safely say that there is no epic story that ranks higher in the ridiculous scale than this one.” You know, educated opinions and all that.

17.‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colson Whitehead

I don’t really have an interest in this one, which is one of the reasons I’ve yet to read it. But it was a gift from my father. My dad doesn’t buy me gifts often and so, I want to show my appreciation for it by at least trying to read it. I don’t have to finish it, I just want to at least read a few chapters.

18.‘The Other Son’ by Alexander Soderberg

In contrast to the previous one, this is a book that I do want to read. It’s just that there is always something else to read before it.

19.‘Theano, The She-Wolf of Constantinople’ (‘Θεανώ, η Λύκαινα της Πόλης’) by Lena Manda

Lena Manda is an author, about whom I’ve heard very controversial reviews. People are either in love with her or they absolutely hate her. I was recommended this book of hers by a friend from the former category of Lena Manda readers and I want to finally read but have not yet done so.

20.‘Living, Thinking, Looking’ by Siri Hustvedt

This one I did start reading, but I put it down almost immediately, though I don’t remember the reason. I really do enjoy reading collections of essays, so I want to give the book another chance.

21.‘The Soul of the Stone House’ (‘Η Ψυχή του Πέτρινου Σπιτιού’) by Fani Pantazi

No luck with that one either. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s going to be any luck at all for it. I don’t think the book is what I had expected it to be like. I will probably end up dnf’ing it, but I haven’t yet made a deision about it.

22.‘The Cellar of Shame’ (‘Το Κελάρι της Ντροπής’) by Chryseida Dimoulidou

I still don’t know how it is possible that I haven’t read ‘The Cellar of Shame’! I really need to get back home and to my library. It will only be another day or so. “Patience, Nora!”

23.‘Romaphobia; The Last Acceptable Form of Racism’ by Aidan McGarry

I’d had such high hopes for ‘Romaphobia’! Until I started reading it. This is my second dnf on this list and I have very strong opinions about it. I really have not researched the audience the author was trying to reach, while writing this book. Maybe it was an academic study or something like that. However, the moment he published it as a book, his audience immediately became the general public. Please do correct me if I am wrong, but I think that when someone is writing an anti-rascism book that is obviously intended to bring people closer together and make them less suspicious of a culture like the Roma, then they should probably write in a language that can be understood by his/her readers. I am not asking for a simplistic language, but neither is academic vocabulary the wisest choice. At first, I thought that the problem lay with me because English is not my mother-tongue. But this is not my first attempt at reading nonfiction in English. I’ve been reading books in English for over a decade and specifically nonfiction for at least two years now. I might not have read as many academic style files/books, but I can still get the context. I could understand the meaning of words, but I had to go back and read and re-read the same passage several times to get the meaning. So, I’m thinking, what if someone else attempted to read the same book? Someone who may not have been as good as I am in English (not necessarily a foreigner). Someone who’d read the title and thought that this book could be a opportunity to bring two societies closer together. Would that person be able to read the book? Probably not. So, please explain to me what is the point of writing a book like this one in a language that only a handful of people can understand? I looked for an answer inside the book itself and when I didn’t find it, I simply stopped trying. The author obviously did not want me to read his book, although in this case I don’t know why he went ahead and spent all this money to publish it, so I did him this favour and stopped reading it.

Btw, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve still not gotten over it…

24.‘Cassandra: The Witch’s Secret’ (‘Κασσάνρα: Το Μυστικό της Μάγισσας’) by Dimitra Ioannou

Another book on this list that I haven’t read. One that I am quickly losing an interest I may have ever had in. I will probably dnf it by the end of this year.

25.‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders

This came along with ‘The Underground Railroad’ as a gift from my dad. I am a little bit more interested in it than the previous one, but not by much. Again, I only aim to read the first few chapters to see whether I might like it or not. A generally easy task to accomplish.

Those were all the books on my list. Most of them remain unread. Only two of them I have dnf’ed for sure and there is one that I have read. So, I still have 22 books to go. Will I make it by the end of the year? We will see… I will try to keep you updated. Until next time…what’s on your TBR list?

I have a problem…

Dear Readers,

this is the first time I’ve decided to write a “News” post and feel that I have something interesting to say about my life. I’m starting to realize that I’d kinda set my life on hold for the last few years and could not even see how I was distancing myself from everyone and everything.

I’d spent four years in solitude inside a house, avoided visiting my family, and only got out of the house to get groceries (when the fridge was completely empty and I was starving), to buy books or to go to drawing class. If anyone suggested I should leave my house for any other reason, I started to panick. I’d almost become agoraphobic!

Years later and I still find it hard to relate with other people. I rarely go out ‘just for a walk’, not because I’m bored- on the contrary, especially in Veroia I tend to prefer walking a couple of kilometers to riding the bus or getting a taxi to reach my destination- no, my problem is not boredom, it’s just that I’ve become used to my solitude and the safety that it provides.

Instead, I spend a lot more time on my computer re-reading old books than I want to. I don’t even read all those new books in my TBR. Or at least, not as much as would like to. And I want this to change. I’m not looking for dramatic changes, but I want to at least try.

But before I get to that part, let me share with some other news about my life so far.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but this past autumn I took the entrance exams for the Fine Arts University here in Greece. There are four of them in the entire country. The closest to me is in Thessaloniki, then Florina’s is in the northwest, there is the one in Ioannina in the western part of the country, and of course the one in Athens. I heard that another one might be opening in Patra, but I don’t know anything for sure. So I spent the entire September 2019 plus a few days of August and October traveling from city to city for the exams. I have no idea how much money I spent, I definitely lost part of my tooth after a horrible epileptic episode, caused by the stress and the exhaustion of the entire experience. I honestly have no idea how I convinced myself to get up at 6:30am the next day and get to the university, despite the concussion and the black eye. I lied to my family about the crisis so that they wouldn’t come and force me to return to Veroia and go to the doctor. And, in the end I didn’t get in. I was so close! I needed a 5 out 10 and I got a 4.5. That was my highest result, but the other three were very close to that.

To be honest, it wasn’t like I did not expect it. I talked to other people that were taking the exams with me and I often heard them saying: “Oh, this is my sixth year taking the exams”, “I’ve been doing this for 7 years”. I even heard of someone trying to get into oneof the Universities for 10 consecutive years and constantly getting rejected! For me, 2019 was my second try. I’d tried it before in September 2018, but only in Florina and Thessaloniki and was also cut for just a little bit.

It is a sad fact that getting into one of the Fine Arts Universities in Greek is next to impossible. Another sad fact, is that after finishing said Universities your job opportunities are extremely limited. In short, you can become a teacher, or a starving artist. Finding customers and people to promote your work is extremely hard in Greece.

That is why I decided to enter a privately owned institution to study the conservation of art works and artefacts. It’s what I’ve been doing since the end of February this year, with a long vacation during March and April because of Covid-19. To tell you the truth, I was very skeptical about it at first. I am interested in art, in the creative process. I thought that this field contained too much chemistry for my comfort. And we do study chemistry, but we also study art history and hagiography, etc etc. In fact, my experience with drawing and painting came in handy. The school gave me the chance to start from the second semester, instead of the first. They said that I was already familiar with the content of the first semester classes. So now, I only have two more semesters of study! Isn’t that cool?

Anyway, Covid-19 did effect my studies, unfortunately. Classes were lost and it has been very hard trying to cover the hours lost. The classes kept going for a month longer than usual, the semester exams were cancelled and instead we had to write an essay or do a project for every class. I had 6 classes this semester and had to prepare 5 essays/projects for them (there was no exam for the Hagiography class). I think I have generally done well in all of them, but I won’t know for sure until July 10th. I only know about two of my classes that I got a 10/10, because the professor sent me an e-mail. I’ll have to wait for the rest.

I will admit that I hated the whole concept of the essays, because we were given so much freedom when it came to them. The only guideline from the Ministry of Education a minimum of 200-300 words, but you could easily write 20.000 words and no one would bat an eye. Then we were allowed to pick our subjects, from a category of different subjects that were given by the professors (e.g. in Art History one of the subjects was Romanticism as a period and the professor said that, after talking about the period in general, you had to choose a Romantic artist you liked and write a few biographical facts about him, and then choose one of his artworks and talk about it and add your personal opinion when it comes to it. So much stuff to write about. One could easily write 20 pages in Word. My own essay was about 12 pages with the bibliography and all, but I had to cut out a lot and had to restrain myself quite a bit.) At this point, I don’t know if I wrote too much or if I wrote too little. I think I did well, but I’m still anxious about the results.

However, despite it being so difficult for me to write these essays, I don’t think there could have been a better way for me to get what I’d been studying inside my head. I had to do research and I had to understand what that research meant in order to write my own essays. The professors were clear: the bibliography was a must and no ‘copy-paste’ was aloud. And I get it. We’re not in highschool any longer. But this meant that you had to know what you were talking about. In classes like chemistry this helped a lot. I hated it while I was doing it, but I learned a ton of stuff.

And now let’s get back to what I was talking about in the beginning.

I’ve set a goal this year to minimize my TBR pile and I want to achieve it. I, also, want to use my time away from classes to study what we were taught this past semester (mainly Art History and Chemistry). Lastly, I want to spend more time on my art and going out with friends. In a few words, I want to avoid getting trapped in front of the computer as long as possible. Two other goals I want to achieve are: 1. start excercising and eating healthier and 2. be more consistent with my blog posts.

Taking them one by one:

I intend to replace the ebooks I’m re-reading on my computer with the printed books on my TBR. I think me moving my bedroom to my parents’ old bedroom and taking with me all of my books might be a good way to re-acquaint myself with the books I own and help me set priorities. Also, I have a decent number of very short books that could help me make quick progress.

Moreover, I plan to set up a study and blogging schedule. I have several sources that I wish to get to and there are even more books recommended by my professors that I am interested in buying or even borrowing from my local library.

Finally, I must start meal planning, adding excercise to my schedule and going out more. Even if it is just a day of going to the library to search for new material for study and having a coffee alone in a cafe.

Phew! I think that’s it for now. I don’t have any more news or problems to share. It was good, spending some time to look back at what’s been going and writing down the good, the bad, where I want to be next autumn, and how I’m planning to get there.

Has any of you experienced what I’ve been talking about? Share something about you with me, something interesting, something funny, something sad, anything…

2020 TBR List

Dear Readers,

with the new decade, I have decided to set new goals for myself. One of those goals you might be interested in. I have decided to tackle my TBR self this year. And before you mumble “Famous last words” and go read another blog post let me explain.

The beast of my TBR has been growing since 2011. I’ve been buying lots of books and reading very few of them. I don’t expect my TBR to magically disappear by the end of 2020. What I want is at least for the books that have been on my shelves the longest to finally be read or dnf’ed.

There are currently 93 books in my TBR and out of those 16 were bought between 2011 and 2015. In fact, I only own 3 books that I bought in 2011. The rest of them are newer. Another relatively positive thing is that out of the 30 books I bought in 2019 20 of them were around 50-60 pages long and the other 10 were about 300 pages each. So, although I did buy a lot of books in number, they are still not a lot of effort to read.

Keeping all these things in mind, I composed my TBR list for 2020 focusing mostly on books that were older but also adding a few books that I wanted to read this year. In the end, I ended up with this TBR list…

1.‘A Storm of Swords’ by George R. R. Martin

This is the third book in the Game of Thrones Series. It was one of the first books I bought when I moved to Ioannina. I read the first book and I remember how I struggled through the second and this was the reason why it took me so long to pick this one up. Right now I’m 50% – 50% on whether I should continue with the series or not, so I decided to read a few chapters and if I don’t like it, then it’s over.

2.‘Emma’ by Jane Austen

This is another old one. I have actually started reading this one before, but I never finished it. Jane Austen’s books are not always immediately favourites. Sometimes, like in this case, it takes a little bit of time to turn me around. But I do want to read ‘Emma’, if not for any other reason, then because I want to be able to say I’ve read all of Austen’s work. I believe after ‘Emma’, I’ve only got ‘Mansfield Park’ left.

3.‘The Social Contract and Discourses’ by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

This one is old in a different way since the author is Jacques Rousseau. It was one of my first purchases last year. I was reading a lot of philosophy books (and still am) and discovered that Rousseau came from Switzerland. I have never read a book from a Swiss author, so I thought these two were the perfect combination. It just seems a bit dense. But it will be read this year.

4.‘City of Lies’ by Sam Hawke

I won’t be embarrassed when I say that this was a cover-buy. Many of my favourite fantasy books are. It’s fantasy, you need the readers’ imaginations to go wild and a good cover will do that. So yeah, the cover drew my attention. The title, as well. Then suddenly the book was all over YouTube. So, I’m intrigued. I have no idea what the book is about, but I want to know. To be honest, this is how I like to read the majority of my books. Give me a little bit to lure me in and then just enough to keep me going to the end.

5.‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Boy, do I have a nice hardback edition of this one! It’s a Greek translation with notes. If only I had a better photo to show it to you! But I can’t get good photos of it. The prettiness of the book aside, I find Dostoyevsky very intimidating. Maybe it’s the book’s title: ‘Crime and Punishment’. I don’t know. What do you think? I would like to read more Russian authors not just this year, but in general. I’ve heard great things about Russian literature and I don’t know where to start. Do you have any suggestions?

6.‘Grimms’ Fairy Tales’ by Brothers Grimm

I’ve owned this book for so long and haven’t even peeked at it, but it’s just fairy tales. It’s the fairy tales we’ve all grown up listening to ever since we were children. So this year I’m kicking myself in the butt and reading it before 2020 passes. I won’t allow myself to be intimidated by Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, although I do know that the “Big Bad Wolf” is going to be inside as well.

7.‘The Cleft’ by Doris Lessing

It’s been many years since I watched Mara Samartzi talk about this one on her channel. She is a Greek YouTuber, who once in a while uploads a video about books. I really wish she did them more often because every book I’ve bought and read because of her was amazing. Anyway, the book sounds very different than anything I have ever read. I don’t remember when it is supposed to take place from the little that I had read. What I did remember was that I had found it hard to read. However, I had not read more than 10-15 pages, so it doesn’t count.

8.‘The Luminaries’ by Eleanor Catton

I’ve been interested in and intimidated by ‘The Luminaries’ for years now. It’s such a huge book. I like reading huge books. It was set in the front of a bookstore I used to pass every day on my to the University. Every time I saw it and every time I promised myself that next time I’d buy it. But I never did and then I forgot about it. A couple of years ago, however, it was gifted to me. “Fate!” I thought. It goes without saying that I have not touched it after that fateful event or it would have not still been part of this TBR list. I think I have set a very optimistic tone in this blog post, don’t you? But things are getting better because next, I have a very optimistic book for you!

9.‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte

…or maybe not so optimistic. Yeah, not optimistic at all. I did not buy this book. It was a present from my mother. I would never have bought ‘Wuthering Heights’, but now that I own it I am considering reading it in the way that I did ‘Jane Eyre’. I went into reading ‘Jane Eyre’ thinking that I would hate it, but eventually, I loved it. I am not having such high expectations of ‘Wuthering Heights’, because I know a little something of its plot, but I am now willing to give it the chance I was not willing to give it before.

10.‘The Hero of Ages’ by Brandon Sanderson

I had bought the Mistborn Trilogy Box-Set and read the first two books. When the second one was over, I said: “Let’s take a break and then I’ll read the last one”. But the break never ended. I do want to know how the series ends. It’s merely laziness from my part that is keeping me from reading ‘The Hero of Ages’.

11.‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown

The movies came out in the wrong order. First The Da Vinci Code and then Illuminati. But I, unknowingly, read them in the correct order. Or at least that’s how I like to think about it because when I read ‘Angels and Demons’ there were no movies and I have not read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ yet. I have a thing about reading books in the order they were written and if that order is not the order they are supposed to be read then I really have a problem. I really like mysteries like ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and I am excited to read it. In fact, after that I even have ‘The Lost Symbol’ and ‘Inferno’ to read. One was gifted to me and the other I bought it without knowing it was the fourth book in the series. If I can only read ‘The Da Vinci Code’, I will finally be able to read the next two as well.

12.‘Pillow Thoughts’ by Courtney Peppernell

This is a poetry book. The person who recommended it to me said she found the poems short and easy to read and that it was a good place to start with poetry. I’ve wanted to read more poetry for a while now, but, although I have no problem with other types of English literature, poetry has not been as easy for me to read and interpret. A few months ago, I read a couple of the Penguin Little Black Classics poetry books and I found that I was doing okay with them. I think poetry is like every other thing. The more you practice the easier it gets. Also, I am starting to think that maybe my English wasn’t good enough yet for poetry when I had first tried it. Poems need to be read more slowly and you need to be able to understand the metaphors and hidden meanings of the words. So, even though one may easily read novels in a foreign language, he/she might still find it difficult to understand prose. I am interested in reading this book. It’s not too long and it has pretty drawings inside as well.

13.‘Sacrifice’ (‘Θυσία’) by Anna Galanou

I found this one in a book bazaar while strolling on the port in Thessaloniki. People from almost every publishing house in Greece had come. This book was recommended to me over everything else in its category by the man selling them. It does have a very interesting plot and a high Goodreads rating. I want to read it. Every time I see it I say the same thing. So, why, then, have I not read it already? Your guess is as good as mine.

14.‘Philosophy: The Latest Answers to the Oldest Questions’ by Nicholas Fearn

I had started this one at one point, but I had found it a bit dry. I think that maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to be reading it. I believe that now with all the comings and goings from Veroia to Thessaloniki and vice versa with my new school I may finally have some quality time for this book.

15.‘Scent of Lemon’ (‘Άρωμα Λεμόνι’) by Antigone Pommer

Some of you might laugh. I don’t care. But when I look at this book and read the synopsis, I always feel like I could smell lemons. I see myself holding them, admiring their beautiful yellow colour, and bringing them to my nose to smell that citrusy scent. I even sometimes feel myself salivating at the thought of a tasty homemade lemonade like the one my great-grandmother used to make. All this just from the cover. Think how good it could be on the inside.

16.‘Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary’ by J.R.R. Tolkien

I watched a British literature seminar some time ago and one of the books it discussed was ‘Beowulf’. Since this is the first period of Literature the seminar talks about, I want to read the book and go back to it and read the analysis. The edition of the book I have was recommended to me as a very good translation of ‘Beowulf’. For now, what I know is that it is a very pretty book. The rest, we shall see…

17.‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colson Whitehead

Last year (this sounds much longer than saying two months ago), I read ‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee. As I said in my Survey post, ‘Pachinko’ was a gift from my father. Well, ‘The Underground Railroad’ is the second book that came in that package that day. My dad does not often get himself into the process of buying presents. But he has bought me some great presents. Like ‘Pachinko’, which was amazing. I’m hoping this will be just as amazing. I was on the fence about buying ‘The Underground Railroad’. It’s either going to be a hit or a miss with me. No in-between. But it does have parts that interest me and I want to give it a fair chance before rejecting it. I’m definitely not going to let it stay unread on my shelves for another year.

18.‘The Other Son’ by Alexander Soderberg

Remember what I said about wanting to read stuff in their proper order? Yeah, well…it was not meant to happen with this one and I just have to accept it. I do want to read it, but it’s the second in the series and I’m going on the fourth year of owning it without having read it. I could buy the first book, read it, and then read that one. But would you trust yourself to read the first quickly enough and then actually read the second? I don’t. I am thinking of buying the first book, however, if I like the second one enough to decide that I will read the first and not leave it waiting for me on the TBR shelf. It will be a kind of motivation, don’t you think?

19.‘Theano, The She-Wolf of Constantinople’ (‘Θεανώ, η Λύκαινα της Πόλης’) by Lena Manda

Lena Manda is a famous Greek author. Her books are very well-loved by people all over Greece. Unfortunately, I cannot offer you an opinion on whether or not that love is deserved because I have never read one of them. This one, in particular, was recommended to me as one of her best. My friend told me that it was a very emotional read and that I would definitely love it.

20.‘Living, Thinking, Looking’ by Siri Hustvedt

This is a collection of essays by Siri Hustvedt that has been on my TBR for more than three years now. I believe they are essays written by Siri Hustvedt on a variety of different topics. I’ve heard that it is a very good book, but that’s all I know about it. I don’t even know who the author is- even though I get the feeling that I should know who she is. Anyway, I bought it because I wanted to read more non-fiction. I, also, like reading collections of essays. I like reading about other people’s opinions on topics that interest me so that I can then give my own opinion back. Books like that are full of my notes. And which are the topics that interest me you may ask? Anything that I understand well enough to have an opinion on.

21.‘The Soul of the Stone House’ (‘Η Ψυχή του Πέτρινου Σπιτιού’) by Fani Pantazi

I was drawn to this one because of its title. I have given you a pretty good translation of it, however, I still feel like the English equivalent has lost some of the mystery hidden in the words of the original Greek title. This sounds like both a mystery and a romance novel. From what I can see in the synopsis Elena- our main character- abandons a brilliant carrier in the US for a fresh start in Greece, where she meets Manos (the owner of the stone house I believe). Somehow they discover that they are both having the same dream every night. And so now, besides their developing romance, they are trying to investigate what is going on with those dreams and if their meeting was a random event or something predestined by fate! Oh, I really don’t know if it was just the description I probably wouldn’t read it. I probably would not have bought it. But I love this title and the cover. Maybe I just need to read it to be able to judge for myself. We’ll see.

22.‘The Cellar of Shame’ (‘Το Κελάρι της Ντροπής’) by Chryseida Dimoulidou

Chryseida Dimoulidou is one of my favourite Modern Greek authors. She is also known for writing books that make people uncomfortable. For example, this one is set in the ‘60s. It is about three sisters- Dimitra, Anastasia and Myrto- who have grown up under the shadow of a Father-Master and a mother, who cannot speak for herself. They only go out on Sundays to go to the Church and once a year to go to the village festival. One day their father abandons them and disappears. The social stigma is hard for the family he leaves behind, but with that, they are finally released from his strict rules. Slowly, the three sisters move to different continents and cut all ties with each other. Thirty years later, however, they are forced to return to their home, where they will have to face the secrets and truths they had tried to hide. The past is demanding answers. Why did their father leave? Why did they abandon their mother? Why can the house they grew up never be sold? What secret is hidden in the cellar in the basement? Three sisters ask their dying mother “Mother, all these years, why did you not clear up the shame?”

Well, I took the time to translate most of the synopsis at the back of the book to give you some idea about what it is. About the author, the type of books she likes to write and this book in particular. To be honest, what she writes is always unique in some way. It is also not for everyone and it is definitely not a light read.

23.‘Romaphobia; The Last Acceptable Form of Racism’ by Aidan McGarry

I’ve already tried to read this once. I got about 20-30 pages in and then the writing got to me so badly that I stopped and picked up something else. This is not a review so I will not talk about it here, but I will either do a separate review of this book when I read it, or I might decide to dnf it and tell you at the end of the year or something. The latter, however, would not be my favourite option. Despite its flaws, the book discusses the Roma and that is a topic I find absolutely fascinating! They are a people, who live everywhere around us, there are so much prejudice and fear against them, and yet we know nothing about them. I have always wanted to know more about the Roma civilization. There’s a sense of mystery surrounding the Roma. I wish there were more books about them. Novels too, not just non-fiction. Do you know any?

24.‘Cassandra: The Witch’s Secret’ (‘Κασσάνρα: Το Μυστικό της Μάγισσας’) by Dimitra Ioannou

The first thing that drew me to this book was the name “Cassandra”. I love it. Every time I hear ‘Cassandra’ I’m interested. I’ve even nicknamed my little sister Cassandra for entirely different reasons. Anyway, let’s not get too excited! Back to the book… There are two different parts of the story. The first is set in Preveza 1767, the main characters Sappho and Cassandra are healers. Somehow Ali Pasas of Ioannina (a famous figure of the time) and Konstantis Spathias get involved. (The Greek rebellion against the Othman Empire had not been officially declared yet. That happened approximately 50 years later.) The second part is set in Athens in 2008. Eleni Venieri is accused of a series of unexplainable, heinous murders and ends up in prison, where she meets and falls madly in love with the famous journalist Ares Comninos. And so Ares starts to research these murders that may or may not be deep-rooted in the past to save Elena from prison. Mystery, romance, history, maybe a little bit of magic, well I think this book is perfectly suited for me.

25.‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders

This is the last book on my list. It is also the last of the books that dad bought me that I have left unread, so I have made it my goal to read it this year. It’s a short book, it won’t take too much time to read. It’s said to be a really good book and I want to read it, but I keep putting off doing it. One of these days though, it will be read.

So, that’s my TBR for 2020. Some books are newer some are older and there are some you probably did not know about. What does your TBR list for the year look like? Are you ones of those people who are not haunted by a TBR-monster? Please, share with me how you accomplished that feat!

February 2019 TBR

Hello there! January is over and February has finally come. To those of you who don’t know it, my birthday is on February the 16th and I am always excited about it months in advance! Anyway, back to the post.

Although I am a mood reader, I have decided to do a monthly tbr post post just to have a mini list of books that I want to focus my attention on this month. It is not a strict list of the books I am planning to read in February.

1.The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

So, the first book I am planning to read is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which I have just started to read. I really don’t know anything helpful about this book. I am only a few pages in it. And the people who have read it haven’t helped me much with its content. The reason I decided to pick it up was mostly because of all the controversial reviews there are about it. In short, there are three categories: people who start reading it and for some reason never manage to reach the end, people who love it, and people who hate it. In fact, for the ones who are not loving the book I’ve not heard one of them who is not struggling to read it. And I find this an intresting thing. So, I bought the book and I’m finally reading it. (Oh, and at some point I did have a vague idea what it was about, but not anymore.)

2.Χριστουγεννιάτικα Διηγήματα (Christmas Tales) by Alexandros Papadiamantis

I know that it’s been over a month since Christmas, but I’ve had this book on my TBR for years. Actually, this is one of the few books that survived my mother’s purge when we moved from our old home to the big one just outside of Veroia. At that time she gave away a huge box, almost as tall as I was at the time and full of our children’s books, to the library. I’m still mourning that loss, because among those were some some old editions of translated classics, which had belonged to my father, and some of my favorite children’s books. I would have liked to have kept a few for my own children. Well, this book was one of those in the box that we happened to keep for some reason. Also, this book is one of the few in the box that I have not read yet. Now I don’t care about the time anymore. I will read it and get it out of the way. As the title says it is a collection of Christmas tales written by a renowned Greek author, Alexandros Papadiamantis.

3.Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I once saw a video analysis of Robinson Crusoe; an English sailor, who is shipwrecked on a deserted island, and how he is fighting to survive. That analysis was what prompted me to pick up the book to read it. Of course, that was a couple years ago and I managed to procrastinate quite effectively with my tbr since then. But I’m hoping that this year I will make much better progress with my tbr than before.

4.A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce

I am an artist. And I’ve spent the last almost year of my life trying to get into art school, but generally focusing into my art. So, I would like to see how James Joyce sees artists. This is also supposed to be a “self-portrait” of James Joyce himself. Generally it sounds like an interesting book. I’ve been trying to branch out and read more authors that are new to me, genres that are new to me and in general stuff that I am not used to reading.

5.The Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix

For years I’ve had this book recommended to me by Goodreads, online bookshops and Booktubers with similar tastes. Finally, I’ve been brave enough to buy it. There are three books in this bind up: Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen. So, from what I understand in the first book Sabriel our protagonist (Sabriel) is the daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. And she lives outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom and there is Free Magic and dead that won’t stay dead and, of course, she has to embark on a quest to find her missing father. I read more in the description but this is as good as it gets when I haven’t read the book yet.

These are all the books I’m putting on my TBR list for now. I would have added more, but I’ve already got two very big books on it.

Now what about you?

What are you currently reading? What are you planning to read this month? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you like them? Do you have any suggestions for the future?

Let me know…

January 2019 Wrap Up

Hello guys! It’s been a long time since I wrote a post, I know. So I thought it was a good idea to talk about the books I’ve read this past month. In total, I have finished 9 books this month and I am currently reading the 10th. As you can guess I am quite satisfied with my reading for January. Especially since I’ve for once stayed focused on my reading goals.

1.Why the Dalai Lama Is A Socialist by Terry Gibbs

When I first put this book on my wishlist, I’d heard great reviews about it. So, I thought “A book that talks about Dalai Lama and socialism? Hmm… might be interesting”and eventually I bought it and started reading it. Now, to be fair, the author states from the very beginning that the book is not about the Dalai Lama. However, the book the book is not about socialism either. It’s about marxism. It’s still a well-written book, but I got to a point that I couldn’t continue reading it anymore. It wasn’t necessarily a bad book, it was simply not the book I had expected it to be and I was in the mood for socialist non-fiction. So, I dnf-ed it. Might still pick it up another time, but for now it’s off my tbr. I gave it two cupcakes.

2.Circles of Hell by Dante

I decided to read this one after reading a couple of other books with heroes that ventured into Hell and made it back. Finally, my curiosity was piqued enough to buy the Penguin Little Black Classics edition. I will be honest with you. I did not like it. At all. There were parts that just simply did not make sense to me. There were other parts that I found very disturbing. So disturbing, in fact, that I thought that maybe Dante had mental health problems. I didn’t bother to look it up further. These two are the main problems I had with the book. And, of course, there were points where I wanted to criticize something but because I was only reading a few pieces of the full story I felt that I couldn’t be too harsh. Also, I know that Dante has been judged through the centuries for writing such a controversial piece of literature and that his book has been banned, however I am not judging him as christian right now. The way I am judging Dante’s work (as much as I have seen of it) is as a reader. And as a reader, I do not like it. I don’t think I would like to read the entire Divine Comedy. I gave this one cupcake, but I would have given it less if I could.

3.Vincent Van Gogh Biography

My father brought me this biography of Van Gogh’s from an exhibition in Thessaloniki. It’s a really beautiful hardcover copy, which contains a short description of his life and lots of quotes that are spread between his paintings and drawings. There were so many interesting things to learn about his life and his work. I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself actually liking some of his paintings. Ever since I was little I hated anything to do with Van Gogh because of three reasons: 1.my mother loved him and 2.she’d put a Van Gogh print in our room and on the road there was a thing that looked liked a huge worm that wouldn’t let me sleep at night 3.my mother loved him. But now, I find that I’m not so negatively inclined towards the artist anymore and the book was great. I gave it four cupcakes.

4.The Beautifull Cassandra by Jane Austen

I am sorry but I think I will disappoint you with this wrap up. I found the writing style very characteristic of Jane Austen’s style, however it was a chore for me to finish this book. Out of everything that I have read by Jane Austen this is the one I liked the least. I don’t believe there is a specific why to it. I just did not like it.

5.The Veiled Woman by Anais Nin

And here is the best book that I’ve read this year so far. Initially, I had some reservations against it, but I wanted to try Anais Nin. She’s been praised a lot by different people and I wanted to see if the praise was deserved. This was only a collection of short stories, but I can honestly say that the praise was clearly deserved. I want to be fair so I will not say that I enjoyed every single story equally. Or that I liked every single one of them. However, they all touched me in one way or another, they had me sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next, I got angry when things didn’t go the way I liked, and…many more things that I won’t discus here. Anyway, if you’re thinking about trying out some Anais Nin, then I highly recommend her.

6.The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Another great book. This took a little longer to finish than the other books, but it was definitely worth the time. This was the perfect time for me to read it, since I myself am an artist, but also because of some personal issues I’ve been dealing with for the past couple of years, which have become a bit more aggravated in the past few months. So, reading this book was like the author was speaking directly to me. I think I need to write a review post. because I have too much to say about it. But, yeah, I gave it five cupcakes.

7.Not An Ordinary Story by Marianthe Hasapis

I found out about this one from my mother. You see the author is a relative of mine and she wanted me to go see if I was interested in reading it. It is a tiny book (just shy of 100 pages). It is a middle grade novel and it is set (mostly) in Greece. The author writes fantasy in an almost magical way. I’m trying to find the words to describe the book but I can’t. The only thing I can say right now is that it was a beautiful book, which was sadly too short. I will have to write a longer post to explain what I mean. Oh, I forgot to mention that the book is about the hunt for the Key to Atlantis…

8.How a Ghastly Story Was Brought to Light by a Common or Garden Butcher’s Dog by Johann Peter Hebel

I didn’t have many hopes for this one when I initially bought it. I was mildly interested in it. I was proved wrong, though, when I read it. This is an amazing collection of short stories. Hebel writes these stories and with only a few words he sends messages against theft, sloth, scamming, etc. Some of these stories are less than a page long and still just as strong.

9.The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows by Rudyard Kipling

In some ways this reminded me of Hebel’s book, although it was distinctively different from it. I did not like Kipling’s writing at all. I thought that it was too dark for no reason at all. Also, I think that I caught a couple of misogynistic elements, which is something that is not entirely unexpected for the time and place it was written. However, I really did not like the book and eventually I had to put it down.

10.The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Lastly, I’m currently reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I am only a few pages in so far and I’m doing well, but I cannot give you an opinion on the book yet.

And here is where this post must come to an end. These were all the books I read in January this year. I will be posting the two reviews I mentioned in the first week of February and I have a couple other posts in mind that I am planning to do.

Now what about you?

What did you read you read this month? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you like them? Did you like this post? Do you have any suggestions on what I should write about next? Do you have any suggestions on what I should read next?

Let me know…

June 2018 Book Haul Part I

And keeping with the theme of my TBR Clean Out Challenge I thought that I could haul about a thousand books now that I’ve got the excuse ready. But don’t worry, these aren’t books Ibought only in June. These are books I’ve been collecting for months and months in a book haul draft that I never dared to edit. You see sometime last autumn I went to Book Festival in Thessaloniki, where I bought 10-12 books. So, by now I’ve been holding back about a year’s worth of books, considering that my last haul was posted in September 7th. So, let’s see what I have acquired since then, shall we? By the way, I’ll only do short descriptions of the books or the post will get too long.

85921071.) “The Angel’s Command” by Brian Jacques

This book is part of a series that I read when I was a child. The first one is called “Castaways of the Flying Dutchman”. They were both incredible books that I would Continue reading

My News & TBR Clean Out Challenge

Hello, my faithful readers!

It’s been such a long time since I last published a new post that I’d be thankful if there’s even one of you still following this blog.

The truth is that I’ve had to deal with a lot of problems the last two years that I’m still dealing with now. Some are more personal and I don’t want to talk about them here, Continue reading

Summer Book Haul

I have finally admitted to myself that I am awful at sticking to a consistent blogging schedule. However, I do want to change that fact. I am not going to make any promises right now. I still have a few things that will be keeping me busy for the next couple of weeks. I will try to have a post published every week and, as soon as I am able to find a routine that works for me again, I will create a posting schedule again.

For now, I felt the need to post something, but I didn’t have the time to write an entirely new post. So, I decided to do another book haul. Anyway, here are the books I acquired this summer. Thank you for your patience and enjoy! 🙂

127138061. Creepy Little Bedtime Stories by Madame M

I was in the book store, searching for poetry books, when this one caught my eye. This is a collection of hilarious creepy bedtime stories written in verse and I just couldn’t resist getting a copy. It is a tiny book and I’m planning to read it very soon.

If the best cure for disaster is laughter, then Madame M’s new collection of lurid poems, stories and illustrations is just what the witch doctor ordered. Within these pages lie the creepy and twisted tales of 21 downtrodden ghouls and boils, who struggle to beat the odds of their cruel worlds. Each tale abounds with transformations and magic, shedding light on the dark lives of our tragic heroes.

Little folks and frivolous adults alike are drawn to the innocent consequences that befall these wacky, careless and ill-fated characters.They point out good morals in an absurd, yet humorous fashion, while pointing a finger at society’s own warped injustices.

Goodreads | Book Depository

248743312. The Saga of Gunlaug Serpent-tongue by Anonymous

You might not know this about me, but I am always intrigued by Viking Stories. I find the culture and the time period fascinating. So, I am looking forward to reading this one. However, I’m planning to wait until wintertime. I feel that the best time to read this story is during a cold winter night, while you are covered with a warm blanket and enjoying a cupof your favorite tea.

‘In two I’ll slice the hair-seat of Helga’s kiss-gulper’

In this epic tale from the Viking Age that ranges across Scandinavia and Viking Britain, two poets compete for the love of Helga the Fair – with fatal consequences.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin’s 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

The Icelandic Sagas were oral in origin and written down in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Other Icelandic Sagas available in Penguin Classics include Njal’s Saga, Egil’s Saga, Sagas of Warrior-Poets, Gisli Sursson’s Saga and the Saga of the People of Eyri, The Saga of Grettir the Strong, The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason’s Tale, The Vinland Sagas and Comic Sagas from Iceland.

Goodreads| Book Depository

248743553. The Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe by Richard Hakluyt

I really have no idea why I bought this one. I think I simply found the title interesting and got it on a whim. In all honesty, I don’t remember but I’m hoping that I’ll like it.

‘Their fruits be diverse and plentiful, as nutmegs, ginger, long pepper, lemons, cucumbers, cocos, sago, with divers other sorts…’

Scholar, spy, diplomat and supreme propagandist for Elizabethan sea power, Richard Hakluyt’s accounts of famed explorers mythologised a nation growing rapidly aware of the size and strangeness of the world – and determined to dominate it.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin’s 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Richard Hakluyt (c 1552-1616).

Hakluyt’s Voyages and Discoveries is available in Penguin Classics.

Goodreads| Book Depository

51LsN4UlZ1L._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_4. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced complete edition of Don Quixote for years. So, when I found this one, I immediately grabbed it. I’ve been fascinated by the story of Don Quixote since I was very young, but I at the same time I wasn’t sure whether I would actually like reading it. So, I postponed buying a copy until I could find one that I wouldn’t feel like a waste of money in the case that I hated it.

P.S. To those of you who will point it out, yes I do know of and understand the concept of a libary. However, I have always found it very difficult to read borrowed books. The fact that I will have to return them even if I love them always stops me from reading them.

The complete text of “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, Parts I and II,” is here offered in a substantially revised version of the translation by John Ormsby, first published in 1885. Spelling and punctuation have been modernized, and recent textual scholarship has been taken into account in preparing the revisions; a detailed discussion of the procedures and principles followed by all the original prefatory material, including dedications, copyright notices, statements by the censor, and other items omitted by Ormsby.

Goodreads| Book Depository

160732275. Interaction of Color by Joseph Albers

If you remember my last Book Haul, I have been collecting books about art. I really want to learn more and improve my art and I have been buying books to help me do just that. Color theory is one of the subjects I want to learn more on and, though this book is not exactly what I have been looking for, it is still an incredible resource nonetheless.

Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is a masterwork in art education. Conceived as a handbook and teaching aid for artists, instructors, and students, this influential book presents Albers’s singular explanation of complex color theory principles.

Originally published by Yale University Press in 1963 as a limited silkscreen edition with 150 color plates, Interaction of Color first appeared in paperback in 1971, featuring ten color studies chosen by Albers, and has remained in print ever since. With over a quarter of a million copies sold in its various editions since 1963, Interaction of Color  remains an essential resource on color, as pioneering today as when Albers first created it.

Fifty years after Interaction’s initial publication, this new edition presents a significantly expanded selection of close to sixty color studies alongside Albers’s original text, demonstrating such principles as color relativity, intensity, and temperature; vibrating and vanishing boundaries; and the illusion of transparency and reversed grounds. A celebration of the longevity and unique authority of Albers’s contribution, this landmark edition will find new audiences in studios and classrooms around the world.

Goodreads| Book Depository

128911116. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

I discovered Mark Lawrence about three years ago and I have wanted to read his books ever since then. I really hope I’ll like this one so that I can then go on and buy the rest. Have any of you read anything by Mark Lawrence? If you have, please share your opinion and suggestions with me in the comments below.

When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. At thirteen, he led a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king.

It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage.

Life and death are no more than a game to him and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?

Goodreads | Book Depository

83457477. Το Κορίτσι με το Τατουάζ (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I think I have talked about this problem in a previous post. Years ago, when I was still in school, my aunt got me The Girl Who Played with Fire as a birthday present without knowing that it was the second book in this series. Now, I’ve finally bought the first book and I can read both of them. I have already watched the 2009 movie and I want to read the books before I watch the rest of the movies. Plus, I did get the exact edition I’ve been waiting for at a great discount.

A murder mystery, family saga, love story, and a tale of financial intrigue wrapped into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel. Harriet Vanger, scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Goodreads | Book Depository

295556348. Τα Χρόνια της Χαμένης Αθωότητας (The Years of Lost Innocence) by Sofi Theodoridou

This is a Greek author whose books interest me a lot and I wanted to see if I like them. I don’t why, but I don’t think I know of even one Modern Greek author, who writes adult fantasy in Greek. It’s weird but still true.

April 1961. The day that the first Russian cosmonaut travels into space, in a small Greek town, a man changes the fate of three young women forever.

Clea will enter a mansion, where her grandfather, a General in the army, reminisces past glories, while her father has abandoned the love of his life for wealth and power; Melissanthe a middleclass house above a tavern, where her mother, the beautiful Myrsine, is accused of juvenille errors by her husband; lastly, Lola will be welcomed into a poor house, where among others squeeze in a cranky grandmother and a romantic merchant, who’s struggling to cope, while the county is changing.

And this is the point where translating the summary becomes almost impossible for those who have not read the book. So, I’ll try to explain it in my own words. I will give you a better summary in my review.

Growing up the three girls are tied with the bonds of a very close friendship, as they discover in the poorest house of the neighbourhood the family warmth that is absent from the other two. Until, on the threshold of adulthood, secrets, lies and past sins will start getting uncovered and forcing the three girls to part.

Now, away from one another and from their hometown, they are thrown into the hard reality of the capital and in the hunt for thier dreams. But, as time passes and the illusions of their youth are lost, they realize that they look nothing like what they had dreamt of during the years of their lost innocence…

Goodreads

186348899. Κάσσανδρα: Το Μυστικό της Μάγισσας (Cassandra: The Witch’s Secret) by Dimitra Ioannou

You probably don’t know that, but I call my sister Cassandra, like the one from the Iliad. Her real name is Helen, so the irony is not lost on me. Anyway, when I saw the title of this book I was immediately intrigued by it. There is also the fact that it is so difficult to find Fantasy books written by Greek authors. And it gets even worse when you start talking about Adult Fantasy. It’s mostly romance, historical, mysteries, stuff like that. So, I really want to read this book. I’m not expecting the fantasy elements to take up a huge part of the story, but it’s still going to be something different.

Preveza, 1767. Sapfo meets Cassandra, the Daughter of the Forest, who saves her from certain death, and they become very close friends. As the years pass, the two girls become great healers and offer relief from any human pain or illness. At the same time, they are the only ones brave enough to fight against the horror brought on by Ali Pasha Tepelenlis* in Epirus and the terrorism of his partner Konstantis Spathias*. Until a terrible murder** destroys the delicate balance and everything changes…

Athens 2008. Elena Venieris ends up in prison after a series of inexplicable abominable murders. There she meets the very well-known journalist Aris Komninos, who falls madly in love with her and will do anything to prove her innocence. Is Elena truly a victim of circumstances or is she a diabolical murderess, who has trapped Aris in her nets?

Aris is entangled in the mystery and suspicions, trying to determine whether the murders in the past that is retaliated or in the present that is stained by the gloomy underworld activity.

*both are historical figures of that time period

**could be referring to the murder of Ali Pasha, but I won’t know that until I’ve read the book

Goodreads

3538561210. Το Κορίτσι που αγαπούσε τα βιβλία (The Girl Who Loved Books) by Vivian Markou

I think it should be quite obvious why I am interested in this book. After all it is a book about books. I had already added to my wishlist, as soon as I had read the title. Then I read the synopsis and I just had to have it.

Dimitra Korini -at the age of 35, single, with a dog, and sufficiently desperate- is a publishing house executive. A small publishing house. Very small, to be exact. So small that she feels like she’s suffocating in there. Not to mention that the domain of the house’s publishing interests is completely unrelated to the domain of her own publishing interests. Also not to mention that her duties as an executive member are to make coffee and to write self-help and self-improvement guides.

Dimitra’s dream is to publish a literary series of the best contemporary Greek novels, which will give voice to aspiring new authors, who might not have had any luck in their careers otherwise. But never could she have imagined the adventure she would find herself involved in, when she started to implement that dream.

And when her best author, Augustus Giannaras, a young man with the looks of a model makes his appearnce, Dimitra will lose it completely, she will get completely disorganized and she will decide that she needs to immediately escape through the ventilator on the office’s wall, before it’s too late. But it is always too late in cases like this. Or maybe not?

An entertaining erotic novel about publishing, authors, books, and the people who love them.

Goodreads

3331104611. It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel

I don’t usually by books by foreign authors tanslated into Greek, because I have a difficulty stopping myself fom translating the book back to its original English. But I won in a completely random giveaway and this book was one of the best prizes that I could choose from. It is a rather small book, though. I will definitely give it a chance.

If you’re single but searching, there’s no end of explanations, excuses, and criticism you’ll hear to explain why you’re single. Even the most self-possessed singleton may come to doubt herself. ?

“You’re too picky. Just find a good-enough guy and you’ll be fine.” 
“You’re too desperate. If men think you need them, they’ll run scared.” 
“You’re too independent. Smart, ambitious women always have a harder time finding mates.” 
“You have low self-esteem. You can’t love someone else until you’ve learned to love yourself.”
“You’re too needy. You can’t be happy in a relationship until you’ve learned to be happy on your own.” 

It’s Not You is structured around the many messages that singles, especially single women, get about who they are and who they’re supposed to be. Supported by the latest psychological and sociological research, as well as interviews with single women, Eckel creates a strong argument for why you should love yourself as you are–no change necessary. By debunking the myths that have kept single women doubting themselves, Eckel encourages singles to stop picking apart their personalities and to start tapping into their own wisdom about who and what is right for them, as they begin to understand and accept there’s no one reason they’re single–they just are.

Goodreads | Book Depository

2376314312. Ζητείται Ελπίς (Looking for Hope) by Antonis Samarakis

This is a very short book. It’s not even 100 pages long. For years I heard people literally (unfortunately for me) and figuratively sing its praises. There has not been one person to make a negative remark about this book. I’ve not yet read it -I will soon -but if you happen to find a translation of it somewhere, do not pass it by. From what little I know about it, I understand that it is a book everyone needs to read at least once in their lives.

Backyards, rails, empty streets, neighbourhoods, cafes, offices, camps, dark buses, old notebooks, magazines, newspapers, lotteries, torn papers; with these and other humble materials has Samarakis ceated his stories in this, his most tender and possibly most heartbreaking of all his books. The short stories in “Looking for Hope” are more than touching. Maybe this explains how, out of all of his works, these stories have been read from all those who were children and who continue to preserve that childish innocence, the awe, and the love for the world and the things that surround us. But these stories of snow and trains and fogs are also desperate, and so they have the honesty, and also the right and the bravery, to seek genuine and intact hope, that which one only asks for when he despairs.

In the homonymous short story, such a man, one chosen of despair, enters a cafe and on a torn piece of paper dares to write: “Looking for hope”. Is this man not already Antonis Samarakis? Is the entirety of his work not summed up in this deeply humane, decisive, and non-negotiable demand for hope and faith and love for other people?

Goodreads

These were all of the books I bought this summer. I realize that some of the translated summaries might not make sense. I am honestly sorry for that, however, the Greek language -and especially literature -uses a lot of metaphors and analogies etc, which make the translation of a text you don’t fully comprehend yourself quite difficult. I’m also sorry that I’m not explaining this properly. I will only say that it has to do with the differencies between Greek and the English language. If you want to know more, I would love to write a post about on this topic. That is all from me for today.

And now it is your turn…

What books did you get this summer? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What do you think about Mark Lawrence’s books? Do you have any good poetry books recommendations?

…and also…

Are you interested in this post about Greek vs. English language that I talked about at the of this blog post? Do you care at all about the Greek books I buy each month? Do you read the summaries or my comments about them? Or maybe you think that I should remove them from my next book hauls?

Tell me all about it in the comments below…

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon TBR

This is going to be a very quick post. I just wanted to say that I’m going to be participating in the Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon. If you want to learn more about the Read-a-thon, the challenges, etc you can visit the Read-a-thon’s page and if you want to know the exact start and end times in your timezone you can find out here.

My TBR for this Read-a-thon is going to be very short. It actually contains only one book. Well it is a bindup of two books, and my goal is to read at least the first one. So, the book I will be reading is…

10790277Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan

The birth of the Nyphron Empire has brought war to Melengar. To save her kingdom, Princess Arista runs a desperate gamble when she defies her brother and hires Royce and Hadrian to perform a dangerous mission behind the enemy’s lines.

I’ve just read Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan, which is the first bindup in the Riyria Revelations series and this is the continuation. Rise of Empire is a bindup of Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Sea books four and five respectively in the series. The first book was really really good and I’m hoping that this one will be even better. However, I will admit that this is a huge book to read in 24 hours. Especially when you have guests in the house. The good thing is that the Read-a-thon started in the early afternoon in my timezone and will end in an equally convenient time.

Now it’s your turn…

Are you participating in the Read-a-thon? Which books are you planning to read? What was a really good or really bad book you read recently?

Tell me all about it in the comments below…