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! 🙂
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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?
7. 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.
8. 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…
9. 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
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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?
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?
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?