Greek Island Reading List
The following reading list is designed as a start to understanding the Greek Islands, NOT what to see.
- The Greek Islands by Lawrence Durrell; published in 1980, a survey of the Greek islands after a lifetime of traveling and living among them.
- Voyage to Atlantis: A Firsthand Account of the Scientific Expedition to Solve the Riddle of the Ages
- by James W. Mavor
- Unearthing Atlantis: An Archaeological Odyssey
- by Charles R., Bib Pellegrino
- The King Must Die by Mary Renault. This is a great fictional account of the myth of Theseus, Ariadne and her golden thread, and the Minotaur on Crete. If you are going to Athens, Crete or Naxos, put this one on your list.
- The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault. The sequel to The King Must Die, follows the life of Theseus as King of Athens.
- Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. Classic, light Kazantzakis.
- Freedom or Death by Nikos Kazantzakis. Great historical fiction by the most famous Cretan of all. It is the story of the struggle for freedom of the Cretans from the Ottoman Turks.
- The Venetian Empire by Jan Morris. Pop history by a travel writer but it provides a great introduction to how Venice took control of the Aegean Islands and Crete after the fourth crusade in 1204 and ruled parts of the region for 500 years.
- Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. A great World War II novel about the life and times on the island of Cephalonia.
- My Family and Other Animals (Penguin Nature Classics) by Gerald Malcolm Durrell. Lawrence Durrell’s brother and famous naturalist writes about the natural history of the Corfu and growing up in Greece.
- The World of Odysseus (New York Review Books Classics Series) by M. I. Finley. Introduction to the Classical world of the Greeks.
- Circe by Madeline Miller. “A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess’s story that manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right.”―The New York Times
I like Dana Facaros’ style and historic anecdotes and stories:
- Cadogan Guides: Greek Islands (Cadogan Guides), by Dana Facaros
- Greece the Cyclades (Cadogan Island Guides), by Dana Facaros
- Greece the Dodecanese (Cadogan Island Guides), by Dana Facaros
Movies and Documentaries about Greece
- The Spartans. A detailed BBC documentary presented by Brittany Hughes about this fascinating ancient civilazation. Find it here.
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Endearing comedy about the “clashing” of two cultures as a Greek and an American try to plan their wedding and their families meddle.