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Greek books: the ideal Christmas present Posted by on Dec 7, 2018 in reading

Γεια σας! If you have a friend who learns Greek, Christmas is the right moment to offer them a nice present and what would be better than a book? If you are not sure about the right Greek book, this post is for you!


Parezart via Pixabay

#1. If your friend likes detective fiction, the books by Petros Markaris (Πέτρος Μάρκαρης) would be a good option. Kostas Haritos (Κώστας Χαρίτος) is an Inspector who lives in Athens and usually solves a case in the Greek way, i.e. breaking the rules. The readers can get an idea about the social problems in Greece and the life in Athens. I would recommend “The late-night news” (Νυχτερινό δελτίο). It is suitable for upper-intermediate learners.

#2. One does not have to be fluent in Greek to read a book. Manos Kontoleon (Μάνος Κοντολέων) is a great writer who writes for teenagers. His books can be read by intermediate learners. «Μανόλο & Μανολίτο και Μανουήλ» (Manolo & Manolito and Manouil) talks about the adventures of a writer, his dog and two teenagers.

#3. Is your friend passionate about Greek food? There are plenty of books with good recipes. «Τα νηστίσιμα της Ντίνας» (Ta nistisima tis Dinas) by the chef Dina Nikolaou (Ντίνα Νικολάου), include Greek recipes we make during Lent. Another good option would be the book «Αυτή είναι η κουζίνα μου» (Afti ine I kouzina mou) by Vangelis Driskas (Βαγγέλης Δρίσκας).

#4. For someone who likes to play Greek music, there are many books available. «Μίκης Θεοδωράκης – 20 τραγούδια για κιθάρα» (Mikis Theodorakis – 20 guitar songs) , «Μάνος Χατζιδάκης για κιθάρα»   (Manos Hatzidakis – guitar songs, volume 1, 2, 3), «Μάνος Χατζιδάκης για πιάνο» (Manos Hatzidakis – piano songs, volume 1,2,3),  «Μάρκος Βαμβακάρης – Τα τραγούδια μου» (Markos Vamvakaris – Ta tragoudia mou, for three-string bouzouki).

#5. Some people like to learn a language through comics. The comics by Arkas are an excellent choice. David Prudhomme’s “Rebetiko”, had been translated in Greek and would be interesting for those who like ρεμπέτικο (rebetiko). The Greek title is «Ρεμπέτικο (Το κακό βοτάνι)».

#6. There are many options for advanced learners: they are able to understand the beauty of the Greek language through the work of writers, such as Καζαντζάκης (Kazantzakis), Παπαδιαμάντης (Papadiamantis), Καραγάτσης (Karagatsis) and also poets, such as Καβάφης (Kavafis), Σεφέρης (Seferis), Ελύτης (Elitis), Σικελιανός (Sikelianos). The options are numberless.


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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.