During the days that followed that storm, the sunshine and temperatures headed back up into the mid 70’s F and we headed back to the deck for some afternoon sunning.
No doubt about it; the seasons are beginning to change in Greece.
|Signs of autumn in The Mani|
For those new to our blog, we've moved to Greece and as of yet don’t have a television, so reading is our means of escape and entertainment. (And from the recent headlines we read on the computer, we aren’t in any rush to get a television.)
|Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfous has been a favorite for decades|
Deborah Rodriguez took me here in her book, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. With the coffee shop as a backdrop, five different women with vastly different stories come together in this debut novel, published in 2011. The book, originally published as A Cup of Friendship includes recipes, reading group questions and an interview with the author – all of which are icing on the cake for me! And the good news is, there’s another book I haven't yet read, called A Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.
Sandy Tolan’s real-life story of a friendship between a Palestinian and an Israeli reads like a novel, so I've included it in the 'novel' destinations post. I am thankful a friend had recommended this in a FB post and spoken so highly of it that I was prompted to read it last spring. The house depicted in the story and the lemon tree in the front yard are real. . .as are the character’s whose friendship of four-decades is highlighted in this story. I’ll warn you – it isn’t an easy one to read but it puts a human face on the headlines and it may be one of the best books I've ever read.
The Lemon Tree grew out of a 1998 NPR documentary in which Tolan reported on a friendship between a Palestinian man and an Israeli woman that served as an example of the region's fragile history.
The Syrian Desert 1930’s
And among my favorite novelists is Agatha Christie. When I’d run out of murders solved by her Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, I turned to some real-life books she’d written. The only book I had time to read during our ‘summer of slogging’ was her book, Come, Tell Me How You Live, a memoir about the time spent in Syria in the 1930’s on archeological digs with her husband, Max Mallowan. It was as entertaining as her murder mysteries, emphasizing both her wit and sense of humor (which you’d have needed, I suspect when living in a desert in the 1930’s!)
The good news is that while looking up the photo of this book, I came across another by her grandson, rather recently published, titled, The Grand Tour – Around the World with the Queen of Mystery. I suspect it won’t be long until I am traveling around the world with her, however, this book has drawn real mixed reader reviews on Amazon, so maybe I’ll ponder its purchase for awhile.
|A perfect place to read a book|
After writing that last sentence about Amazon and knowing that in the past any such reference has brought an outcry from some who don’t like the giant, I thought I should tell you about access to books in this part of Greece. In a word: limited!
We have two small bookstores in the village of Kardamyli, about 20 minutes away. There’s a bookshop in Kalamata, primarily stocked with Greek books. A few souvenir shops and grocery stores in the villages near us have a few paperback ‘beach reads’ in English as well as books by Nikos Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek and many other books) and Patrick Leigh Fermor, (Mani: Travel in the Southern Peloponnese and numerous other books) the area's two most famous writers.
|Books arrived at the café where we get our mail!|
If we want certain titles or a variety of titles to choose from we turn to Amazon or my preferred provider of books, Book Depository, which operates much like Amazon and is based in the United Kingdom. They don’t charge postage to mail anywhere in the world! And that fact alone has made me a loyal customer.
|Joan and Patrick Leigh Fermor's home outside Kardamyli|
We’ve been here nearly a month and are finally getting over the unsettled phase of life that we’ve been in since July. I can tell you that a move such as ours causes earth tremors among the great bureaucracies of the world. Those stories as well as the car shopping adventure are on the docket for future posts about this new ex pat life we've entered.
Got any ‘novel’ destination recommendations for us to explore this winter? If so, let us know. You can never have too many books on your 'must read' list! Until the next time, safe and happy travels ot you and yours. Thanks again for the time you spend with us! (And thanks to those of you've who've rounded up new readers through your recommendations!)
Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Weekend Travel Inspiration