Shaded Pergola: Haiku & Other Short Poems with Illustrations by Eleni Traganas. (Photo: Amazon)
In the cold winter months, cozying up with a good book is a great way to pass the time, explore fascinating worlds, and be inspired by an author’s imagination and skill. Add the following books to your winter reading list.
For those interested in poetry, Shaded Pergola: Haiku & Other Short Poems with Illustrations by Eleni Traganas, a Juilliard-trained concert pianist and composer, who is also a painter, writer, and poet. According to the book’s description, “the poems of Shaded Pergola embody evanescent impressions meant to speak for themselves― and lead the reader into a transitory and spellbinding world where nature and the human soul find a common but rarefied affinity.”
Shaded Pergola also includes luxurious original sketches and botanical illustrations inspired by antiquarian engravings that highlight the award-winning artist’s multifaceted talents. Traganas is also the author of a novel titled Twelfth House. Her books, including Shaded Pergola: Haiku & Other Short Poems with Illustrations, are available online. More information is available on her website: https://elenitraganas.com/.
For those interested in memoirs, Don’t Marry an American: A Memoir of Coming to America by Ben (Evangelos) Kyriagis is a well-written volume highlighting Kyriagis’ personal experience as a Greek immigrant in the United States. He begins with meeting his future wife and then recounts what life was like in his village, Krania, on Mount Olympus. In the book, Kyriagis shares his family stories and the insights that shaped his life’s journey. Born in Greece in 1954, he first came to America in 1971 as a high school foreign exchange student in Barron, Wisconsin. He later earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Don’t Marry an American: A Memoir of Coming to America by Ben Kyriagis is available online.
For those interested in compelling fiction in Greek, Pyrinikos Himonas (‘Nuclear Winter’) by Robert Pefanis was released December 15 by Stafilidis Publications.
In the book, a group of nationalist officers secretly builds a uranium enrichment plant, gradually turning Turkey into a nuclear power. Faced with the risk of overturning the balance in southeastern Europe, Greece sends a group of agents and military with the order to destroy the relevant infrastructure. The mission is aborted as a coup occurs in the neighboring country. A dangerous escalation follows with clashes between naval forces in the Aegean and an operation to occupy a Greek island. The events lead to a confrontation between the U.S., Russia and China, with the specter of the planet’s nuclear annihilation seeming inevitable.
The group, cut off in the depths of Asia Minor, begins a desperate struggle to overthrow the dictatorship from within, the only hope for humanity in this adventure with an unexpected twist. The book is currently available in Greek from Stafilidis Publications: https://stafilidis.gr/.
Robert Pefanis was born in England in 1969. He studied Marketing at the American College of Greece and did postgraduate studies at the University of Leicester. He worked in the field of Communication from 1992 until 2014, and has worked for the top media organizations in Greece. Pefanis has also taught Communication at numerous universities in Greece, Serbia, and Romania and is a frequent contributor to leading news sites in Greece and Cyprus.
He is married to Lisa Antoniadis and they have two adult sons, Kosmas and Phoebus. His first book, Operation: Elgin Express, was released in April 2022.
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