Last Updated: November 24, 2021

Best Books On Greece

Looking for the best books on Greece? We’ve got you covered with this detailed guide to all the best books about Greece you could possibly read!

We’ve covered everything, from fiction novels that are set in Greece, to popular travel guides and detailed accounts of Greek history and mythology. Whether you’re in the mood for some light reading, or you want to read a book that will prepare you for an upcoming trip to Greece, you’ll find all the best books on Greece below!

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Best Books On Ancient Greece

National Geographic The Greeks: An Illustrated History

National Geographic The Greeks: An Illustrated History

This detailed account of Greek history by Diane Harris Cline is one of the best – and prettiest – books you can read on the history of Greece. It covers everything from the rise and fall of the Greek Empire to a detailed account of how the influence of Ancient Greece is still noticeable in our day and age.

Although this book is very detailed and comprehensive, it’s still very enjoyable and reads easily. That’s partly due to all the illustrations and photographs that make all the stories come to life!

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Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece

Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece

Robin Waterfield manages to tell the story of 700 years of Greek history in this book while keeping the reader captivated the entire time. The author has somehow managed to include everything, from the first emergence of the Greeks to the final conquest of the last remaining Greco-Macedonian kingdom.

It’s fascinating that such a comprehensive story is told in less than 550 pages, especially since all the different periods of Ancient Greece’s history are covered equally. If you want to understand how the Greek Empire rose to prominence and what eventually caused its downfall, this is by far the best book to read!

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A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture

A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture

A Brief History of Ancient Greece is a detailed study of Greek history written by the world’s six leading experts on the subject. The book explores the history of Greece from the Bronze Age to the Roman period, with a detailed account of all social, cultural, economic, and political happenings during the different periods in Greek history.

It’s the best and most comprehensive account of the history of Ancient Greece, and the perfect book for everyone who truly wants a masterclass in Greek history.

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Odyssey

The Odyssey

Odyssey is one of the two epic poems associated with Homer, and a must-read for anyone who is trying to learn as much about Ancient Greece as possible. It’s a book about Ancient Greece, written during Ancient Greece, by an ancient Greek author and poet! The epic poem is divided into 24 books, and it follows Odysseus, a Greek hero, on his journey back home after the Trojan War.

The War lasted for ten years, and it took Odysseus about the same amount of time to return home. During this journey, Odysseus encounters many perils, all his crewmates get killed, he is presumed dead, and a plethora of other things happen.

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The Rise of Athens: The Story of the World's Greatest Civilization

The Rise of Athens: The Story of the World's Greatest Civilization

The Rise of Athens by Anthony Everitt is a fascinating recount of the history of Athens. Although we don’t know as many details about the history of Athens as we do about some other famous world empires, Everitt does a spectacular job of explaining the key events and people in the city-state’s history.

This book is an excellent blend of great narrative and historical analyses, telling stories about famous Athenians and the culture and politics of the city-state, but also exploring what life in the city was like.

Although the focus of the book is the history of Athens, it’s much more wide-ranging than the title suggests, and a worthy read for those yearning to know more about Ancient Greece!

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Best Books On Greek Mythology

Greek Mythology: A Concise Guide to Ancient Gods, Heroes, Beliefs and Myths of Greek Mythology

Greek Mythology: A Concise Guide to Ancient Gods, Heroes, Beliefs and Myths of Greek Mythology (Greek Mythology - Norse Mythology - Egyptian Mythology - Celtic Mythology)

If you’re looking for a broad overview of Greek mythology, this is by far the best book to read. It doesn’t go into too much detail about the monsters and deities of Greek mythology, but instead, it tells the story of the creation of the world as it is imagined in Greek mythology.

The book covers the creation of the universe, the Greek gods, the Trojan War, and all its heroes, as well as all the other basics one should know about Greek mythology.

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Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters

Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters

This account of Greek mythology by Donna Napoli is the best book on Greek myths for children. It focuses on the various gods and goddesses, as well as the monsters and heroes that are most popular in Greek mythology. Although the book is primarily written for children, the stunning illustrations and immaculate writing make it very enjoyable for adults as well!

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D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

If you ever read a book on Greek mythology when you were a child, chances are that it was this exact book. Originally published in 1992, D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths remains one of the best accounts of Greek mythology that were ever written for children. It’s a bit out of date when it comes to certain references and the way some stories are told, but that’s something only adults would notice.

If you’re looking for the best book to get your child acquainted with Zeus, Persephone, Icarus, and all the other figures from Greek mythology, D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths remains one of the best books that were ever written on the subject.

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Mythos: (Ancient Greek Mythology Book for Adults, Modern Telling of Classical Greek Myths Book)

Mythos: (Ancient Greek Mythology Book for Adults, Modern Telling of Classical Greek Myths Book) (Stephen Fry's Greek Myths, 1)

Mythos by Stephen Fry is a modern account of classic Greek myths. It’s a book written for adults, and it offers a fresh perspective on ancient Greek myths that we’ve been familiar with for centuries. It’s an amazing book for people who want to get into Greek mythology but can’t really relate to it.

Stephen Fry compares Cronus to Hamlet, even managing to throw in a casual Morrissey reference, in a spectacular effort to really help the reader better understand the ancient myths and find them more relatable.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians 5 Book Paperback Boxed Set (new covers w/poster) (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series of five novels by Rick Riordan. It’s the perfect series to gift to teenagers, young adults, and even grown adults who are even remotely interested in Greek mythology. The fictional series follows Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon, and his many demigod friends as they go on various quests in an attempt to save the Olympians.

The book has a little bit of everything in it, including Greek history, mythology, as well as fascinating characters that make the reader care about them in the first few pages!

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Best Greece Travel Books

Greece: Travel Book on Greece (Wanderlust)

Greece: Travel Book on Greece (Wanderlust)

This travel book on Greece by Elyse Booth is the best to pick up if all you want is a book full of photos of picturesque Greek scenery. The photographs in the book are mostly from Santorini and Athens, making Booth’s book perfect for anyone who is planning a trip to one of the two popular destinations in Greece.

Pick up this book on Greece if you want to get acquainted with some of the country’s famous landmarks and landscapes but skip it if you’re more into reading than flipping photos!

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Lonely Planet Greece

Lonely Planet Greece (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet’s travel guide to Greece is essential for anyone who is planning a trip to the Mediterranean country. The guide contains all the information you could possibly need for traveling Greece, from ATM and WiFi info to help you get settled, to colored maps and lists of best accommodations in the different cities.

Lonely Planet’s guide to Greece covers pretty much all the major regions, with detailed information on the best places to stay, highlights in every region, as well as personalized itineraries for everyone!

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Best-Kept Secrets of The Greek Islands

Best-Kept Secrets of The Greek Islands

There are six island groups in Greece, and this travel guide covers them all, with photographs and key information on all the main islands in Greece. The guide by Diana Farr Louis features some of Greece’s most beautiful scenery, best-known vacation destinations, and popular landmarks that are situated on the country’s many islands.

From the best landscapes of Zakynthos to the most picturesque villages of Rhodes, this book is perfect for anyone who wants to get more acquainted with the different Greek islands.

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Rick Steves Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese

Rick Steves Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese

This Greece travel guide by Rick Steves is a great read for anyone who is planning a longer trip to Greece. It covers all the top sights in Athens and the Peloponnese, from iconic landmarks like the Parthenon to the best-secluded beaches in the Peloponnesian Peninsula.

The guide also includes a list of the best restaurants, bars, and accommodation options in the area, as well as itineraries and suggestions for self-guided walking tours of popular museums and neighborhoods. It’s one of the most comprehensive travel guides for Athens and the Peloponnesian Peninsula, and a necessity for anyone traveling to the region!

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A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey

A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey

Clyde E. Fant’s guide to Greece is rather unique as it focuses on all the Biblical sites that are located in Greece and Turkey. It’s a niche type of travel guide, and if this is something you are interested in, it’s the best guide on the subject you can pick up. In case you’re not specifically looking for a guide on all the biblical sites in Greece, skip this book and pick up one of the others instead.

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Best Books Set In Greece

Eleni

Eleni

Eleni by Nicholas Gage is an exceptional story of a man’s quest for the truth. It’s set in Greece, and it is based on a true story. The author’s mother had been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in mid-20th-century Greece, and Gage attempted to uncover who exactly was behind the gruesome task.

The event that the book is centered around is the main reason why Nicholas Gage became an investigative reporter, and one of the best ones in the business at that. If this was fiction, it would have been a brilliant read. But since it’s more of a faction, the novel is more harrowing than fascinating, but a page-turner, nonetheless.

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Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis is thought to be one of the best modern Greek novels of our day and age. On the surface, it’s a story of a friendship between a mine owner and his foreman.

Kazantzakis uses this narrative to explore the battle between the material and spiritual worlds, delving even into the story of God and man, the Saints and the Devil, as well as the struggles of finding one’s purpose in life. It’s a captivating read and a must for anyone who is looking to read some of the best and most famous novels with stories that take place in Greece.

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The Island

The Island

The Island by Victoria Hislop is a historical novel set in Crete during World War II. It tells the story of Alexios, a woman of 25 years who travels to Plaka, trying to learn more about her family’s past. Arriving at the small village in Crete, she discovers that the village faces Spinalonga, an islet that used to be home to a Greek leper colony.

The novel sheds light on the conditions of Europe’s leper colonies, all the while telling the story of Alexios’ emotional discoveries of her family’s past.

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The Corfu Trilogy

Corfu Trilogy

The Corfu Trilogy is a series of memoirs by author Gerald Durrell. They’re autobiographical novels for the most part, but some stories in the books are fictionalized for story-telling purposes. The first book, My Family & Other Animals, follows a young Gerald during his move to a new country.

The books tell the story of the family’s struggles to adapt to a completely new life in Greece, as well as the boy’s discovery of the wonderful people, culture, animals, and flora of Corfu.

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The Magus

The Magus

The Magus by John Fowles is a metafictional novel set in Greece that has received widespread critical acclaim. It tells the story of Nicholas, a young man who graduates from Oxford and moves to remote Greek Island to be an English teacher.

It doesn’t take too long for him to become disillusioned and bored with his life, but then he meets a wealthy and mysterious Greek man, and that’s when the fun begins. It’s not a very easy novel to read, and the many twists and turns might leave you feeling like you’re not entirely sure what even happened in the book, but that’s exactly what makes The Magus deserving of a spot on this list!

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