Greek to Me

Greek to Me

Adventures of the Comma Queen

Book - 2019
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In her New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, Mary Norris delighted readers with her irreverent tales of pencils and punctuation in The New Yorker's celebrated copy department. In Greek to Me, she delivers another wise and funny paean to the art of self-expression, this time filtered through her greatest passion: all things Greek.Greek to Me is a charming account of Norris's lifelong love affair with words and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris's memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine--and more than a few Greek men--Greek to Me is the Comma Queen's fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2019
ISBN: 9781324001270
1324001275
Characteristics: 227 pages ; 22 cm

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The author chronicles her lifelong love of words, filtered through her passion for all things Greek.


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Indoorcamping
Jun 21, 2019

If you're excited about the "Adventures of a Comma Queen" storyline, which I was, you're going to get annoyed at the "Greek to Me" diversions. Alternatively, if you want to read a brilliantly written New Yorker-type long story about getting your work to pay for your travels and language classes, this is perfect.

I wanted to hang out with this writer over lunch and listen to her talk. You could get lost in her words, lost in language, lost in Greece and her illustrative descriptions which bring you right there. If you don't want to get lost, you can stay at her work and learn about that. Her work was, oddly, much more interesting to me than her travels. So that's the sections that I read and thoroughly enjoyed. Greece just didn't excite me as much.

m
MaxBliss
Jun 14, 2019

Norris brings dead languages alive! Recommended to librarians and linguists.

A travelogue written by a woman who is an Ancient Greek scholar traveling alone in Greece today while bungling the pronunciation of Modern Greek.

If you would put a comma in the previous sentence, read her other book, Between You & Me, for Mary Norris is the Comma Queen.

t
trainingcdo
May 30, 2019

This book not only made me want to travel to Greece but to learn Greek as well.

p
patcarstensen
May 13, 2019

The book is like the pre-Tina-Brown New Yorker magazine, where articles could sprawl over several issues as writers presented the varied aspects of a topic.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW May 09, 2019

I enjoyed this book a whole lot. I went to Greece a few years ago and reading Norris' descriptions of the Greek landscape -- both places I'd been to on my trip and others that I'd missed -- made me feel like I was back there, sitting beneath a clear blue sky with white buildings all around me and the Aegean far below. This is an interesting little book, because I'd be hard pressed to describe precisely who it's for -- there's not enough travel detail to attract fans of travelogues, and the bits about learning Greek would appeal more to linguistics nerds, but there's also a memoir-ish feel to it underneath it all. I finished it thinking that I didn't much care who the intended audience was, because Norris is such a smart, capable, often funny writer.

b
brinyurchin
Apr 10, 2019

I'm traveling and overlooking a stormy sea. Gray and rainy outside; but, I was traveling in lemon, blue and white Greece inside. I loved being curled up on the couch reading "Greek to Me." I stopped several times to relay info about greek words to my husband (who is reading a surfing book) as well as, to read him well written sentences. Norris can eliminate an entire paragraph with the placement of one good descriptor. What a pleasure! Also, this book brings back what travel was like before cell phones, internet etc. When leaving meant really leaving and connecting with your alienated self as well as with locals.

a
athena14
Apr 08, 2019

This would make an excellent TV series (like Bettany Hughes' history programs). It was frustrating to not be able to hear Mary Norris pronouce the various Greek words and to be unable to see the places she visited.

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