Great literature. One book at a time.

Armida Books. 2014 in review.

2014 was a very busy year for us here at Armida.

Many things have changed over the past few years but the only constant is our steadfast commitment to bringing out titles of the highest quality. 2014 was no exception. Even though the going has been rough, we managed to produce 14 high quality books that we are proud to add to our ever expanding list.

Let’s start off with the new Greek titles:

Many of you know that Panos and I are related so if he writes a new book, it goes without saying that I’ll publish it. As if I have a choice : ) Panos’ older books have been out of stock for some years now and we decided to re-circulate them, giving them new form and new covers. The content of course remains the same. So out came three award winning classics by Panos Ioannides: Η Αβάσταχτη Φιλοπατρία του Π.Φ.Κ., Οι Ντέβα, Απογραφή. 3 masterpieces that have received high praise from critics both here and in Greece.

In other related news, Armida is bringing out Απογραφή in English. The book is currently in translation and  will be published mid 2015. On a similar note, Κοάζινος is also being translated into Turkish and we’re currently in negotiations for its Arabic edition.

Next comes a book that is as disturbing as it is fascinating. The manuscript was brought in a year or so ago by my good friend Στέφανος Ευαγγελίδης. The book that came out a few months ago, Μήδειες και Κλυταιμνήστρες will greatly interest any and all who have a morbid fascination with real crime. This book examines aspects of our society that are usually left unturned; female criminal behaviour during the British colonial years.

And then came Κώστας Πατίνιος with Κουνήσου Μούχλα…. Ahh, what can I say about my good friend Κώστας. He is one of my favourite people on this planet, and all those who have had the misfortune of knowing me, know that I like very few people! What is very unique about this book is that it has been a co-venture of sorts with another runner/artist, Πόλα Χατζήπαπα who has contributed the illustrations of this one of a kind book. Costas and Pola have done something truly unique. They have managed to combine their two great passions in life; running and creating.

The next book we brought out this year is Μαθηματικές δραστηριότητες για το νηπιαγωγείο by Μαρία Σιακαλλή. Another first. As far as we can tell, this teaching guide is the first of its kind globally. It provides invaluable tools to kindergarten teachers in their effort to teach basic mathematical skills to young children.

My friend Richard lovingly prepared a small booklet about the Holy Monastery of Evangelistria in Skiathos. We chose to publish this book for a couple of reasons. First, we love the way Richard Romanus writes. Already an accomplished and successful author with Matoula’s Echo and Act III, this book is a tribute to the people behind the story of the Monastery, written from a human perspective, not an ecclesiastical one. The second reason is that it’s a great human interest story. If you enjoy human interest short stories based on real events and real places, this book will definitely surprise you. The book is available in two editions, a Greek, under the tittle Ευαγγελίστρια and an English entitled Evangelistria: The Holy Monastery of the Annunciation in Skiathos and of course as a kindle on Amazon or via our very own kindle store.

Last but definitely not least comes a book by one of Cyprus’ most highly esteemed and renowned poets, Θεοκλής Κουγίαλης. His latest poetry collection, Μνήμες που επιστέφουν is a short but concise and powerful display of  poetic artistry. Currently in print and will be ready mid December.

Now for our English title recap.

First came Andreas Karayan’s award winning Immoral Tales: London – Alexandria. A coming of age erotic odyssey. This award winning, ground-breaking autobiographical novel is another first for Cypriot letters and for the coming of age genre as a whole, particularly in this part of the world where conservatism is all the rage. A sensual odyssey of self discovery written with great sensitivity and gusto.

Then came a disturbing novel for those among us who enjoy a good head game. Now Then is Paul Stewart’s first novel and what a first this is. I have to admit that this book unsettled me. Not many things disturb me anymore. Remember, I live in Cyprus, and I deal in books…. It’s the hardest thing you can do next to perhaps fighting in a war. Now Then tracks the progress of a man gradually losing his mind. As this is a psychological thriller, I’m not disclosing more info.

A few years ago, Irene Noel-Baker approached me with another coming of age book. Betwixt and Between is a more traditional coming of age book about a boy growing up in colonial Nicosia, just before the liberation struggle. Written by Miltiades B. Hatzopoulos, this magnificent novel is a journey into an era long gone through the eyes of a teenager. I was amazed at the level of detail Mitliades B. Hatzopoulos has in this historical novel. Not only is Betwixt & Between a very well written – and brilliantly translated – novel, it could easily function as a rough guide of sorts for any ‘time traveler’ exploring the end of the colonial era in Cyprus.

Next came redesigned Out of the West by Kevin Sullivan. One of my favourite Armida books of all time. Perhaps because it deals with matters that interest me more. Out of the West is a book about the awful years of World War 2 and the Greek civil war. It’s a book about the difficulties of post-war peace and a book about the ‘mechanics’ of the human psyche during war. Written by a man who has had the unfortunate experience of being in a war, this book is a powerful first novel that has affected me in many ways.

Then came The Weight of the rain by Roula Ioannidou Stavrou. Our third poetry collection of the year, this book is a tribute to contrasting feelings as it dabbles in a variety of human conditions; life and death, love and Eros, devotion and betrayal, and many more.

Last but not least in our list of books comes Triathlon: Loving it is easy by another person I sort of like. When he’s not on my case about my training progress that is! Christos Christou is a serious athlete and an even more serious trainer. He is ‘the coach’. He is also the author of the very successful book Τρίαθλο: Να το λατρέψεις είναι εύκολο.  The Greek version of the book, another first throughout the Greek world, already in its 3rd edition, is a landmark for the sport. So we figured, why not bring out the English version for the world to enjoy. And so we did!

In other news, we redesigned the site, negotiated translation rights for a few titles, planned ahead for 2015, participated in a couple of book shows, wrote a few thousand emails, read a ton of new submissions, negotiated contracts with ebook retailers, sold a few books here and there, and many more. Proud to announce that as of a few weeks ago, we’re now listing some ebooks with Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scripd and Page Foundry. One of our 2015 main projects is to convert all titles into electronic formats; Greek and English.

Also very proud to announce that Immoral Tales by Andreas Karayan, as well as The Venetian by Lina Ellina are currently being reviewed for inclusion by the European Literature Night (ELN) for 2015. The ELN is the British annual literary showcase bringing the best of the continent’s writers to the British Library. In May 2014 the British Library hosted six acclaimed authors from across Europe in a sold-out event hosted by renowned broadcaster Rosie Goldsmith.

Bottom line is we’re working hard to bring you the best literature available.

If you appreciate what we’re doing, please tell your friends and if you see anything that tickles your literary fancy, treat yourself!

For additional information on some of the books, please download this PDF catalogue by following the link:

Armida Books 2014

And by the way…. Happy Holidays to you and yours! : )