It's got to be better than a book I read a few months ago called Paradise Besieged by Richard John Friedlander. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Athonite monk. So many people want to read about Mount Athos from an insider's view but it's only edifying when the person doing the chronicle has a solid, stable Orthodox faith, isn't prone to unhealthy zealotry and obsessiveness that eventually turns into cynicism, and doesn't bore you to death with his sexual stuggles and conquests. There were a few moments of genuine insight and edification, but if you're a new convert or not too strong in Orthodoxy, this book is a soul killer.scamandrius said:A (Catholic) student of mine gave me a book called O, Holy Mountain! by Fr. Basil Pennington, a Trappist monk who lived on Mt. Athos for an extended period, much longer than normally granted non-Orthodox visitors. It is essentially is daily journal. He records his conversations with various monks and spiritual fathers, as well as other guests to the Holy Mountain, whether Greek, Russian, American, etc. It is a good read and really quite descriptive as to what goes on on the Holy Mountain, though this was published over 30 years ago. Although he is quite frankly mistaken on many Orthodox beliefs and he goes to great simplistic lengths to comment on why union with Rome should no longer be an obstacle since he thinks all of our beliefs are the same, it is quite obvious that he is touched a great deal by his stay on Athos and I can only hope that what I read here prepares me for when I have the opportunity to visit the Holy Mountain for myself.