Reminder – Tuesday is meeting day

and we’ll be talking about books from Scandinavia and Iceland (and pretty much anything anyone else wants to talk about)

and we’ll be using our new library tea set with the cookies.  Hope you can join us at the Library at 2:30 on Tuesday (2/2)  groundhog

I’ll be spending the weekend with a couple of Swedish mystery/thriller authors – hilarity will NOT ensue.

I have found the most delightful book

Translated from the Swedish it is The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.  Was recommended for people who enjoyed The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and while I have been badly burned by “books like”, this one seems very promising.  Here is one of the chapter headings

“It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged that a Swedish Tourist in Iowa Must be in Want of a Man”

How could you not like that?  It will be available for borrowing at our next meeting.

National Book Critics Circle Awards

If you are any kind of creative person and you are going to get an award, this is the season when you’ll get it.  Most recent announcement is of the National Book Critics Circle nominations.  Scroll down past the article to see a complete list by category.

Making progress on my Feb reading

Finished The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen and liked it enough to ask for the second in the series from the library – mostly because I want to see what happens to one of the characters – this is the first in a series featuring a detective who is effectively moved out of his department to get rid of him and into a newly created dept of cold cases – and of course he manages to embarrass everyone by solving an important one.  Author is from Denmark.


Starting Independent People by Halldor Laxness – the only Icelandic author to win a Nobel prize and find it very engrossing so far – kind of like listening to a good storyteller.  Connie loaned me a book on Iceland that has some nice photos that make a good companion piece.  Glad this was recommended.


Hope you are finding something interesting.


And for those who like a head start

here are a few suggestions for our February session –

Scandinavian authors –   (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland)

A Man Called Ove  -Fredrik Backman — really enjoyed this story of a curmudgeon who turns out to be more lovable than you’d think.  Swedish author

My Grandmother asked me to tell You She’s Sorry – also by Fredrik Backman – also like this one but not quite as much.  This time the curmudgeon is a woman who seems to be the only person who understands her granddaughter

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson – In 1948, during a summer spent with his father in the countryside near the Swedish border, the 15-year-old Trond follows his friend into a field to steal horses, unaware of a shooting accident that has left a young boy dead. A tale of Norway during and after the second world war, of innocence lost and families destroyed, Petterson’s portrayal of rural life is mesmerising, as is his pitch-perfect prose.

Under the North Star by Vaino Linna -a historical portrait of a Finnish family across many generations attempting to describe the social reality in familiar settings. Many of Linna’s novels have been adapted into films.  (3 books in the series)

Independent People by Halldor Laxness –  Iceland — Novel prize winner  – The storyline is fascinating, the characters both lovable and infuriating, the writing beautiful. It is laugh-out-loud funny and tear-jerkingly tragic. A good portrayal of the inner thoughts of children.

Out of Africa – Karen Blixen – classic book and movie

A Doll’s House – Henrik Ibsen – OK – nothing says we can’t read a play

Do you like mysteries and thrillers – check out these authors –

Henning Mankell, Kerstin Ekman, Karin Fossum Unni LIndell, Arnaldur Indridason, Aevar Orn Josepsson, Peter Hoeg, Asa Larsson, Karin Alvertegen, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, Michael Larsen, Jo Nesbo, Kjell Ericsson, Camilla Lackberg, Jussi Adler-Olsen

(the ones in italics are ones I have actually read)

Follow up to today’s book chat

Books discussed today (in addition to the list of suggestions posted earlier)

Gandhi: An Autobiography – The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas K. Gandhi – fascinating story – recommended.

Sister of my Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – story of two women raised as sisters in Calcutta and their lives and families – a pleasant novel by the author of Mistress of the Spices (not as highly recommended)

Lost Geography by Charlotte Bacon – not exactly about India but rugs from India were mentioned and it was highly recommended.

A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison – about sisters who lose everything in the tsunami and one winds up in the human trafficking horror.  Highly recommended.

The Far Pavilions and Shadow of the Moon by M. M. Kaye – both long but well worth reading – set during the 19th century.

Slowly down the Ganges by Eric Newby (has several others with an Indian setting) – a classic of travel writing.

Being Mortal – Atul Gawande – includes the story of taking the ashes of his Father back to India to put them in the Ganges.

Burnt Shadows – Kamila Shamsie – main character is a Japanese woman who leaves Japan after the A-Bomb is dropped and goes to India where she meets the man she marries.  They take a honeymoon at the time that India is partitioned and find themselves in Pakistan and unable to return to their home.  Highly recommended even if not really about India.

Not Books:

Indian Summers – Masterpiece Theater drama that was on TV this summer and worth watching.

Outsourced – which I am sure I saw as a movie but shows up on-line as a “Complete series” so I assume it was made into a TV show by someone.  American goes to Mumbai to run a call center.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – mentioned in passing – first one is much better than the sequel

Our next meeting is February 2 when we will be talking about books written about Scandinavian countries or by Scandinavian authors and we are tucking Iceland into this category.