Phew! What a great start to the reading year I’ve had. Dedicating one week per Nordic country has been fascinating and I’ve been astounded by the variety of books covered between us – a huge thank you, (but especially to Lizzy and Liz who’ve read loads each). Thank you also to those who visited and commented.
Yes, there has been a good deal of Scandi-crime and Nordic-noir, but the reading list has also featured some quirky contemporary novels, scary black metal, Neo-Nazis, protagonists both young and old, plus Ditlevsen’s memoirs and some fascinating non-fiction about these countries by non-Nordic authors.
One thread that pulls many of these books together for me was that where they’re set in a specific locale, those places do come to life in the writing. As for country differences, that’s more difficult – world-weary or grumpy detectives are the norm, not the exception. But I would say that the quirkiest books tend to come from Finland, and naturally Denmark and Iceland are closer to each other in character than the others. Those are of course sweeping generalisations that would undubitably not hold water in a larger sample of reading, just my gut feeling. What is clear is that I’ve enjoyed reading from all five countries and while have found new favourite authors, they’re spread around.
I have enjoyed every single book I read, even the black metal one from Norway in parts! My biggest discovery however was the gorgeous novella that is The Ice Palace by Targei Vesaas, closely followed by Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book, and reaffirming that Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow was still brilliant (I’ve now seen the film and added a bit to my review of the book here).
If I were to repeat #NordicFINDS, which I might just do as I’ve added quite a few books to my TBR. In which case, I’ll probably make it a week or fortnight with a personal goal of reading one book from each country.
And here are the links to all the books reviewed by those who took part (do let me know if I’ve left yours off).
- Havoc by Tom Kristensen – Thoughts on Papyrus
- Island by Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen – Lizzy’s Literary Life
- Minna Needs Rehearsal Space by Dorthe Nors- AnnaBookBel
- Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow – by Peter Høeg
- The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tuve Ditlevsen – You Might as Well Read
- Childhood (Copenhagen Trilogy #1) – Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings
- The Last Good Man by AJ Kazinski – The Content Reader
- The Murder of Halland by Pia Juul – AnnaBookBel
- Dark as My Heart by Antti Tuomainen – You May As Well Read
- Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson – Calmgrove
- Notes from an Island by Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietila – Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings
- The Healer by Antti Tuomainen – AnnaBookBel
- The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo – Lizzy’s LIterary Life
- The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen – AnnaBookBel
- The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen – Lizzy’s LIterary Life
- The Summer Book by Tove Jansson – AnnaBookBel
- Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir – AnnaBookBel
- Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason – AnnaBookBel
- Land of Love and Ruins by Oddný Ur – You Might as Well Read
- Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón – Calmgrove
- Red Milk by Sjón – Lizzy’s Literary LIfe
- The Book of Reykjavik by various authors – Lizzy’s Literary Life, Liz Dexter
- The Heaven and Hell Trilogy by Jón Kalman Stefánsson – Liz Dexter
- The Museum of Whales You Will Never See by A Kendra Greene (NF) – Liz Dexter
- The Promise of Iceland by Kari Gislason (NF) – Liz Dexter
- A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter (NF) – Liz Dexter
- The Birds by Targei Vesaas – Lizzy’s Literary Life
- Girls Against God by Jenny Hval
- The Ice Palace by Targei Vesaas – AnnaBookBel, Winston’s Dad
- Love by Hanna Ørestavik – Reading and Watching the World
- Novel 11, Book 18 by Dag Solstad – You MIght as Well Read
- Professor Andersen’s Night by Dag Solstad – Madame Bibi Ophile Recommends
- Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder – The Content Reader, AnnaBookBel, Bookish Beck
- The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am by Kjersti A Skomsvold – Cathy at 746 Books
- The World According to Anna by Jostein Gaarder – Calmgrove
- A moth to a flame by Stig Dagerman – Imogen at Reading and Watching the World
- An Elderly Lady is Up to Nno Good & An Elderly Lady Must not be Pressed by Helene Tursten – You Might as Well Read
- Döstädning: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson – Bookish Beck
- Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist – Cathy at 746 Books
- Some Kind of Company by Nan Östman
- Roseanna (Martin Beck 1) by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö – Cathy at 746 Books
- The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck 3) by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö – Lizzy’s LIterary Life
- The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (Martin Beck 2) by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö – Lizzy’s Literary LIfe
- The Mind’s Eye by Håkan Nesser – AnnaBookBel
- The Room by Jonas Karlsson – AnnaBookbel
- Magnetic North by Sara Wheeler (NF) – LIz Dexter
- River Kings: The Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads by Kat Jarman – Liz Dexter
26 thoughts on “#NordicFINDS – It’s a wrap!”
It’s been a wonderful event Annabel! I wish I could have joined in more but it wasn’t possible this year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed you repeat it. The Ice Palace is a stunning novel, so pleased to hear it stood out for you.
Thank you! I’ll definitely repeat a shorter version next year. I’ve now bought two more Vesaas novellas, Lizzy liked The Birds even more than the Ice Palace.
What a triumph this was and thank you for the shout-out – I really enjoyed picking all the Nordic books off my shelf and especially getting round to four books that were among the oldest. Well done to everyone who participated, and you for your reading and watching and your highly efficient adding of reviews to your master list!
Thanks Liz – your support has been so appreciated, especially all the non-fiction. In terms of reading in translation, for me, the Nordic countries are certainly giving France a run for its money as favourites now. A much shorter version of #NordicFINDS will probably return next year.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following this event, Annabel. It has been a great success. Well done! 😀
This has been such a brilliant event to follow, Annabel. Thanks so much to you and your fellow reviewers! 👏🏻
I’ve enjoyed cheering this one on from the sidelines, Annabel, and have added a few titles to my TBR list. Only to be expected! I spotted Often I Am Happy and This Should be written in the Present Tense in your pile, both of which I loved.
Bought on your recommendation 🙂
Oh, that’s lovely – thanks for telling me!
Well done, Annabel (and the other participants) — you’ve read so much towards this! I wish I’d had time to get more Scandi reads down from my shelves. I’d been forgetting a Per Petterson novel I own, for instance. Next year!
I’m definitely going to do a shorter version next Jan I think, because I’ve enjoyed the books I read so much.
Thanks Rebecca. You don’t have to wait until next yr to read your Per Petterson, but I will definitely do a shorter event next Jan.
Knowing me, it will indeed still be hanging around next year — I always seem to need the excuse of a particular challenge to get to backlist reads.
This has been such fun, Annabel, and I do hope you repeat it! 😀
Thank you, and yes – but shorter!
This has been fun and a great way to get some books off the TBR. Of course, for every book taken off I’ve added a couple! (The Ice Palace; Jar City & Buttereflies in November most notably). I notice you have Often I am Happy on your own TBR; I read it fairly recently and thought it was great.
I do hope you repeat the event next year.
Thank you. I will repeat it, but it’ll be shorter!
Thank you so much for running this, Annabel, a chance for me to read stuff I may not have got round to in a while! And I’ve a few authors ready for the next time you care to run NordicFINDS — works by Jostein Gaarder, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Ragnar Jonásson and Jo Nesbø, for example.
My pleasure. I think it will return next year but in a shorter form!
I wish I could have joined in but I did enjoy reading lots of the reviews and yes, the variety was a surprise. I’d expected a whole load of Nordic noir but was pleasantly surprised to find many other genres featured
Thank you for your visits Karen. Maybe next year… it’ll be back for a shorter run.
A great excuse for me to stock up in preparation
Thank you Annabel for this challenges. It has been so interesting to read the reviews. You really read a lot of books, I am impressed. My own contribution was meagre, and I only managed one from each country. Although, I have to confess, I am still on the Swedish one (being a nonfiction and rather dense, it takes time to read) and the Finnish I could not finish.
I have got a lot of tips for authors from all countries I have never heard about. I have heard, also from other sources, that The Ice Palace is something special, so I will probably start with that one.
Thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed it and thank you for joining in.