April 2021

Dear readathon people,

My name is Cindy, I’m a Swedish-speaking Finn with two native languages and English is my third language. I have often tried to read books in the original language, the language they were written in. My Dad has influenced me a bit in this, he also enjoys books in many languages. This might be my fifth year of participating in Dewey’s readathon. I’m excited and happy! My TBR usually is very flexible but I will try to read at least a little of a few books I’ve started before. Those include: Loiri by Jari Tervo (Finnish) It’s a book about a great singer and actor: Vesa-Matti Loiri, Die Unendliche Geschichte  (The neverending story) by Michael Ende (German), Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (English) and two books in Swedish by Maria Gripe: Agnes Cecilia (a kind of a ghost-story) and Tordyveln flyger i skymningen (it has not been translated into English but it means “The beetle flies at twilight”). I have read Die Unendliche Geschichte before, in Swedish and Finnish and Tordyveln flyger i skymningen is also a re-read. I have the audiobook in German to Die Unendliche Geschichte and am hosting a book club meeting with my friends later about it. I am not so perfect in German but I understand better than I speak and write. 

I was blessed to be adopted into a family with two languages when I was 3 months old and so I have become bilingual. When I graduated from school at 20 I moved to Stockholm, Sweden and studied English and Finnish at the University of Stockholm on/off for almost 12 years. Now I live in Finland again, i am on early retirement but I blog a lot, mostly in English. 

The purpose of this post is to recommend a few of my favorite books from Finland, Sweden and Norway. (I haven’t read a Danish or Icelandic book yet, sorry!). 

My most favorite book written in Finnish is probably “Sinuhe egyptiläinen” (Sinuhe the Egyptian) by Mika Waltari. I was “forced” to read this in senior high school, and I fell in love with it. It is about exiled Sinuhe, writing the story of his life. Starting at his birth and ending where he is right now. It’s an epic historical fiction, I love it because it has so many interesting things happening, a love story and is just very good. 

My most favorite Swedish book would maybe be “Låt den rätte komma in” that is “Let me in” by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It’s horror, I read it back in 2004 for the first time, I couldn’t put it down! I loved it because it was just sooo gruesome and scary. It took place near where I lived in Stockholm, too, so it felt close There were two movie adaptions made: one in Sweden and one in the USA. They’re both pretty okay, but I prefer the one made in Sweden.

I have only read two books from Norway, both in Swedish, because I haven’t studied it enough yet. Both are my favorites. The first I read was “Sofies värld” That is “Sophie’s world” – a book about philosophy by Jostein Gaarder. It’s so good. It has mystery, it’s maybe middle-grade, I read it when I was 15. It teaches a lot about philosophy. It’s a little on the “heavy” side, since there is so much information but I still really recommend it.  

The second book from Norway I’ve read is “Det som er mitt” in English: “What is mine” by Anne Holt. It is a thriller. It is just so exciting, I couldn’t stop reading it, I read it in a few hours while on vacation in Gran Canaria. It’s a mystery thriller about a kidnapper. I recommend it. 

Me trying to choose my TBR books is an ever ongoing inner struggle and debate by myself. I will continue with Washington Black at least, it’s by a Canadian author It is about a slave who is invited to help his master’s brother in his scientific endeavours. It is so well written and I might finish it before the readathon lol. It takes place in Barbados and all over the world. I love it. The neverending story is a kind of fairytale about Bastian who discovers a book and is immersed in the universe of Fantasia. It’s one of my favorites from my youth. Vesa-Matti Loiri is a very well-loved and esteemed singer and actor from Finland He is charismatic and very interesting. The book by Jari Tervo is a book about Loiri’s life. I also have it as an audiobook. Agnes Cecilia is a ghost story about a girl that moves into a new home with her family and strange things are happening…. Then Tordyveln flyger i skymningen is a mystery middle-grade book, which I have read before but remember almost nothing of. There were some mystical phone calls and a tape recorder, that’s all I remember. 

Good luck with the readathon! i hope you decide to pick some literature from the Nordic countries! 

My blog can be found at 

https://cindersboo.blogspot.com/

And my bookstagram is:

3 thoughts on “Dear readathon people,”

  1. I’m also in Finland and host a book club in Instagram featuring nordic authors if anyone is interested. Instagram: nordicbookclub

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  2. Thanks for the recs! I prefer the Swedish version of Let Me In as well. And the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo original trilogy. And the Swedish version of A Man Called Ove! The US needs to stop remaking stuff that’s already good. Subtitles are not a crime.

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