Top Ten Tuesday

There’s nothing like a list to get me to write things on a blog… so I’ll jump on this train – inspired by Lisa Anniesette – The Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday.

Ten Books Set Outside The US. This was actually a bit tricky for me since around 30% of what I read is from the US, and some of my favorite writers (Neal Stephenson! Mark Z. Danielewski!) are from there. I looked through my book-blog and found some books I remember as being good:

  • Odinsbarn – Siri Pettersen. And I guess, just like Lisa, I’ll start off with a book which apparently hasn’t been translated into English (yet? It was so popular in both Norway and Sweden that this must be on someone’s list to promote abroad?). It’s probably YA, and there are trolls! They have tails and stuff. So I guess it falls under fantasy. Probably the best nordic YA I’ve read so far?
  • Cirkeln –  Mats Strandberg & Sara Bergmark Elfgren. I typed “definitely the best…” on the line above, then I remembered this book and then I wasn’t sure anymore. Teenage witches in rural Sweden. And this one’s actually been translated into English!
  •  I Wish Someone Were Waiting for me Somewhere – Anna Gavalda. This is a collection of short stories and it’s years since I read it, but I still remember it, and not only because of the sad/beautiful title. Translated from French.
  •  Handling the Undead – John Ajvide Lindqvist. I was going to say “Pappersväggar” (another collection of short stories) but apparently that one is not translated and I don’t want to be unreasonable. So there’s this one instead. It’s kind of like the zombie version of Let the Right One In.IMAG0335
  •  We, the Drowned – Carsten Jensen. It’s about boats? And a small island. And it’s pretty. That’s really what I remember about the book. I remember liking it. Translated from Danish (gotta spread the Nordic love!)
  •  Egalia’s Daughters – Gerd Brantenberg. This should be mandatory reading for every human. Translated from Norwegian.
  •  Congo: the Epic History of a People – David Van Reybrouck. The title says it all, right? It’s the story of Congo and its history. And it will make you hate some Belgians. Translated from Dutch/Flemish.
  •  Purge – Sofi Oksanen. Again a book I don’t have very strong memories from, but reading my own review it apparently blew me away as I read it. Translated from Finnish.
  •  Independent People – Halldór Laxness. This is a book mainly about sheep. BUT, it’s set in Iceland and gave them their only Nobel Price (as they like to point out, they have the most Nobel Prizes per capita…). Translated from Icelandic.
  • Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth – Warsan Shire. A book of poetry? Recommended by me? Yeah, I know. But this is pretty much the only one. I ❤ Warsan. UK/Somali
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10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday

  1. Oh you’ve read Odinsbarn! I was so curious, but then I read what it was about and then I wasn’t too convinced anymore, but then maybe I’ll reconsider again?

    Speaking of Cirkeln, I’ve decided the translation I’m reading is Fire (I just reread Cirkeln not that long ago). Looking forward to, it’s going to be soo interesting to see how it translates.

    And did you know Purge was made into a movie? (Had to Google which of the novels this was, so I just found out.)

    Random comment: Read the Gavalda in French. You would not believe the level of my confusion. Or maybe you would? To this day, the only thing I remember, being extremely confused. I think I read it voluntarily too. Like why?

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    1. I was equally hesitant, but then all book blogs I read and DN agreed that it was great, so I read it anyway. It took a while for me to warm up to the setting (…cause trolls?) but was completely hooked by the end and had to force myself not to order the next 2 parts immediately.

      I did not know that it’s a movie. Probably don’t want to see that though since some scenes were horrible…

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      1. I’ve read the book (twice! it was also included in my advanced English course 2 years ago) and there’s not a chance in hell I’d want to see a movie based on that, lol.

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      2. Yeah, but I can’t imagine any world in which they manage to convert it into a movie I’d also like…

        Good question! The English lit teacher at Linné is a bit out there. She also does courses focusing on Romance.

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    1. Yes, very true. Nobel prizes in literature are rarely given for single works, which I could have been more clear about, yet that wasn’t the reason for recommending the book.

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