Join The Icelandic Roots Book Club

Updated: Apr 10

By Heather Goodman Lytwyn Winnipeg, Manitoba


No Time to Read?


If you are a member of Icelandic Roots, you will have seen the article “Books from Iceland 2022” posted on the Icelandic Roots Membership Group on Facebook on April 1. Hopefully, you have also browsed through the Book List in our database, and seen titles that beckon you, but you are just too busy.

Did you enjoy the article, Our Second Annual Book Flood? It was published in the Jólabókaflóðið tradition last fall and included 41 titles of our favorite books.


If you are looking for motivation to find the time, this may be a technique that will work for you: join our Icelandic Roots Book Club. We will share the titles in the IR Newsletter at least 2 months in advance, which gives you ample time to find a copy of the book in your library, or bookstore. Personally, I prefer to binge read, so all it would take is a couple of days without interruption to get it read, but if that doesn’t work, set aside an hour a day to allow yourself the luxury of reading. Knowing that you will be talking to others about it is a great incentive to get as much of it read as you can. Our first zoom chat will be on June 9, 2022, at 7 pm CST.

If you are a binge-watcher on any of the streaming services, you must have had numerous conversations with people sharing their tips on what shows to watch, and had lively conversations about them. Similarly, being part of a book club helps you decide what to read. And just like those animated conversations about an engaging series, that you are having with your barber, banker, or neighbour, a book club gives you the opportunity to talk about a book you’ve read.


Whether you are an IR member or not, you had to have seen a review of the book everyone is talking about: Secrets of the Sprakkar: Iceland’s Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World, by Eliza Reid. Not only is this book gaining attention because it celebrates the success of Icelandic women in all walks of life, but because the author was born in Ontario, and is now the wife of the President of Iceland. This should be on your list of books you would love to read!

We are so excited to be able to launch our Icelandic Roots Book Club with the First Lady of Iceland’s tribute to women who have made an impact on their communities. We hope you will join us for the Webinar with Eliza Reid on Wednesday, June 8th at 3-3:30 pm Iceland time - 10 am Central time. The next day, Thursday, June 9, from 7–8 CST, we will host the book club discussion. Members will receive the Zoom link the day before.


Never attended A Book Club Meeting?


For most of my life, I did not know that book clubs existed. My best friend and I would exchange books back and forth. We would both write comments in them or underline something that struck a chord. Sometimes, we would wonder who else do we know would enjoy this book? We were closet librarians. It wasn’t until the 1980s that I overheard someone talking at an in-service about a book club. Say What???


Wondering What to Expect?


Just like the Samtal Hour, we will have a host who can be relied upon to keep the conversation moving. But because most participants will have read at least part of the book, we encourage you to jot down a few things in advance that you might want to share. This is especially important if you have finished reading it weeks before the conversation takes place.


How to Prepare for Our Book Club


For Eliza’s book, consider these questions, and add some of your own questions that you would like to ask:

  • Was there a woman that you found especially Sprakkar? Why?

  • Did the book make you think of a woman who made a difference in your life? Tell us about her.

  • What are your thoughts about the paid maternity and paternity leave that is available in Iceland?

  • In what way did you recognize Eliza’s gift as a journalist?

  • Did it make you more aware of how you yourself could make a difference in your community?

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts about this beautifully written book, and to being your host for the monthly Icelandic Roots Book Club Meetings.


-Heather Goodman Lytwyn

Icelandic Roots Book Club Leader