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Our Second Annual Book Flood

Updated: Nov 11, 2022


Icelanders love books so it is not surprising that one of the most beloved traditions in Iceland today is Jólabókaflóðið, the annual “Christmas Book Flood”. Iceland’s literary history ranges from the Icelandic Sagas and folktales and mythology to the Nordic Noir genre popular with mystery fans around the world. In fact, one in ten Icelanders will publish a book! In 2011, Reykjavík was designated a UNESCO City of Literature.


Although Iceland has a long history of literature, the Jólabókaflóðið tradition only began during World War II in 1944. Paper was one of the few items that were both affordable and not rationed, so what else could you do but print books? The annual catalog of new books is published and distributed in the fall free to every house in Iceland to use to find their Christmas gifts. On Christmas Eve, the books are given and then people read their new books far into the night and drink hot chocolate.


Our 2nd annual book guide is composed of books recommended by Icelandic Roots volunteers and all are currently available. Each book has a link to an online bookstore and may also be available at your local bookshop. Stores such as Tergesen’s in Gimli, Manitoba, or Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington carry many Icelandic books and are just a few. Click on the book to order online. 42 suggested books are listed below and include:

Our Favorite Books Released in 2021


How Iceland Changed the World by Egill Bjarnason


The untold story of how one tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic has shaped the world for centuries.


The history of Iceland began 1,200 years ago when a frustrated Viking captain and his useless navigator ran aground in the middle of the North Atlantic. Suddenly, the island was no longer just a layover for the Arctic tern. Instead, it became a nation whose diplomats and musicians, sailors and soldiers, volcanoes and flowers, quietly altered the globe forever. How Iceland Changed the World takes readers on a tour of history, showing them how Iceland played a pivotal role in events as diverse as the French Revolution, the Moon Landing, and the foundation of Israel. Again and again, one humble nation has found itself at the frontline of historic events, shaping the world as we know it, How Iceland Changed the World paints a lively picture of just how it all happened.

The Real Valkyrie: The Hidden History of Viking Warrior Women by Nancy Marie Brown


In 2017, DNA tests revealed to the collective shock of many scholars that a Viking warrior in a high-status grave in Birka, Sweden was actually a woman. The Real Valkyrie weaves together archaeology, history, and literature to imagine her life and times, showing that Viking women had more power and agency than historians have imagined. Nancy Marie Brown uses science to link the Birka warrior, whom she names Hervor, to Viking trading towns and to their great trade route east to Byzantium and beyond. She imagines her life intersecting with larger-than-life but real women, including Queen Gunnhild Mother-of-Kings, the Viking leader known as The Red Girl, and Queen Olga of Kyiv. Hervor’s short, dramatic life shows that much of what we have taken as the truth about women in the Viking Age is based not on data, but on nineteenth-century Victorian biases.

The Girl who Died by Ragnar Jónasson Una wants nothing more than to teach, but she has been unable to secure steady employment in Reykjavík. Her savings are depleted, her love life is nonexistent, and she cannot face another winter staring at the four walls of her shabby apartment. Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 1986 in the remote fishing hamlet of Skálar seems like a small price to pay for a chance to earn some teaching credentials and get her life back on track.

As darkness descends throughout the bleak winter, Una finds herself more often than not in her rented attic space―the site of a local legendary haunting―drinking her loneliness away. She is plagued by nightmares of a little girl in a white dress singing a lullaby. And when a sudden tragedy echoes an event long buried in Skálar’s past, the villagers become even more guarded, leaving a suspicious Una seeking to uncover a shocking truth that’s been kept secret for generations.


The Doll by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir


It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.


They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangles in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll is a terrifying sight and the mother's first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.


Several years later and Detective Holder is in a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. Holder must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. He is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freya investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.


What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girls who wanted the doll all those years ago.


Icelandic Books Coming in 2022


Secrets of the Sprakkar: Iceland’s Extraordinary Women and How They are Changing the World by The First Lady of Iceland, Eliza Reid


For the past twelve years, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Iceland number one on its list of countries closing the gap in equality between men and women. What is it about Iceland that makes many women’s experiences there so positive? Why has their society made such meaningful progress in this ongoing battle, from electing the world’s first female president to passing legislation specifically designed to help even the playing field at work and at home? And how can we learn from what Icelanders have already discovered about women’s powerful place in society and how increased fairness benefits everyone?


Eliza examines her adopted homeland's attitude toward women―the deep-seated cultural sense of fairness, the influence of current and historical role models, and, crucially, the areas where Iceland still has room for improvement. Available February 8th, 2022.


Guðríður's Saga written by Bryndís Viglundsdóttir and illustrated by Gay Strandemo


This children´s story is about Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir, the most traveled woman of the Viking age and her family. She and Þorfinnur Karlsefni sailed to North America to a land called Vinland the Good. They stayed for three years and while there, they had a baby boy and named him Snorri. In this beautifully written and illustrated story, Guðríður's young grandson, Þorgeir, asks his grandmother about her extraordinary life. Children and adults alike will enjoy this delightful book. There is also a coloring book that accompanies the book with the wonderful coloring pages by Bryndís and Gay.


Look for this book in the spring of 2022. IR will write a post and let you know about this as it is our first book published through our nonprofit organization.


Non-Fiction Books


Heiða: A Shepard at the Edge of the World by Steinunn Sigurðadóttir


Heida is a solitary farmer with a flock of 500 sheep in a remote area bordering Iceland's highlands. It's known as the End of the World. One of her nearest neighbors is Iceland's most notorious volcano, Katla, which has periodically driven the inhabitants of Ljótarstaoir away ever since people first started farming there in the twelfth century.


This portrait of Heida tells a heroic tale of a charismatic young woman, who walked away from a career as a model to take over the family farm at the age of 23.


Divided into four seasons, Heida tells the story of a remarkable year, when Heida reluctantly went into politics to fight plans to raise a hydroelectric power station on her land. This book paints an unforgettable portrait of a remote life close to nature.


Á Veraldar Vegum eftir Sverrir Sigurdsson


The book is the Icelandic translation of Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir, featured last year in our annual book guide. This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Join Sverrir on his roaring adventures. Now published in Icelandic


Heillandi endurminningar Sverris Sigurðssonar arkitekts um ævintýralegan lífsferli hans. Sverrir, segir frá ætt og uppruna en hann var fyrsti Íslendingurinn til að ljúka arkitektanámi í Finnlandi. Um áratugaskeið starfaði hann í Miðausturlöndum og Afríku sem arkitekt og síðar sem starfsmaður Alþjóðabankans. Sérlega áhugaverðar og vel skrifaðar endurminningar sem verma hjartarætur lesandans.


White Settler Reserve: New Iceland and the Colonization of the Canadian West by Ryan Eyford


In 1875, Icelandic immigrants established a colony on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipeg. The timing and location of New Iceland were not accidental. Across the Prairies, the Canadian government was creating land reserves for Europeans in the hope that the agricultural development of Indigenous lands would support the state’s economic and political ambitions. In this innovative history, Ryan Eyford expands our understanding of the creation of western Canada: his nuanced account traces the connections between Icelandic colonists, the Indigenous people they displaced, and other settler groups while exposing the ideas and practices integral to building a colonial society.

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown


Five hundred years before Columbus, a Viking woman named Gudrid sailed off the edge of the known world. She landed in the New World and lived there for three years, giving birth to a baby before sailing home. Or so the Icelandic sagas say.


Even after archaeologists found a Viking longhouse in Newfoundland, no one believed that the details of Gudrid’s story were true. Then, in 2001, a team of scientists discovered what may have been this pioneering woman’s last house, buried under a hay field in Iceland, just where the sagas suggested it could be.


Joining scientists experimenting with cutting-edge technology and the latest archaeological techniques, and tracing Gudrid’s steps on land and in the sagas, Nancy Marie Brown reconstructs a life that spanned—and expanded—the bounds of the then-known world. She also sheds new light on the society that gave rise to a woman even more extraordinary than legend has painted her and illuminates the reasons for its collapse.


Saga jólanna eftir Árni Björnsson


Í Sögu jólanna er fjallað á ítarlegan hátt um jólahátíðina fyrr og síðar á Íslandi og víðar um heim. Rakin er saga jólanna frá upphafi þegar fátækir sem ríkir héldu ljósahátíð í skammdeginu. Hér er einstakur fróðleikur settur fram á litríkan hátt.

Árni Björnsson, þjóðháttafræðingur, lýsir því hvernig kirkjan breytti eldra jólahaldi og mótaði nýtt helgihald, höfðingjar svölluðu og almúginn dansaði en allir reyndu að tjalda því besta sem til var á hverju heimili.

Bókin skiptist í 17 kafla: Hátíðir í skammdeginu, kristnun jólanna, jólasálmar, jólafasta, helgidagar á aðventu, jólavættir, jólaksreytingar, jólatré, jólamatur, jólagjafir, jólaskemmtanir, jólasöngvar, jólasvall, jólagleði, jólakveðjur, áramót, jól um víða veröld. Bókina prýðir mikill fjöldi teikninga og ljósmynda. Höfundur, bókarinnar, Árni Björnsson, er löngu kunnur fyrir störf sín og bækur enda er hann virtur fræðimaður á sínu sviði.


Saga daganna eftir Árni Björnsson


Hér er fjallað um merkisdaga ársins og hátíðir. Rakin er saga þeirra á Íslandi frá upphafi til okkar tíma, og skýrður uppruni þeirra og samhengi við atvinnuhætti, trúarbrögð og menningarsögu.


Árni Björnsson þjóðháttarfræðingur lýsir bæði nútímahátíðum og fornum merkisdögum. Hann segir með sama smitandi áhuga frá sautjándanum eða verslunnarmannahelginni og katólskum messudögum íslensku dýrlinganna Þorláks, Jóns og Gvendar góða, fjallar bæði um sjómannadaginn á 20. öld og um geilsadag hinn forna eða eldaskildag leiguliða í gamla bændasamfélaginu. Megináhersla er að sjálfsögðu lögð á þær hátíðir og merka daga sem fyrr og síðar lýsa sérstöðu íslensks samfélags og mannlífs: sumardagurinn fyrsti, jólin, þorrinn og góan, krossmessur, töðugjöld…


Glacier by Ragnar Axelsson Jökull is the book written in Icelandic


Glacier is an ode to Iceland's glaciers by renowned documentary photographer, Ragnar Axelsson. Having grown up near the glaciers and flown his plane over them countless times since, Axelsson has a deep affinity for the ice that has shaped the country's land and psyche, as well as his own lifelong fascination. With near-abstract black-and-white aerial images and short reflective texts, Glacier is a breathtaking view of glacial forms, textures, and patterns as seen from a lyrical flight that starts above the clouds and ends at the sea.


The Little Book of the Icelanders by Alda Sigmundsdóttir


After more than 20 years away, Alda Sigmundsdottir returned to her native Iceland as a foreigner. With a native person's insight yet an outsider's perspective, Alda quickly set about dissecting the national psyche of the Icelanders.

Among the fascinating subjects broached in The Little Book of the Icelanders:


• The appalling driving habits of the Icelanders

• Naming conventions and customs

• The Icelanders’ profound fear of commitment

• The irreverence of the Icelanders

• Why Icelandic women are really men

• How the Icelanders manage to make social interactions really complicated

• The importance of the family in Icelandic society

• Where to go to meet the real Icelanders (and possibly score some free financial advice)

• Rituals associated with weddings, confirmations, graduations, and deaths

… and many, many more.


Ólöf the Eskimo Lady: A Biography of an Icelandic Dwarf in America by Inga Dora Bjornsdottir


Ólöf Krarer may be one of America's most effective impostors of the twentieth century. Born in Iceland in 1858, she moved to the United States at age nineteen. Because she was a dwarf, the only job she could get was as the "wife" in a dwarf couple at a circus. It wasn't long before she fabricated a new life for herself, as an Inuit Eskimo from Greenland.

It's estimated that Krarer gave more than 2,500 lectures around the country, including talks at universities, on life in Greenland as an Eskimo. Nearly all the information she gave was made up, uninformed, and just plain wrong, but no one, from William Jennings Bryan to Robert Peary, ever disputed her facts.

Americans at the time were intensely interested in life in the far North, thanks in part to the first attempts to reach the North Pole. Björnsdóttir puts Krarer in that context and explains how dramatic improvements in railroad transportation and an extreme shortage of entertainment helped drive her popularity. She also describes the role of the circus at the time, attitudes toward dwarfs and other "deviants," and the possible psychological reasons for Krarer's deceptions.

This is a fascinating story about a great female con artist, but also an interesting look at the culture and society of America in the late nineteenth century.


Iceland in World War II: A Blessed War by G. Jökull Gíslason

No single event in recent history has shaped the fortunes of Iceland as much as World War II. Before the war, Iceland was among the poorest European countries. After the war, it had become one of the richest nations in the world. For this reason, it became the 'Blessed war' in Iceland.

The British occupied Iceland in 1940 and with the British troops came other soldiers from countries like Canada, Norway, and far away like New Zealand. Then the United States took over the occupation, sending the US Marines to Iceland in July 1941 a full five months before the attack on Pearl Harbour. It was in the sea around Iceland that the US Navy engaged the U-boats and fired the first shots of the war and it was here that the first US soldiers died...

This book covers these events and many more. It gives you a good overview and the high points of the war in relation to Iceland No single event has had such far-reaching consequences for Icelanders as the Second World War, which was traditionally referred to by the phrase "blessed war".


Jökull's recent IR Presentation was recorded and is available here: Iceland in World War 2

The Chain Letter of the Soul: New and Selected Poems by Bill Holm


Throughout his life and in his writing, Bill Holm was a humanist whose obsessions included mortality and eternity. He paid special attention to the notion of cycles, patterns, movements, and processes, and many of his most moving poems are dedicated to the friends and family he helped through the last stages of their lives.


Collecting the best and most recent poems from Holm’s oeuvre, The Chain Letter of the Soul paints a portrait of a man of great heart, broad vision, and startling prescience. In these poems, the personal, vulnerable side of a great public figure is revealed.


The Settlement of Iceland by Dr. Gunnar Karlsson


Iceland remained uninhabited far longer than most habitable places on earth. It wasn’t until the beginning of the Viking Age, around 800 AD, that Norsemen began to build ships that could carry them safely out into the North Atlantic. The Book of Icelanders states that the island was settled from about 870 to 930 AD. Most of the settlers were from the west coast of Norway or other parts of Scandinavia, and a handful is said to be of Irish origin.


Long before this, an island called Thule, where the sun shone all night in summer was known in European geographical treatises; some of these accounts are consistent with Iceland. Medieval Icelandic sources also say that there were Irish monks living in Iceland when the settlers arrived. But why Iceland? And how did the settlers survive the first years?


Icelandic Fiction Books


A Fist Or A Heart by Kristín Eiríksdóttir; translated by Larissa Kyzer


Elín Jónsdóttir lives an isolated existence in Reykjavík, Iceland, making props and prosthetics for theatrical productions and Nordic crime flicks. In her early seventies, she has recently become fascinated with another loner, Ellen Álfsdóttir, a sensitive young playwright and the illegitimate daughter of a famous writer. The girl has aroused maternal feelings in Elín, but she has also stirred discomfiting memories long packed away. Because their paths have crossed before. One doesn’t remember. The other is about to forget.

Soon they’ll discover all they have in common: difficult childhoods, trauma, and being outliers who have found space to breathe in creative expression. Yet the more Elín tries to connect with the young woman and unbox painful memories, the more tenuous her grasp on reality becomes.


Hotel Silence by Audur Ava Olafsdottir; translated by Brian FitzGibbon


His wife has left him, his mother is slipping deeper into dementia, and his daughter is no longer who he thought. So he comes up with a foolproof plan: to buy a one-way ticket to a chaotic, war-ravaged country and put an end to it all.

But on arriving at Hotel Silence, he finds his plans – and his anonymity – begin to dissolve under the foreign sun. Now there are other things that need his attention, like the crumbling hotel itself, the staff who run it, and his unusual fellow guests. And soon it becomes clear that Jónas must decide whether he really wants to leave it all behind; or give life a second chance, albeit down a must unexpected path…


Be Still The Water by Karen Emilson


Canada, 1906. Teenager Asta Gudmundsson has immigrated with her family to an Icelandic farming and fishing community along the unspoiled shores of Lake Manitoba. There she falls deeply in love with Bjorn and after a night of violence that leaves Asta broken, the pair make a silent pledge to never speak of it again.


With help from her mystical, high-spirited grandmother, Asta begins to rebuild her inner world until the unthinkable happens—her beloved sister Freyja disappears. As war is declared in Europe and the man she loves enlists, Asta must make a choice: stay safely at home or set out to find Freyja.


Inspired by true events, Be Still the Water is a vivid, coming of age epic complete with unforgettable characters and a heart-wrenching ending—one that will leave you reflecting on Asta’s fateful decisions long after the last page is turned.


The Guardians of Iceland and Other Icelandic Folk Tales by Heidi Herman


Trolls and Hidden Folk are a part of daily life in Iceland. This collection of Icelandic folklore and legends comes from the days of the Vikings. The twenty-five short stories are centuries old and have been updated for today's readers of all ages. Children and adults alike will love to delve into this fantastic collection of traditional Icelandic fairy tales and legends. These short stories of trolls, elves with magical powers, and Hidden People have been passed down from generation to generation.


Iceland’s Bell by Halldor Laxness


At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an oppressed Danish colony, suffering under extreme poverty, famine, and plague. A farmer and accused cord-thief named Jon Hreggvidsson makes a bawdy joke about the Danish king and soon after finds himself a fugitive charged with the murder of the king’s hangman.


In the years that follow, the hapless but resilient rogue Hreggvidsson becomes a pawn entangled in political and personal conflicts playing out on a far grander scale. Chief among these is the star-crossed love affair between Snaefridur, known as “Iceland’s Sun,” a beautiful, headstrong young noblewoman, and Arnas Arnaeus, the king’s antiquarian, an aristocrat whose worldly manner conceals a fierce devotion to his downtrodden countrymen.


Under the Glacier by Halldor Laxness


A youthful emissary of the Bishop of Iceland travels to the beautiful and mysterious district of Snæfellsnes, locally known as "Under Glacier" to investigate the affairs of the parish and its enigmatic pastor.


The story is the young man's report to the bishop on the extraordinary events taking place at the foot of Snæfellsnes-Glacier and the remarkable characters he encounters in the course of his investigations. In this strange region, all accepted distinctions between past and present, the mundane and the supernatural, seem at times to vanish.


Snowblind / Snjóblinda by Ragnar Jónasson


Where: An isolated fishing village in the fjords of northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors. Who: Ari Thór is a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavík. What: A young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed elderly writer falls to his death. Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life.


Á Siglufirði finnst ung kona blóðug og hálfnakin í snjónum, nær dauða en lífi. Aldraður rithöfundur deyr á grunsamlegan hátt á æfingu hjá áhugaleikfélagi bæjarins, daginn fyrir frumsýningu. Ari Þór Arason, nýútskrifaður lögreglumaður, reynir að komast að því hvað er satt og hvað er logið í samfélagi þar sem engum virðist hægt að treysta. Einangrunin, myrkrið og snjórinn þrengja að honum, óttinn nær tökum á bæjarbúum og gleymdir glæpir fortíðar koma upp á yfirborðið. https://www.penninn.is/is/book/snjoblinda-innbundin


Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason


When a lonely old man is found dead in his Reykjavík flat, the only clues are a cryptic note left by the killer and a photograph of a young girl's grave. Inspector Erlendur discovers that many years ago the victim was accused, but not convicted, of an unsolved crime, a rape. Did the old man's past come back to haunt him? As Erlendur reopens this very cold case, he follows a trail of unusual forensic evidence, uncovering secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man.


I Remember You / Ég man þig by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir


In an isolated village in the Icelandic Westfjords, three friends set to work renovating a rundown house. But soon, they realize they are not as alone as they thought. Something wants them to leave, and it's making its presence felt. Meanwhile, in a town across the fjord, a young doctor investigating the suicide of an elderly woman discovers that she was obsessed with his vanished son. When the two stories collide, the terrifying truth is uncovered.


Ungt fólk sem er að gera upp hús á Hesteyri í Jökulfjörðum um miðjan vetur fer aðgruna að þau séu ekki einu gestirnir í þessu eyðiþorpi. Ásama tíma dregst ungur læknir á Ísafirði inn í rannsókn á sjálfsmorði eldrikonu. Hún virðist hafa verið hugfangin af syni hans sem hvarf fyrir þremur árumÍ og fannst aldrei.


Waiting Place

by IR Volunteer, Sharron Arksey


Duty, desire, love, and purpose. Who we want to be and whom we want in our lives.


As Susan prepares for the birth of her first child, she contemplates her role as a mother, wife, and partner on the family farm through the lives of the women closest to her. In a world of wanting and waiting, is fulfillment always beyond reach?




History. A Mess. by Sigrund Palsdottir


While studying a seventeenth-century diary, the protagonist of History. A Mess. uncovers information about the first documented professional female artist. This discovery promises to change her academic career, and life in general . . . until she realizes that her "discovery" was nothing more than two pages stuck together. At this point, there's no going back though, and she goes to great lengths to hide her mistake—undermining her sanity in the process. A shifty, satirical novel that's funny and colorful, while also raising essential questions about truth, research, and the very nature of belief.


The Sea Road by Margaret Elphinstone


A haunting, compelling historical novel, The Sea Road is a daring retelling of the 11th-century Viking exploration of the North Atlantic from the viewpoint of one extraordinary woman. Gudrid lives at the remote edge of the known world, in a starkly beautiful landscape where the sea is the only connection to the shores beyond. It is a world where the old Norse gods are still invoked, even as Christianity gains favor, where the spirits of the dead roam the vast northern ice fields, tormenting the living, and Viking explorers plunder foreign shores.

Where the Winds Dwell by Böðvar Guðmundsson

This book was published as Híbýli vindanna by Mál og menning in 1995 and received the 1996 Icelandic Literary Award. It was then released by Turnstone Press in Winnipeg. This is a brilliant book that all of us should read.


Where the Winds Dwell is a letter from a father to his daughter. It is Patricia’s inheritance; her family history, which takes root in Iceland, blossoms in North America, and spans more than a century. But a family myth is more than a shoebox of letters and papers. Patricia’s father, a world-class opera singer, has given melody to their family’s journey from Iceland.

Children’s Books We Recommend


Iceland with Kids: The Step-By-Step Guide to Planning Your Vacation in Iceland by Eric Newman


This is a different kind of travel book. Adults will love the detailed planning information, and we hope kids (and adults) will enjoy the more than 300 full-color pictures throughout the book.


You won't find a list of every single hotel in Iceland or every single restaurant. You'll likely look at online reviews for those. And you won't find a list of every single attraction. You can't see it all, so please don't try! We give you plenty to cover in a vacation of any length.


The Casket of Time by Andri Snær Magnason


Teenage Sigrun is sick of all the apocalyptic news about the “situation” and, worse, her parents’ obsession with it. Sigrun’s family―along with everyone else―decides to hibernate in their TimeBoxes®, hoping for someone else to fix the world’s problems. But when Sigrun’s TimeBox® opens too early, she discovers an abandoned city overrun by wilderness and joins a band of kids who are helping a researcher named Grace to solve the “situation.” The world, according to Grace, is under an ancient curse. There once was a princess named Obsidiana, who was trapped in time by the greedy king of Pangea. To protect Obsidiana from dark and gloomy days, the king put her in a crystal casket made of spider silk woven so tightly that time itself couldn’t penetrate. The king’s greed for power doomed his kingdom and the trapped princess. Sigrun sees eerie parallels between the tale of Obsidiana and the present-day crisis and realizes it’s up to her and her friends to break the ancient curse and fix the world.


Íslandsbók barnanna eftir Margrét Tryggvadóttir, Linda Ólafsdóttir


Íslansbók barnanna er falleg og fræðandi bók um flest það sem einkennir eldfjallaeyjuna okkar. Hér er fjallað í máli og myndum um fjörur og fjallstinda, fiska og fugla, pöddur og blóm, sumarsól og vetrarmyrkur, þjóðgarða og borgarlíf, sjávarþorp og sveitir, þjóð og tungu, hraun og skóga, jökla og eyjar, vötn og sanda, ár og fossa og margt, margt fleira – vetur, sumar, vor og haust.



The Problem with Chickens by Bruce McMillan and illustrated by Gunnella


The ladies of Iceland have a problem: the birds lay their eggs in nooks on the sides of steep cliffs, so the ladies have a very difficult time getting any of the eggs for baking. They go to town to buy chickens to lay eggs for them instead. For a while, everyone is happy: there are plenty of eggs to bake plenty of yummy things.


But the ladies' problems are far from solved, for the more time the chickens spend with the ladies, the more they begin to act like them too until eventually, they stop laying eggs altogether. Now this is a problem indeed, but you can be sure, the clever ladies will find a solution. Full of fun and silliness, this lighthearted tale and vibrant illustrations are a delight.

Reykjavík barnanna eftir Margrét Tryggvadóttir, Linda Ólafsdóttir


Vissu þið að einu sinni var Reykjavík lítið meira en nokkur hús við eina götu? Og að einu sinni bjó fólk í bröggum þar sem Hallgrímskirkja stendur nú?


Í Reykjavík barnanna er stiklað á stóru um sögu höfuðborgarinnar okkar, frá því áður en fyrstu íbúarnir tóku sér þar bólfestu og þar til hún varð sú fjölbreyttra og líflega borg sem við þekkjum. Í máli og myndum er sagt frá mannlífi og menningu, blokkum og bröggum, gatnakerfi og götulýsingu, skautasvellum og skolpræsum, útsýni og útivist, og öllu mögulegu öðru sem finna má í Reykjavík.


Lundi the Lost Puffin by Eric Newman


Based on the true child heroes of the Westman Islands in Iceland! Life was good for little Lundi the puffin. He lived in Iceland, and his mom and dad fed him fish from the ocean. But one day, his parents left him on his own, and Lundi had to find the ocean. Lundi tried to find the ocean, but he ended up in a town instead!



A Giant Love Story / Ástarsaga úr fjöllunum by Guðrún Helgadóttir and Brian Pilkington is one of Iceland’s most popular children’s books. It was first published in Iceland in 1981 and has since been translated into several other languages.


It is an unforgettable insight into the magic world of Icelandic legend and folklore. It is an exciting story – filled with love, compassion, and humor, that relates to children all over the world.


Er ein vinsælasta barnabók síðari ára. Hún kom fyrst úr hér á landi árið 1981 og hefur síðan verið þýdd á fjölmörg tungumál. Sagan veitir ógleymanlega innsýn í heillandi heim íslenskra þjóðsagna og ævintýra. Hún er í senn hugljúf, fyndin og spennandi og á erindi til allra barna.


Orri óstöðvandi: Bókin hennar Möggu Messi eftir Bjarni Fritzson


Þá er bókin hennar Möggu Messi loksins tilbúin og hún er ekkert annað en stórkostleg. Ég vil alls ekki ljóstra of miklu upp en Magga lenti í bandóðum Blikaþjálfara sem reyndi að skemma fyrir henni Rey Cup, VERSTA FÓLK Í HEIMI flutti í húsið við hliðina á henni, foreldrar hennar reyndu að stela jólunum, hún lenti í ótrúlegri uppákomu í Skálafelli og svo varð hálfgert stríðsástand á Reykjum. Sem betur fer hafði Magga mig með sér til halds og trausts í gegnum þessa vitleysu.


How the Ladies Stopped the Wind by Bruce McMillan and illustrated by Gunnella


The women of one village in Iceland decide to plant trees to stop the powerful winds that make it difficult even to go for a walk, but first, they must find ways to prevent the sheep from eating all of their saplings while encouraging chickens to fertilize them.


The Ice Horse by Renne


One day the little Icelandic horse is chased away from the herd by a black stallion. He is forced to roam the grasslands on his own. As winter comes and the snow starts to fall, will the little skewbald horse save the day when the herd of Icelandic horses is endangered by the snow and ice?


Along with the beautiful illustrations and gripping story, this book is full of interesting facts about Icelandic horses―their history, appearance, and how they live―which will appeal to all animal-loving children.


Don’t see a book that you think we should recommend? Let us know and we will include it in the next round! Send us an email with “Book Suggestions” in the subject line.


The IR Team Contributors


  • Alfreda Duffy, Canada - Writing and Author's Corner

  • Becky Byerly-Adams, USA - Writing, Fitness, and Social Media

  • Beth Finnson, USA - Genealogy, Social Media, and Samtal Hour

  • Bryndís Víglundsdóttir, Iceland - Writing, Translations, Snorri Deaf, and Guðríður

  • Gay Strandemo, USA - Writing and Guðríður

  • Jody Arman-Jones, USA - Public Outreach and Snorri

  • Judy Dickson, Canada - Samtal Hour

  • Randy Johnson, Canada - Social Media Private FB Page Memberships

  • Sharron Arksey, Canada - Writing and Author's Corner

  • Sunna Furstenau, USA - Genealogy and Founder of Icelandic Roots

  • Þórdís Edda Guðjónsdóttir, Iceland - Librarian and Women & Children's Stories

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