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Our Third Annual Book Flood - Jólabókaflóð

Updated: Nov 27, 2022


Tis’ the season for Jólabókaflóðið or Christmas Book Flood. Iceland is one of the most literate countries in the world and has a long literary history going back to the Icelandic Sagas. The love of literature has evolved into a delightful Christmas tradition, Jólabókaflóðið. Every fall, households in Iceland receive a catalog of all the books published in the previous year to use to find their Christmas presents. On Christmas Eve, the books are given and then people read their new books far into the night and drink hot chocolate.

You might find it interesting to browse through the booklet listing the majority of available books in Icelandic bookstores at present. The name of the booklet is Bókatíðindi and it is online (bokatidindi.is).

Our 3rd annual book guide is composed of English and Icelandic books recommended by Icelandic Roots members and volunteers. While most are not newly published, these books are all currently available at this time. 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, to name a few. Click on the book to order online through sites such as Amazon, https://www.forlagid.is, Penninn.is, bokasamlagid.is, etc. Most are available at multiple locations, so feel free to shop around for the best location. Also, use www.ABEBOOKS.com for rare, used, and even new books.


Our suggested books are listed below:

Icelandic Roots 2022 Book Club Selections


June

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.



July

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.


August

The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley

Freya Morris grows up in a typical American suburb – but every summer, she enters another realm entirely when she visits her relatives in Gimli, a tiny village in Canada settled by Icelandic immigrants. Here she falls under the spell of her troubled but charming aunt Birdie, who thrills her with stories of exotic Norse goddesses, moody Viking bards, and the life of her late grandfather, the most famous poet of "New Iceland."

But when Birdie tricks Freya into a terrifying scandal, Freya turns her back on everything Icelandic and anything that reminds her of the past. She is living an anonymous, bleak existence in Manhattan when she finally returns to Gimli for the first time in two decades – and stumbles upon a long-concealed family secret.


September

Karitas Untitled by Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir, translated by Phillip Roughton

Growing up on a farm in early twentieth-century rural Iceland, Karitas Jónsdóttir, one of six siblings, yearns for a new life. An artist, Karitas has a powerful calling and is determined to never let go of her true being, one unsuited for the conventional. But she is powerless against the fateful turns of real life and all its expectations of women. Pulled back time and again by design and by chance to the Icelandic countryside―as a dutiful daughter, loving mother, and fisherman’s wife―she struggles to thrive, to be what she was meant to be.

Spanning decades and set against a breathtaking historical canvas, Karitas Untitled, an award-winning classic of Icelandic literature, is a complex and immersive portrait of an artist’s conflict with love, family, nature, and a country unaccustomed to an untraditional woman―but most of all, with herself and the creative instincts she has no choice but to follow.

October

In Valhalla’s Shadow by W.D. Valgardson

Ever since the accident, ex-cop Tom Parsons’s life has been crumbling around him: his marriage and career have fallen apart, his grown children barely speak to him, and he can’t escape the dark thoughts plaguing his mind. Leaving the urban misery of Winnipeg, he tries to remake himself in the small lakeside town of Valhalla, with its picturesque winter landscape and promise as a “fisherman’s paradise.” As the locals make it clear that newcomers, especially ex-RCMP, are less than entirely welcome, he throws himself into repairing his run-down cabin.

But Tom has barely settled in the town when he finds the body of a fifteen-year-old Indigenous girl on the beach, not far from his home. The police write off Angel’s death as just another case of teenagers partying too hard. But the death haunts Tom, and he can’t leave the case closed. Valhalla is much more than it originally seemed. And as Tom peels off the layers, he hopes to expose the dark rot underneath.


November

The Viking Immigrants by L.K. Bertram

From 1870 until 1914, almost one-quarter of the population of Iceland migrated to North America. The Viking Immigrants examines how the distinctive culture that emerged in Icelandic North American communities – from food and fashion to ghost stories and Viking parades – sheds light on a century and a half of change and adaptation.

Through an analysis of the history of everyday forms of expression, L.K. Bertram reveals the larger forces that shaped the evolution of an immigrant community. This exploration of the Icelandic North American community draws on rare and fascinating sources of community life, including oral histories, recipes, photographs, and memoirs. By using a multi-sensory approach to the immigrant experience, The Viking Immigrants uses often-overlooked cultural practices such as clothing production, the preservation of recipes, and the telling of ghost stories to understand tension and transformation in an immigrant community.


December

Viking Voyager by Sverrir Sigurdsson

This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander’s success. Spurred by this favorable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world. Join him on his roaring adventures!


January 2023

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.

New in 2022:

Looking for the Hidden Folk by Nancy Marie Brown

Icelanders believe in elves.

Why does that make you laugh? asks Nancy Marie Brown, in this wonderfully quirky exploration of our interaction with nature. Looking for answers in history, science, religion, and art—from ancient times to today—Brown finds that each discipline defines what is real and unreal, natural and supernatural, demonstrated and theoretical, alive and inert. Each has its own way of perceiving and valuing the world around us. And each discipline defines what an Icelander might call an elf.


Swanfolk: A Novel by Kristin Ómarsdóttir Translated by Vale Thorodds


In the not-too-distant future, a young spy named Elísabet Eva finds herself mentally unraveling following an assignment in Paris. Everything in Elísabet’s life in the city—her friends, social engagements, and late nights—revolved around her work as a spy with the Special Unit. To regain her mental balance, Elísabet finds herself taking long solitary walks near the lake.

One day, she sees two strange beasts emerging from the water—a pair of seemingly mythical creatures, a human woman above the waist, a swan below. Curious, she follows them through tangles of thickets to a clearing . . . and into a strange new reality.

Ruins of the Heart: Six Longpoems by Kristjana Gunnars

"The first thing one notices in Kristjana Gunnars' poetry is the stunning beauty of her lyrical mysticism. That would make the work well worth the read, but these poems do more. Restless, they widen; they take in the world. Moving beyond a search for metaphysical comfort, they confront age and the many faces of colonialism. Dante, in his concern for broken vows, offers the final wisdom: one of incompleteness. Like Kristjana, we will die thirsting for a lover we've too fleetingly known. Hopefully, like her, we will die singing."-DAVID CRAIG, poet, author of Easter and At the Bottom of the Year.


Aldrei nema vinnukona eftir Sveinbjörg Sveinbjörnsdóttir

Aldrei nema vinnukona er sjálfstætt framhald bókarinnar Aldrei nema kona sem kom út 2020.

Höfundurinn, Sveinbjörg Sveinbjörnsdóttir, hefur þýtt bækur og sjónvarpsefni auk þess að gefa út söguna Aldrei nema kona. Sú bók hefur notið mikilla vinsælda, einkum fyrir glögga mynd af kjörum kvenna á 18. og 19. öld.

Eins og í fyrri bókinni eru öll nöfn, tímasetningar og stærri viðburðir sannleikanum samkvæmir og stuðst við bréf og opinber skjalagögn auk ýmissa rita og vefsíðna sem fjalla um þennan tíma.

Í þessari bók fer fram tvennum sögum, af ferðinni frá Íslandi til Ameríku og minningarbrotum Þuríðar Guðmundsdóttur úr vistum í Skagafirði og Húnavatnssýslum.

“Nothing But a Maid” is an independent sequel to the book "Nothing But a Woman," which was published in 2020.


The author, Sveinbjörg Sveinbjörnsdóttir, has translated books and television programs as well as published the story "Nothing But a Woman." That book has enjoyed great popularity, especially for its clear picture of the conditions of women in the 18th and 19th centuries.

As in the previous book, all names, dates and major events are true and based on letters and official documents as well as various publications and websites that deal with this period.

This book tells two stories, about the trip from Iceland to America and Þúríðar Guðmundsdóttir's memoirs from Skagafjörður and Húnavatnssýsla.


Sveinbjörg is one of the Icelandic Roots Genealogists and her research expertise is invaluable and very appreciated.



Reykjavík eftir Katrin Jakobsdóttir, forsætisráðherra Íslands, and Ragnar Jónasson

Í ágúst 1956 hverfur ung stúlka, Lára Marteinsdóttir, úr vist í Viðey og eftir það spyrst ekkert til hennar. Áratugum saman hvílir mál Láru þungt á íslensku þjóðinni og engin skýring kemur fram á hvarfi hennar. Í ágúst 1986 fer ungur blaðamaður að grafast fyrir um þetta dularfulla mannshvarf – með ófyrirsjáanlegum afleiðingum. Hér bjóða Ragnar Jónasson og Katrín Jakobsdóttir lesendum í ferðalag á vit sumarsins þegar Reykjavík átti 200 ára afmæli, Bylgjan og Stöð 2 voru að fara í loftið og leiðtogafundur Reagans og Gorbatsjovs stóð fyrir dyrum. Og þetta sumar komu líka fram óvæntar vísbendingar um afdrif Láru Marteinsdóttur.


Dagatal – 91 Stories Written In Simple Icelandic by Karítas Pálsdóttir

Dagatal er sjálfstætt framhald af Árstíðum sem hefur notið mikilla vinsælda og verið kennd á ýmsum skólastigum á Íslandi sem og erlendis. Textarnir eru fjölbreyttir hvað varðar efnistök, form og stíl og flokkaðir eftir getustigi í samráði við sérfræðinga. Þar að auki fylgir viðauki með margskonar fróðleik um land og þjóð. Bókin nýtist jafnt til kennslu og yndislestrar.

Dagatal (Calendar) is an independent continuation of Árstíðir (Seasons), which has been taught at various school levels in Iceland as well as abroad. The stories are varied in terms of content, form and style and are classified according to ability level. In addition, there is an appendix with lots of information about the country and the people.


Prophetic Dreams: A Curse or a Legacy by Alfreda Jonsdottir

Gudrun Osvifsdottir, Prophetic Dreams' willful protagonist, is not only renowned for her beauty and intelligence, she is also thought to be the best catch in the district. Headstrong and spoiled by her adoring parents, she yearns for female friendship. Growing up on a tenth-century farm in an isolated region in Iceland, she cannot understand why the few girls living in her district have persistently avoided her. On the other hand, all eligible males compete for her recognition. Basking under their high-spirited attentiveness, she soon convinces herself the only reason she is ignored by her peers is because they are jealous of all the attention bestowed on her by the male population. This protective shield may guard her growing ego, but it soon sets her further apart from the other females that live in her area.


Pagan Icelanders believed dreams foretold the future. Haunted by nightmares, her parents enlist the nation's most famous seer to translate them for her. A melodramatic young girl, her emotions are soon stirred into a frenzy by his interpretation.


As foreshadowed, tragedies do occur. One death is even rumoured to be the result of black magic. Later, a misunderstanding and silent accusations create a slow pyroclastic flow of vengeance. Will the stakes be too high for our protagonist? Will she lose the one man she admires and respects more than any other?


Alfreda is an Icelandic Roots volunteer on the Writing Team. As an amma, Alfreda says her granddaughters are her biggest incentive to write. She grew up in Lundar, an Icelandic community in the Interlake area of Manitoba. Her pioneer ancestors were drawn to the area for its free land and ample fishing opportunities. To date, Alfreda has written three novels: Melkorka, The Thrall Princessa’s Saga, published in June 2019, and The Viking Queen’s Legacy, released in November 2020. The third is this novel about our ancestor, Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir.


Coming In 2023:


The Fires by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir Translated by Larissa Kyzer

After an eight-hundred-year slumber, the volcanoes in Iceland’s most populated region are showing signs of life. Earthquakes dominate the headlines. Echoes of the devastating eruptions in the past stir unease in the people.

Volcanologist Anna Arnardóttir has spent her entire life studying the volcanic powers under the earth’s crust, but even she cannot fathom the catastrophe at hand.

As a series of eruptions threaten most of Iceland’s population, she’s caught off her rational guard by the most terrible natural disaster of all―love. The world as she knows it is about to fall apart, and so is her heart.

Caught between the safety of a nation and her feelings for her children, her lover, and her past, Anna embarks on a dangerous journey to save the lives of the people she loves―and her soul.


Icelandic Heritage in North America edited by Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir, Höskulder Thráinsson, and Úlfar Bragason

Mapping the language, literature, and history of Icelandic immigrants and their descendants, this collection, translated and expanded for English-speaking audiences, delivers a comprehensive overview of Icelandic linguistic and cultural heritage in North America. Drawn from the findings of a three-year study involving over two hundred participants from Manitoba, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, and the Pacific West Coast, Icelandic Heritage in North America reveals the durability and versatility of the Icelandic language.





Fiction:


Baldur’s Song: A Saga by David Arnason

Winnipeg's boom-town days at the turn of the nineteenth century come to life through the eyes of Baldur, a boy from Gimli, the Icelandic immigrant settlement on the southernmost shore of Lake Winnipeg. Both city and boy grow from innocent to savvy creatures of business as they mature, fall in love, and survive the politics of a competitive, cut-throat society. Arnason's Leacock-nominated humour permeates this simply told story but takes a subtle turn under the drama of passionate young hearts struggling to find their places in the New World.

The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indriðason


A frozen body is discovered in the icy depths of Langjökull glacier, apparently that of a businessman who disappeared thirty years before. At the time, an extensive search and police investigation yielded no results―one of the missing man’s business associates was briefly held in custody, but there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him.

Now the associate is arrested again and Konrad, the retired policeman who originally investigated the disappearance, is called back to reopen the case that has weighed on his mind for decades.


Myrkrið veit: Konráð #1 eftir Arnaldur Indriðason

Lík finnst frosið fast í ísinn á Langjökli. Það reynist vera af athafnamanni sem hvarf fyrir þrjátíu árum. Umfangsmikil leit bar engan árangur, viðskiptafélagi mannsins sat í varðhaldi um tíma en ekkert sannaðist. Nú er félaginn handtekinn á ný og kallað í Konráð, lögreglumann á eftirlaunum sem rannsakaði málið í upphafi. Það hefur ásótt hann alla tíð og þegar til hans leitar kona með nýjar upplýsingar kemst aftur skriður á þetta óleysta sakamál.

Myrkrið veit er mögnuð saga um eitruð leyndarmál og grimman sannleika sem tíminn færir um síðir upp á yfirborðið.

Miss Iceland by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Iceland in the 1960s. Hekla always knew she wanted to be a writer. In a nation of poets, where each household proudly displays leatherbound volumes of the Sagas, and there are more writers per capita than anywhere else in the world, there is only one problem: she is a woman.

After packing her few belongings, Hekla heads for Reykjavik with a manuscript buried in her bags. She moves in with her friend Jon, a gay man who longs to work in the theatre, but can only find dangerous, backbreaking work on fishing trawlers. Hekla’s opportunities are equally limited: marriage and babies, or her job as a waitress, in which harassment from customers is part of the daily grind. The two friends feel completely out of place in a small and conservative world.


Ungfrú Ísland eftir Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Sögusviðið er Reykjavík árið 1963. Ung skáldkona flytur vestan úr Dölum með nokkur handrit í fórum sínum, á tímum þegar karlmenn fæddust skáld en ungum konum var boðið að taka þátt í fegurðarsamkeppni Fegrunarfélags Reykjavíkur.

Þetta er saga um sköpunarþrá og leitina að fegurð. Auður Ava hlaut Íslensku bókmenntaverðlaunin og Bókmenntaverðlaun Norðurlandaráðs fyrir síðustu skáldsögu sína, Ör.

CoDex 1962: A Trilogy by Sjón translated by Victoria Cribb


Josef Löwe, the narrator, was born in 1962―the same year, the same moment even, as Sjón. Josef’s story, however, stretches back decades in the form of Leo Löwe―a Jewish fugitive during World War II who has an affair with a maid in a German inn; together, they form a baby from a piece of clay. If the first volume is a love story, the second is a crime story: Löwe arrives in Iceland with the clay-baby inside a hatbox, only to be embroiled in a murder mystery―but by the end of the volume, his clay son has come to life. And in the final volume, set in present-day Reykjavík, Josef’s story becomes science fiction as he crosses paths with the outlandish CEO of a biotech company (based closely on reality) who brings the story of genetics and genesis full circle. But the future, according to Sjón, is not so dark as it seems.


The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir


The only person who might have the answers to a baffling murder case is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja for her expertise with traumatized young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues, but can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

DNA eftir Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Ung kona er myrt á hryllilegan hátt á heimili sínu að nóttu til. Eina vitnið er sjö ára dóttir hennar. Skömmu síðar lætur morðinginn aftur til skarar skríða.

Radíóamatör fær sérkennileg skilaboð á öldum ljósvakans sem tengja hann við bæði fórnarlömbin. Þó þekkir hann hvorugt þeirra.







Woman at 1000 Degrees by Hallgrímur Helgason translated by Brian FitzGibbon


“I live here alone in a garage, together with a laptop computer and an old hand grenade. It’s pretty cozy.”

Herra Björnsson is at the beginning of the end of her life. Oh, she has two weeks left, maybe three—she has booked her cremation appointment, at a crispy 1,000 degrees, so it won’t be long. But until then she has her cigarettes, a World War II–era weapon, some Facebook friends, and her memories to sustain her.

And what a life this remarkable eighty-year-old narrator has led. From Herra’s childhood in the remote islands of Iceland, where she was born the granddaughter of Iceland’s first president, to teen years spent living by her wits alone in war-torn Europe while her father fought on the side of the Nazis, to love affairs on several continents, Herra Björnsson moved Zelig-like through the major events and locales of the twentieth century. She wed and lost husbands, had children, fled a war, kissed a Beatle, weathered the Icelandic financial crash, and mastered the Internet. She has experienced luck and betrayal and upheaval and pain, and—with a bawdy, uncompromising spirit—she has survived it all.


Konan við 1000° eftir Hallgrímur Helgason

Herbjörg María Björnsson er áttræð og farlama og býr ein í bílskúr í austurborg Reykjavíkur. Eini félagsskapur hennar er fartölvan og gömul handsprengja sem hefur fylgt henni frá stríðsárunum. Hún leggur drög að dauða sínum og pantar tíma í líkbrennslu um leið og hún hjalar við minnisguðinn góða sem aldrei bregst. Samferðafólk, atburðir og uppátæki frá viðburðaríkri ævi rifjast upp og afhjúpa lífshlaup óviðjafnanlegs ólíkindatóls.

Hugmyndaflug og frásagnarhæfileikar Hallgríms Helgasonar njóta sín frábærlega í sögu þessarar konu sem lifað hefur tímana tvenna, setið fínustu veislur og kynnst dýpstu eymd. Af iðandi húmor, innsæi og íróníu er henni fylgt úr íslensku fásinni til stríðshrjáðrar Evrópu og enn lengra út í hinn stóra heim áður en hún snýr til baka til að segja þá sögu sem engu eirir.


Fish have No Feet by Jón Kalman Stefánsson

Keflavik: a town that may be the darkest place in Iceland, surrounded by black lava fields, hemmed in by a sea that may not be fished, and site of the U.S. military base, whose influences shaped Icelandic culture from the '50s to the dawning of the new millennium.

Ari - a writer and publisher - lands back in Keflavik from Copenhagen. His father is dying, and he is flooded by memories of his youth in the '70s and '80s, listening to Pink Floyd and the Beatles, raiding American supply lorries and discovering girls. And one girl he could never forget. Layered through Ari's story is that of his grandparents in a village on the eastern coast, a world away from modern Keflavik. For his grandfather Oddur, life at sea was a destiny; for Margrét its elemental power brings only loneliness and fear.

Fiskarnir hafa enga fætur eftir Jón Kalman Stefánsson

Þetta er sviðið: Austfirsk fjöll og Keflavík sem kölluð hefur verið svartasti staður landsins.

Hér er sögð saga ættar allt frá byrjun tuttugustu aldar og fram til okkar daga. Sagan teygir sig frá Norðfirði til Keflavíkur, hún nær yfir allt landið, yfir fjöllin sem eru fornar rósir færðar guðum og hraunið sem lítur stundum út eins og blótsyrði djöfulsins.

Þetta er saga fólks sem elskar og þjáist, sem leitar og flýr, saga um sársauka og söknuð, ofbeldi og kvótalaust haf. Saga um Kanaskip, Bítlana og Pink Floyd, um bjarta og dimma daga á Norðfirði þar sem kona breytist í lifandi múmíu.


Cold as Hell by Lilja Sigurðardóttir

Icelandic sisters Áróra and Ísafold live in different countries and aren‘t on speaking terms, but when their mother loses contact with Ísafold, Áróra reluctantly returns to Iceland to find her sister. But she soon realizes that her sister isn’t avoiding her … she has disappeared, without a trace.

As she confronts Ísafold’s abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend Björn, and begins to probe her sister’s reclusive neighbours – who have their own reasons for staying out of sight – Áróra is led into an ever-darker web of intrigue and manipulation.

Baffled by the conflicting details of her sister’s life, and blinded by the shiveringly bright midnight sun of the Icelandic summer, Áróra enlists the help of police officer Daníel, as she tries to track her sister’s movements, and begins to tail Björn – but she isn’t the only one watching…


Helköld Sól eftir Lilja Sigurðardóttir

Ensk-íslensku systurnar Áróra og Ísafold búa hvor í sínu landi og talast ekki við. En þegar mamma þeirra nær ekki lengur sambandi við Ísafold krefst hún þess að Áróra fari strax til Íslands að finna hana. Þvert gegn vilja sínum flýgur Áróra heim í nístingskalda júníbirtuna og hrollurinn magnast þegar hún áttar sig á að systir hennar er ekki bara í fýlu heldur bókstaflega horfin. Sporlaust. Er Ísafold í felum fyrir ofbeldisfullum sambýlismanni sínum eða hefur eitthvað enn hræðilegra gerst?

Helköld sól er geysivel fléttuð og hörkuspennandi glæpasaga um fjölskyldur og flókin sambönd, leynilega bankareikninga og ást á villigötum.

Non-Fiction:

Errand Boy in the Mooseland Hills by Magnus Bjarnason translated by Borga Jakobson

Errand Boy in the Mooseland Hills is a little-known classic of 19th-century Canadian literature, never before translated from the original Icelandic.

The book is based on Magnus Bjarnason's experiences as a young boy when he and his family migrated along with other Icelanders to the Mooseland Hills, in rural Nova Scotia. The stories chronicle his adventures as a hired hand working for a farm family and then at a gold mine. The author introduces the men with whom he worked and retells stories that, like the Norse sagas, present men of strength and high principle tried by hard circumstances.


The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan by Gisli Pálsson

In The Man Who Stole Himself, Gisli Palsson lays out the story of Hans Jonathan (also known as Hans Jónatan). Born into slavery in St. Croix in 1784, Hans was taken as a slave to Denmark, where he eventually enlisted in the navy and fought on behalf of the country in the 1801 Battle of Copenhagen. After the war, he declared himself a free man, believing that he was due freedom not only because of his patriotic service, but because while slavery remained legal in the colonies, it was outlawed in Denmark itself. He thus became the subject of one of the most notorious slavery cases in European history, which he lost. Then Hans ran away—never to be heard from in Denmark again, his fate unknown for more than two hundred years. It’s now known that Hans fled to Iceland, where he became a merchant and peasant farmer, married, and raised two children. Today, he has become something of an Icelandic icon, claimed as a proud and daring ancestor both there and among his descendants in America.


Hans Jónatan: maðurinn sem stal sjálfum sér eftir Gisli Pálsson

Árið 1802 höguðu örlögin því þannig að ungur þeldökkur maður, þræll og stríðshetja frá Jómfrúreyjum, danskri nýlendu í Karíbahafi, settist óvænt að á Djúpavogi, kvæntist og gerðist verslunarmaður og bóndi. Nafn hans hefur verið sveipað ljóma en lítið um hann ritað. Hvers vegna kom hann til Íslands? Hvernig brugðust landsmenn við honum og hvernig brást hann við þeim?

Saga Hans Jónatans varpar ljósi á nýlendutímann, þrælahald, kúgun og viðskipti, uppreisn og frelsisþrá. Hún teygir sig yfir höfin, frá Vestur-Afríku til Jómfrúreyja, til Danmerkur og Íslands. Sagan á brýnt erindi við samtímann – enn er tekist á um mannréttindi og innflytjendur, samskipti við fólk sem er „öðruvísi en við“.


Icelandic Folk Legends: Tales of apparitions, outlaws and things unseen by Alda Sigmundsdóttir


The Icelandic nation has a long and rich history of storytelling. Throughout centuries characterized by hardship, poverty, and dark winters, the Icelanders kept their spirits high and moral values intact by telling each other stories. In this collection of 15 Icelandic folk legends, we get a glimpse of the worldview of the Icelanders in centuries past as they endeavored to understand and cope with the natural phenomena around them. There are stories of malicious ghosts, outlaws living in carved-out boulders, hidden people residing in grassy knolls, trolls that are tripped up by their own stupidity, and much more.

The Culinary Saga of New Iceland by Kristin Olafson-Jenkyns

When the Icelanders immigrated to New Iceland (Manitoba's Interlake region) in 1875, they had to adapt their recipes and cooking methods to the indigenous ingredients of their new environment. Kristin documents New Icelandic cooking from the time of immigration to now with over 200 recipes, including such innovations as Smoked Goldeye Pâté and Garden Medley Pickerel with Dill Pönnukökur (Thin Pancakes).

Also includes:

• Historical food articles from the New Icelandic settlement newspaper Framfari;

• Comparative analyses of Guðrún Jónsdóttir’s Matreiðslubók, an Icelandic recipe journal written in the early 1900s;

• Comments and tips from recipe testers across North America;

• Historical overviews of the New Icelandic settlements and the Lake Winnipeg fisheries.


Homestyle Icelandic Cooking for American Kitchens by Heidi Herman

Whether you're looking to connect with your roots, try something new or already love Icelandic cooking, this book is a must for your cookbook shelf. This is a collection of 25 traditional everyday Icelandic recipes, translated with step-by-step instructions.


Wakeful Nights Stephan G. Stephansson: Icelandic Canadian Poet by Viðar Hreinsson

"A beautifully crafted narrative about a turn of the nineteenth-century poet whose life on, and of, the land challenged him to hold to his roots in Iceland while yet wrestling with the vicissitudes of transplantation to the emerging cultures of North America. This book is as much about the transformative particulars of place as it is about the man whose extraordinary poetic record of them reveals a soul torn by alternating turmoil and peace."

- John H. Wadland, Professor Emeritus, Department of Canadian Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario.


Icelandic Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses by Anna Rosa Róbertsdóttir


This beautifully illustrated, full-color guide provides everything readers need to know about the medicinal powers of 90 native herbs of Iceland--85 of which also grow in North America. Anna Rosa Robertsdottir describes the history, uses, harvesting, drying, and storage of the plants, and includes a wealth of detailed instructions for their preparation--including infusions, decoctions, tinctures, and syrups. Generous color photographs of both the leaves and flowers facilitate plant identification, allowing both amateur and professional herbalists to use the guide to full advantage. User-friendly layout, meticulous research, a wealth of detailed information, and an extensive bibliography make this an essential, one-of-a-kind reference for anyone interested in the subject.

A History of the Old Icelandic Commonwealth: Islendinga Saga by Jón Jóhannesson Translated by Haraldur Bessason


The founding of the Old Icelandic Commonwealth in 930 A.D. is one of the most significant events in the history of early Western Europe. This pioneering work of historiography provides a comprehensive history of Iceland from 870 A.D. to the end of the Commonwealth in 1262.







How to Live Icelandic by Nína Björk Jónsdóttir and Edda Magnus


How much do you know about the real Iceland; the locals’ take on this one-of-a-kind island?

Icelanders Nína Björk Jónsdóttir and Edda Magnus have put together the highlights of Icelandic music, literature, cultural attitudes, food traditions and celebrations so the rest of the world can benefit from the special blend of old Norse wisdom with liberal modern attitudes.

This beautiful book is full of inspiration and insight into this progressive and peaceful nation that has freedom, community and equality at its core, revealing why Iceland remains one of the happiest countries in the world.

Children and Young Adult Books:


Guðríður's Saga by Bryndís Víglundsdóttir 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.


Guðríður's Saga Coloring Book


A coloring book that accompanies Guðríður’s Saga with wonderful coloring pages by Bryndís and Gay.


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The Yule Boys by Gay Strandemo

The Yule Boys, written and illustrated by Gay Strandemo, is the lively tale of the thirteen Jolasveinar or Yule Boys that visit every Yuletide season, spreading mirth and mischief among Icelandic families.

Icelandic Trolls by Brian Pilkington

For centuries, the mountain trolls used to inspire terror in the hearts of the Icelandic people. Nowadays, however, little is heard from these beings, and the old terror seems to have changed to puzzled curiosity. It has been argued that many of the old trolls have turned to stone, the usual evidence for this being the huge, moss-covered, troll-like basalt rock columns that can be found all around the countryside, standing out against the skyline. In this richly illustrated book, Brian Pilkington brings the amazing world of the trolls to life in an amusing and original fashion.

Forgetting How to Breathe by Anita Daher

Thirteen-year-old Tia is angry. Her mother has disappeared and she and her eight-year-old brother, Tag, have been sent to yet another foster home. In the heart of lake country, Tia feels isolated and farther away from her mother than ever. She desperately tries to convince her brother to return to the city and find her family. But when a freak spring snowstorm and a herd of runaway horses lead her to a job at the Ice Pony Ranch and Animal Rescue Centre, Tia finds a way to deal with the hurt of the past and accept the love that surrounds her.



Daughters of Iceland by Nína Björk Jónsdóttir

Daughters of Iceland tells the fascinating stories of 23 remarkable women who have shaped Iceland’s history from the early settlement to the present day.

From leaders and trailblazers to strong women who faced great difficulties with tenacity and strength - their legacy and achievements are an important inspiration for today’s world. They are pioneers, explorers, artists, athletes, or fighters for gender equality. Some of the women were born in Iceland, others made Iceland their home.

Í Íslandsdætrum er sögð saga rúmlega fjörutíu framúrskarandi kvenna sem spanna tímann allt frá upphafi byggðar á Íslandi til dagsins í dag. Konurnar eru jafn ólíkar og þær eru margar. Sumar eru þekktar fyrir hugrekki og staðfestu eða fyrir að hafa upplifað ótrúlegar þrekraunir og tekist á við þær af seiglu og áræðni. Aðrar voru brautryðjendur, landkönnuðir, menntakonur, sjómenn eða þekktar fyrir vísindastörf, íþróttaafrek, ritstörf, tónsmíðar eða aðrar listir. Hér er einnig sögð saga kvenna sem börðust fyrir jafnrétti kynjanna og gáfu kost á sér til forystu til að bæta samfélagið.

Á síðum Íslandsdætra er fjallað um stórmerkilegar konur sem höfðu áhrif á samtíma sinn og skildu eftir sig merkilega arfleifð. Kvenskörungar sem létu til sín taka, ruddu brautina, voru frumkvöðlar og létu ekki mótlæti, erfiðar aðstæður, fátækt eða hneykslan samborgaranna á sig fá. Þær eru Íslandsdætur.

Orri Óstöðvandi: Kapphlaupið um silfur Egils eftir Bjarni Fritzson

Mér leist nú ekkert sérstaklega vel á það þegar mamma og pabbi tilkynntu okkur Möggu að við værum að fara í gamaldags útilegu. En úr varð ein rosalegasta ferð allra tíma. Við tjölduðum við hliðina á andstyggilegum náunga sem þurfti að kenna smá lexíu, rákumst á sótilla þýska túrista, lentum í fingralöngum Fransmanni og glímdum við hóteldraug, allt meðan við leituðum að frægasta fjársjóði Íslandssögunnar. Ég vil alls ekki ljóstra of miklu upp en þetta er klárlega besta bókin mín hingað til.


Jólakötturinn tekinn í gegn eftir Brian Pilkington

Í þjóðsögunum er jólakötturinn risavaxið villidýr sem ráfar um í vetrarsnjónum og leita sér að börnum til að éta. Hér bregður Brian Pilkinton upp mynd af kisa eins og hann gæti litið út núna: flóabitið letiblóð sem jólasveinarnir þurfa að taka í gegn einu sinni á ári.

Þessi skemmtilega saga hentar kattavinum á öllum aldri og flóabitnum letiblóðum sem þyrftu kannski að láta taka sig svolítið í gegn.

Í bókinni má einnig finna yfirlit yfir alla íslensku jólasveinana og í hvaða röð þeir koma til byggða.

Vestur í bláinn eftir Kristín Steinsdóttir


Vestur í bláinn er heillandi saga um Þóru sem er 13 ára og kynnist á undarlegan hátt jafnöldru sinni frá liðinni öld. Skyndilega er Þóra komin aftur í tímann og slæst í för með Íslendingum á leið til Kanada upp úr 1875.

Hún kynnist aðbúnaði fólks á erfiðu ferðalagi yfir hafið og upplifir harða lífsbaráttu landnemanna sem að lokum komast alla leið til Nýja-Íslands. Heima fyrir veit hins vegar enginn hvað hefur orðið af Þóru og leit að henni stendur yfir.






Poetry:


Reykjavík Requiem by Gerður Kristný translated by Rory McTurk


This is Gerður Kristný's third collection from Arc and the third of the trilogy which already comprises the highly-acclaimed Bloodhoof and Drápa. In all three poetic sequences, the poet employs the archaic form of the saga to conjure up razor-sharp dark and bewildering images of the fates of women in a world where the boundaries between life and death and what lies beyond are unclear. In this particular sequence, Gerður Kristný gives a voice to a woman whose story was one that society was not ready to hear at the time, a woman who was abused as a child but who committed suicide before her own account of what had taken place was published. At its heart is the very notion of articulation, of how our language and culture determine what stories we can tell and what words we can use.


Cold Moons by Magnús Sigurðsson translated by Meg Matich

Magnús Sigurdsson's spare poems pay rare attention to the minute revelations of nature rather than allowing the crudeness of machinery to bulldoze our sentiments. Through intricate wordplay and a titanic understanding of his native Icelandic, rendered with perfect tone by award‐winning translator Meg Matich, Sigurdsson creates tiny but arresting artifacts—fragments that scale an instant to an eon and a thousand millennia to a second.



Stormwarning by Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir translated by K.B. Thors


Part lambasting of gender roles and capitalist absurdity, part investigation into human-nature relationships, Stormwarning is the third collection of poetry by Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir. An up-and-coming poet in Iceland and abroad, Tómasdóttir imbues her work with dark humor and understated Scandinavian dread, playing with language and expectations to leave her reader in breathless anticipation of the coming storm.




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