Sunday, 5 February 2017

#WorldReads - five books from Sweden

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month I highlight five books I have read from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries' posts at the end of this post. Feel welcome to Comment your own suggestions too.

This month's country is Sweden.
And if these five aren't enough to inspire you to try Swedish literature, there will be another Swedish authored book featured on Literary Flits today (post published at noon)!


The Man Who Went Up In Smoke by Sjowall and Wahloo

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the book from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Stephanie Jane

I thought I had better start my Swedish WorldReads with a book by the partnership who are generally considered to be the parents of all contemporary Scandinavian crime fiction, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. This is the second in their ten volume Martin Beck series and, other than the lack of technology, I don't think the books have dated at all since they were written in the 1960s and 1970s. Certainly many of the social issues are still just as pressing across Europe and it is fun to spot ideas and plot devices that have been recycled by other authors!


Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the book from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Stephanie Jane

One of my Top Ten Books of 2015, I absolutely loved Wolf Winter! Set in Swedish Lapland in 1717, the novel tells of a tiny settler community's struggle to survive during a particularly harsh and bitter winter. Adding to their fear is the knowledge that one amongst them is a murderer. Ekback creates a very real world with completely believable characters, but manages to also inject a magical air of mystery. Fabulous novel!


Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

A charity shop find, I hadn't previously heard of Asa Larsson, but we have since bought another two of her Rebecka Martinsson crime thrillers. I couldn't put this book down and stayed glued to it almost from start to finish, reading the entire novel in a single afternoon and evening! I loved Larsson's prose which brings her settings and characters vividly to life - yes, even the dead ones! - while still maintaining a gripping pace. I don't think there was a dull moment throughout the book. Larsson set Until Thy Wrath Be Past in a small town to the North of Sweden so we get a very different view of the country and people to the more usual Stockholm based fare.


Missing by Karin Alvtegen

Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I liked the unusual protagonist viewpoint in this novel, which follows the main suspect after a murder is committed, and the set up is well done. Sybilla is homeless and a former inmate of a mental institution which makes her the perfect suspect for the police, but she is by no means as helpless as they assume.


Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

Another of the greats of Swedish fiction, Faceless Killers is the first in Henning Mankell's Wallander series which is acclaimed across the world. To be honest, based on this one book I couldn't quite see what all the fuss is about. It's good, but not great. Maybe I needed to get to know the characters better over further instalments?


That's it for February's WorldReads from Sweden. I hope I have tempted you to try reading a book from this country! Please do Comment your own favourite Swedish books below and if you fancy buying any of the five I have suggested, clicking through the links from this blog to do so would mean I earn a small commission payment.

If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, we have already 'visited' Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, ItalyNew ZealandNigeriaSouth Africa and Spain. In March I will be highlighting five books by Turkish authors. See you on the 5th to find out which ones!

2 comments:

  1. Wolf Winter is one of my absolute favourite books! Great choice - & feminist too! x

    ReplyDelete