Suitably Swedish Suggestions…

Fingers crossed, in about nine weeks I will be heading off to Scandinavia, where I have never been before and always wanted to go. This has been a sudden and rather exciting development as a company is kindly sending me off to Sweden, in conjuncture with the Swedish Tourist Board, all thanks to this very blog. First I will be flying off to Gothenburg and then enjoying a ‘cold crime tour’ heading to Fjallbacka and spending some time on some of the remote islands out that way. To say I am thrilled or excited is an understatement, there has been much jumping up and down with joy, and now I am ready to start prepping… with books!

As I have mentioned many a time on this blog, not only do I like to read books set in the country and the place that I visit when I go away, I also like to reading authors from the area along with books set there before hand. So now I am going to start having some trips to Sweden through the joys of books and I wondered if you might help me with some recommendations…

I have already pulled some Camilla Lackberg and Lars Kepler from the shelves. I think I have a copy of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson somewhere and I really want to read Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules admittedly partly because of the title. I have read the first and last of Henning Mankell’s Wallander series, I have a standalone or two of his. I don’t have any of the Stieg Larsson books as I tried and failed with the first one though I loved the films. Interestingly, speaking of that visual media, I have just been religiously watching the first two series of The Bridge (seriously how brilliant is that show and how amazing are Saga and Martin?) over the last few weeks with The Beard which I am now having withdrawal symptoms from. In fact if you can tell me of any books as brilliant to read as The Bridge was to watch I would be overjoyed.

Anyway, as you can see I could really do with some more recommendations, not just cold crime – though I love it so – but also any contemporary or classic literature which might take my fancy. Can you help? Get suggesting, the more the merrier…


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

19 responses to “Suitably Swedish Suggestions…

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Definitely the Martin Beck series by Sjöwall and Wahlöö. Although they’re crime, they were written in the 1960s covering the changes that took place over the decade. They’re ensemble pieces with wonderful recurring characters and precursors of all the later Scandicrime (and better too in my opinion!)

  2. Agree with the Martin Beck series. Can’t remember if you do horror but John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, Handling the Undead and Harbour are all very good.

  3. The best Swedish film ever is Fanny and Alexander by ingmar Bergman ….it’s haunting. On a lighter note I loved the moomintrolls by Tove Janssen

  4. sharkell

    I can recommend Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs, also known as Astrid and Veronika – a gentle story of the relationship between two very different women set in the Swedish countryside. It was written by Linda Olsson, a Swedish-born New Zealand writer.

  5. The Summer Book by Tove Janssen…

  6. Another vote for John Ajvide Lindqvist. As horror goes, it’s not splatterpunk, and it’s very thoughtful (eg. Let the Right One In was as much about bullying as vampires.) Handling the Undead is my favorite.

    The first Steig Larsson was my favorite, though the English translation isn’t very good. (Read the history of why that is too, not the fault of the tranaslator.) Besides Camilla Lackberg, I like Anna Jansson, though I’m not sure how much of her stuff is translated.

  7. Annabel (gaskella)

    Another vote for Let the Right One In from me – simply the best contemporary vampire novel ever. Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti is a lovely Swedish chalk and cheese romance.

  8. Have you ever gone to the TripFiction website? It’s brilliant. Enter in your destination and a list of books pops up.

  9. Haven’t ready many books by Swedish authors, but Evil by Jan Guillou is one of my favorites

  10. I do exactly the same-whenever I go somewhere I like to read related fiction. My favourite place is Orkney, and usually read a lot of George Mackey Brown. As for Sweden, I have been developing a liking for all things connected to the country, music literature, etc.
    I enjoyed the Stieg Larsson books, and Let The Right One In. Have read a couple of Wallander books, I couldn’t get into the one about The Hundred Year Old Man..but plan to revisit and give it another go if people recommend it? I will try some of the suggestions on here, and will be interested in any you enjoy following this post.
    I absolutely loved The Bridge, the third series can’t come soon enough! Not heard of The Beard though?

  11. Another vote for “Let the Right One In” by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
    Also, something not crime related at all, “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman.

    • Magdalena

      i second ‘a man called ove’, it’s a great read. hilarious, bittersweet, sad, and i’d say it has a very “swedish feel” to it as well 🙂

  12. Among my favorites from Scandinavian literature are the novels of Per Petterson, especially Out Stealing Horses. You might also consider classics from Knut Hamsun and Par Lagerkvist.

  13. Wow, this is so much fun. I don’t have much recommendations for you, but I am just so envious.

    Happy traveling, and looking forward to your blog posts about the trip.

  14. mee

    I really like Pär Lagerkvist! I’ve only read one book The Sibyl, but I intend to read many more of his books – though most of them are not set in Sweden I think. He also won the Nobel.

  15. Louise Trolle

    Johan Theorin! He is my favourite Swedish (crime) author. He’s written The Darkest Room and Echoes from the Dead

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