Monday, 1 June 2015

Varied reading

I brought some Swedish books with me for my trip to Sweden. I took them from my TBR shelves, so
it feels good to tell you that I have finished them. And...on top of it, they were very good. Also taking the opportunity to borrow books from the library while here, which is a real treat. Just a few lines about the books.

Svinajakten (The Wild Boar Hunt my translation) by Anna Bovaller. A new writer for me, but I will be happy to read more from her. It is about a lawyer Petra, living in Stockholm, and having a summer house in Skåne, in the south west of Sweden. While there for a weekend she runs into a former boy friend from years back. He is married and has just inherited a big mansion. Before you know it, he dies in a hunting accident. At least that is what everybody think. Except, the loyal house keeper who says that he was killed. When she is killed as well, the local police and Petra get involved in the solving of the cases. It is excited to the very end, and the culprit was a surprise! A perfect summer read.

Halva liv (Half lives my translation) by Mats Strandberg. Also a new writer, that I would welcome back. Jessica is devastated when her boyfriend Jacob disappeared from one day to the next. Several years later, her grandmother dies, and she goes back, also to Skåne, to attend the funeral. She stays on during the summer to take care of the house while her grandfather and uncle travel to Spain. Her grandmother wrote a diary directed to her, which she now receives from Solveig, who was one of the few friends her grandmother had. The diary reveals a family secret that has been kept hidden for 60 years. It is a wonderful book about Jessica who is trying to come to terms with her life, her family and Jacob, and a summer when all the secrets are revealed and life can start again.

River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. A cook book with healthy food, more or less gluten free. It contains a variety of recipes for breakfast, soups, sallads, fish, meat, chicken etc. I have already tried some of the recipes and they are fast, easy to do and taste delicious.

Dackefejden (The Dacke Revolt my translation) by Bo Alvemo. Nils Dacke was the leader of the last big rebellion in Sweden. He had his heydays in 1542-43 when he tried to topple the Swedish king, Gustaf Vasa. The story is interesting and mostly because it takes place in all the small places in Småland and Bleking in the south east of Sweden, where I grew up. Dacke gathered farmers who were tired of paying very high taxes to the king, and tired of the hard and violent tax collectors. Småland and Blekinge Sweden and Denmark in those days, which complicated the matter further. He and his men were successful for some time and managed to control quite a big area of Småland. However, in the end, the king won, Dacke was killed in battle and the rebellion died down. In Virserum, where I was born, we used to visit a Dacke cave. In this area was also the last battle when Dacke was killed. Every village in Småland and Blekinge have a cave where Dacke was supposed to have hidden!

Still to read from my library lot is Lasse i Gatan about a Swedish pirate in the 18th century. Yes, it seems even we had them in the Baltic and Nordic Seas.

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