FinLit Year 2017 – Reading List for the Anniversary of Finland

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Year 2017 is a big anniversary for Finland: the country reaches 100 years of independence. The whole year will be filled with events celebrating the anniversary. To mark this special year, I decided to dive into Finnish literature, as I normally read more international authors. I will present 100 Finnish novels in this blog during the next year.

The Finnish Flag

 

Finland 100 years

Independence day 6th December

 

The problem is which 100 books to choose? I found a list of 100 books that Finnish readers selected as THE books everybody should read. Some of these I’ve read, but many of them are new to me. This list will certainly be an inspiration in finding interesting novels.

100 Finnish novels to read:

  1. Sofi Oksanen: Puhdistus (Purge)
  2. Ulla-Leena Lundberg: Jää(Ice)
  3. Kjell Westö: Missä kuljimme kerran(Where We Once Went)
  4. Kari Hotakainen: Ihmisen osa
  5. Rosa Liksom: Hytti nro 6
  6. Kari Hotakainen: Juoksuhaudantie(Battle Trench Avenue)
  7. Johanna Sinisalo: Ennen päivänlaskua ei voi(Not Before Sundown)
  8. Katja Kettu: Kätilö(The Midwife)
  9. Antti Hyry: Uuni(The Oven)
  10. Aki Ollikainen: Nälkävuosi(White Hunger)
  11. Pirkko Saisio: Punainen erokirja
  12. Arne Nevanlinna: Marie
  13. Riikka Pulkkinen: Totta(True)
  14. Juha Itkonen: Anna minun rakastaa enemmän(Let the more loving one be me)
  15. Hannu Raittila: Canal Grande
  16. Jari Tervo: Myyrä(The Mole)
  17. Mikko Rimminen: Pussikaljaromaani(Park Life)
  18. Kristina Carlson: Herra Darwinin puutarhuri(Mr. Darwin’s Gardener)
  19. Bo Carpelan: Kesän varjot(Berg)
  20. Markus Nummi: Karkkipäivä(Candy Day)
  21. Monika Fagerholm: Amerikkalainen tyttö(The American Girl)
  22. Mikko Rimmisen: Nenäpäivä(Red Nose Day)
  23. Helena Sinervo: Runoilijan talossa(In the House of the Poet)
  24. Tuomas Kyrö: Mielensäpahoittaja(The Man Who Gets Upset About Things)
  25. Hannu Väisänen: Vanikan palat
  26. Sofi Oksanen: Kun kyyhkyset katosivat(When the Doves Disappeared: A Novel)
  27. Miika Nousiainen: Vadelmavenepakolainen
  28. Jari Tervo: Layla
  29. Olli Jalonen: Poikakirja
  30. Katri Lipson: Kosmonautti
  31. Riikka Pulkkinen: Raja
  32. Miika Nousiainen: Metsäjätti
  33. Emmi Itäranta: Teemestarin kirja(Memory of Water)
  34. Hannu Väisänen: Toiset kengät
  35. Kjell Westö: Älä käy yöhön yksin
  36. Antti Tuuri: Ikitie
  37. Markus Nummi: Kiinalainen puutarha
  38. Jaakko Yli-Juonikas: Neuromaani
  39. Elina Hirvonen: Kauimpana kuolemasta
  40. Hannu Väisänen: Taivaanvartijat
  41. Rakel Liehu: Helene
  42. Juha Itkonen: Myöhempien aikojen pyhiä
  43. Jari Tervo: Troikka
  44. Sirpa Kähkönen: Lakanasiivet
  45. Risto Isomäki: Sarasvatin hiekkaa
  46. Juha Itkonen: Kohti
  47. Kristina Carlson: William N. päiväkirja
  48. Heidi Köngäs: Dora, Dora
  49. Antti Tuuri: Kylmien kyytimies
  50. Olli Jalonen: 14 solmua Greenwichiin
  51. Miika Nousiainen: Maaninkavaara
  52. Eve Hietamies: Yösyöttö
  53. Joel Haahtela: Katoamispiste
  54. Jari Tervo: Ohrana
  55. Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen: Lumikko ja yhdeksän muuta
  56. Sofi Oksanen: Stalinin lehmät(Stalin’s Cows)
  57. Arto Salminen: Kalavale
  58. Elina Hirvonen: Että hän muistaisi saman
  59. Juha Itkonen: Hetken hohtava valo
  60. Leena Parkkinen: Sinun jälkeesi, Max
  61. Pirjo Hassinen: Mansikoita marraskuussa
  62. Sirpa Kähkönen: Hietakehto
  63. Erik Wahlström: Jumala
  64. Riikka Pulkkinen: Vieras
  65. Turkka Hautala: Salo
  66. Arto Salminen: Ei-kuori
  67. Hannu Rajaniemi: Kvanttivaras
  68. Bo Carpelan: Lehtiä syksyn arkistosta(Ur höstens arkiv)
  69. Johanna Sinisalo: Linnunaivot
  70. Joel Haahtela: Elena
  71. Riikka Ala-Harja: Maihinnousu
  72. Veikko Huovinen: Konsta Pylkkänen etsii kortteeria
  73. Miina Supinen: Liha tottelee kuria
  74. Reko Lundán: Ilman suuria suruja
  75. Laura Honkasalo: Sinun lapsesi eivät ole sinun
  76. Matti Yrjänä Joensuu: Harjunpää ja pahan pappi
  77. Petri Tamminen: Enon opetukset
  78. Anja Snellman: Parvekejumalat
  79. Juha Seppälä: Paholaisen haarukka
  80. Laura Save: Paljain jaloin
  81. Tuomas Kyrö: Mielensäpahoittaja ja ruskea kastike
  82. Jari Järvelä: Veden paino
  83. Leena Lander: Käsky
  84. Anja Snellman: Lemmikkikaupan tytöt
  85. Ranya El Ramly: Auringon asema
  86. Virpi Hämeen-Anttila: Suden vuosi
  87. Matti Yrjänä Joensuu: Harjunpää ja rautahuone
  88. Tuomas Kyrö: Kerjäläinen ja jänis
  89. Marko Kilpi: Elävien kirjoihin
  90. Arto Salminen: Paskateoria
  91. Johanna Sinisalo: Enkelten verta
  92. Laura Gustafsson: Huorasatu
  93. Riku Korhonen: Lääkäriromaani
  94. Laila Hirvisaari: Minä, Katariina
  95. Juha Seppälä: Mr. Smith
  96. Kauko Röyhkä: Miss Farkku-Suomi
  97. Satu Taskinen: Täydellinen paisti
  98. Tuomas Kyrö: Liitto
  99. Anna-Leena Härkönen: Ei kiitos
  100. Riku Korhonen: Kahden ja yhden yön tarinoita

New Releases – Of Course!

However, I’m sure I’ll be adding new releases during the year. There’s already one coming out in January I’m especially looking forward: Mikko Kamula: Ikimetsien sydänmailla.

Mikko Kamula: Ikimetsien sydänmailla

Let’s not Forget YA or MG

And there will certainly be some Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction as well. Here are a few interesting ones I gathered:

  1. Reeta Aarnio:Maan kätkemät, Veden vanki (2009), Virvatulen vartijat (2010), Tuulien taikuri (2013).
  2. Tuulia Annette Aho:Kuikansulka.
  3. Katri Alatalo:Mustien ruusujen maa trilogy: Karnin labyrintti (2012). Laulu kadonneesta saaresta (2013).
  4. Henrika Madeleine Andersson:Emma Gloria ja Kalamaran varjot (2006)
  5. Ilkka Auer: Lumen ja jään maa.
  6. Saku Heinänen:Zaida ja lumienkeli, Zaida ja elovalkeat
  7. Anna-Sofia ”Anu” Holopainen:Molemmin jaloin, Ihon alaiset
  8. Markku Karpio:Selviytymispeli
  9. Tomi Kalevi Kontio:Keväällä isä sai siivet, Austraasian viimeiset lapsetMaan veli
  10. Sanna Isto(Sanna Isto-Rodenkirchen): Maanalaiset
  11. Leena Elisabeth Krohn:Collected fiction, Tainaron: postia toisesta kaupungista, Älä lue tätä kirjaa: kertomuksia keskenkasvuisille.
  12. Lea Marjatta Kurenniemi:Anneli ja Onneli
  13. Salla Simukka: Lumikki, Sisarla: seikkailu toisessa maailmassa
  14. Mintie Das: Kuohuva maailma, Hyiset mainingit
  15. Magdalena Hai: Haiseva käsi ja muita kauheita tarinoita, Kerjäläisprinsessa (trilogy)
  16. Emmi Itäranta: Kudottujen kujien kaupunki (The Weaver)
  17. Katja Krekelä: Hurjalinna
  18. Paula Noronen: Supermarsu ja jääräpää Janne
  19. Elina Rouhiainen: Kesytön (four novels)
  20. Johanna Sinisalo: Möbiuksen maa, Sankarit (compare with J.R.R. Tolkien: Kullervon tarina)
  21. Marja Leena Tiainen: Kahden maailman tyttö
  22. Tuutikki Tolonen: Mörkövahti
  23. Maria Turtschaninoff: Marisa

So much to read, so little time!

A Happy New Year 2017 to you!

Susan

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Kerstin Gier: Just Dreaming

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Kerstin Gier Just Dreaming Read, Write and Publish

Kerstin Gier: Book of Dreams trilogy: Dream a little dream (2015), Dream on (2016), Just dreaming (tbp)

Kerstin Gier is a German author whose two trilogies have completely charmed me. The Gem trilogy is about time travel and the Dreams trilogy about a second reality in the world of dreams. Gier writes smoothly flowing prose and hooks up a reader from the page one.

Her stories mix fantasy with reality, have a female main character in her teens and of course a budding romance or two. Sounds familiar from a whole bunch of YA fiction, so what’s so special in Gier’s stories?

3 things separate them from the mass:

  • Authentic description of the life of teens. The plots are fantastical and family life lacks any serious problems. Yet, there is an authenticity that is definitely lacking from so many other similar series. Maybe the best way to describe it, is to call it unpolished.
  • Europeanness. These books are clearly and wonderfully European.
  • Fresh optimism. These books are essentially feel-good books. There’s mystery, action, suspense, romance and danger, but the overall feel is still happiness. Life is good, even if there are problems and hick-ups in the way. And sometimes it’s just good to feel good.

Liv is not just dreaming…

Book of Dreams trilogy’s main character is 16 year old Liv, who moves with her mother and little sister Mia and their ”nanny” Lottie to England. Liv is an independent, but somewhat scatty type of girl, who’s moved around the world with her family. Mia is a perfect sidekick to her with a kind of irony and quick wit so often present in a preteen girl. Lottie takes the place of warmhearted mother figure while Liv’s real mother is hoping her daughter would take up a bit wilder teenage existence in her footsteps.

She shouldn’t worry too much on Liv getting bored, though. Soon Liv discovers a second reality in her dreams, where she meets some of her new school mates. The dream world is exciting, but gets quickly completely out of hand. Well, just imagine that you’d actually shared the same dream with the people in it… and they would remember it just as well as you on the next day.

The problems with school, new friends, romance and family clash between the day world and the dream world. Gier weaves a net of mysteries, which tightens book by book and gets even a wee bit too tangled.

Mystery solved

Gier’s superb description of relationships and characters makes the story shine. Liv, and all the characters surrounding her, have their own unique personalities. There is no love triangle, which is refreshing, but the relationship between Liv and Henry goes through some very relatable and real problems. What perhaps makes these problems even more tangible is, that they are not caused by rivaling boyfriend candidates, but stem from the inner workings of the pair. Insecurities, misunderstandings and miscommunication. Yet, Gier hands them out in perfect portions, not causing irritation over overtly clueless characters. In the last book the problems of Liv’s relationship with Henry are all caused by her own insecurities and create some incredibly humorous situations. In this book Mia really comes into her own and has a crucial part in solving the mysteries and fighting the villains – just like a reincarnation of Miss Marple should.

I would warmly recommend this series, as every part of the trilogy has left me looking for the next, at the same time thoroughly happy of the time I’ve spent in the world created by Kerstin Gier.

Susan

 

”Liv’s dreams are becoming more and more dangerous and the relationship with Henry needs working up too. Somehow they have ended up in a situation, where Henry thinks Liv is incredibly experienced in all aspects of life, although that is not at all the case. A lot is happening at the home front too: Liv’s mother is getting remarried, which is causing all kinds of headaches. On top of all this, Arthur – hungry for revenge – is not only causing damage by night, but he has discovered a way to control people also outside the dream world. Liv really has her hands full, as she tries to stay alive both in the real and dream world.” (Translation from the Finnish version of Just dreaming: ”Liitto”.)

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