Christmas and books

I bought some books around Christmas time because I had decided to adopt the rather Icelandic Christmas tradition of giving books as presents to most everyone. I gave my niece a book written by a newly graduated student from the university I work at now (pretty impressive to be a published author in the US at 23) and my nephew a book about dangerous games boys can play. I gave my sister in law a book translated from Icelandic into English, one of those creepy Yrsa books, the sort of book I would never read but my sister in law enjoys. I bought two other books, both of which were written in Icelandic, Afdalabarn and Sidasti galdra meistarinn.  

Afdalabarn was an extraordinary book for its optimism, how much every single character in the book had so much heart and so much love. I told someone at work that it was like watching a Hallmark movie, because even the worst character turned out at the end to have a heart of gold. It was weird to read, in a way, lights years away from the gritty crime and darkness of so many modern Scandinavian novels.

I haven't gotten very far on the other book yet. I bought it mostly because I used to be friends with Ármann, when I lived in Iceland, and really enjoyed Vonarstræti. Plus I read somewhere he wrote it with his nephew in mind, and his nephew is the same age as my son. But since my son doesn't read Icelandic, I couldn't give it to him for Christmas.

Instead I gave my son a harmonica. And a globe.


We should have that tradition in America. Books for everyone for Christmas. I like it. And if not books, harmonicas.

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