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review 2016-03-21 01:16
The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson
The True Deceiver - Tove Jansson,Thomas Teal,Ali Smith

A hard-edged young woman on the fringes of society decides she wants what a local children’s book illustrator (a vague, reclusive and clueless woman) has, and sets out to get it according to her own peculiar moral code. Over the course of a long Finnish winter, both characters use each other, take from each other and perhaps become a little more like each other by the end.

This novella is a quick read and an interesting one. But it is perhaps too literary for me – it is all very subtle and symbolic, to the point that the actual text feels like just the tip of the iceberg. Symbols are fine when they work within the story, but I have a hard time believing a dog would behave as this one does (running wild the minute it gets inconsistent signals from different people). Still worth reading for the way it brings its settings and characters to life.

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url 2016-03-12 15:17
Finland ranked world's most literate nation

Moomin house


Report pooling studies of ‘literate behaviour characteristics’ from around the world puts the Nordic country first.


Read more here.


I'm not surprised. Can I also just say that I love that blue Moomin house? I'd love to live in something like that.

Source: www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/11/finland-ranked-worlds-most-literate-nation
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text 2015-08-27 02:11

Kullervo, Kalevala


On Thursday JRR Tolkien's early story The Story of Kullervo will be published for the first time. The dark tale reveals that Tolkien's Middle Earth was inspired not only by England and Wales… but also by Finland.


Read more here.

Source: www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34063157
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text 2015-08-22 14:48
#freebie: In Search of a Revolution by Christoph Fischer
In Search of A Revolution - David Lawlor,Christoph Fischer

this sounds good as i don't know anything about Finnish civil wars -even if its a fictional take and it's free at Amazon as of this posting. (i thought of you HFK when i saw "Finnish" and "revolution" in the blurb!)


book description:


In 1918 young Zacharias Nielsen boards a ship in Copenhagen to join the Red Guards in the Finnish Civil War. Encouraged by an idolised teacher with communist leanings, he follows the call for help from his Nordic Comrades, despite his privileged background.
His best friend, Ansgar, has opposing political ideals to Zacharias but, for his own personal reasons, finds himself soon stuck in the Scandinavian North with Zacharias and Raisa, a Finnish nurse who helps them in their new life.

Through the years that follow the brotherly war the trio see the political landscape in Finland and Europe change as Communists and Fascists try to make their mark and attempt to change the world order.

Our heroes must find their own personal and ideological place in these turbulent times as friendship, honour, idealism and love triangles bring out some personal truths.

The book spans almost thirty years of history and the various Finnish conflicts: Civil War, Winter War, Continuation War and the Lapland War.* Watch the political and personal self discovery of characters in search of their own revolution.


grab it here:



*my edit

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review 2015-01-28 04:53
New Finnish Grammar.
New Finnish Grammar (Dedalus Europe 2011) by Diego Marani (2011) Paperback - Diego Marani

A melancholic yet eerily captivating story about a young man who has been so severely injured he loses his memory and speech ability, set in WW2 Europe. He is taught the Finnish language from scratch by the Finnish doctor, who supposes his patient is a Finn from the 'Sampo Karljanen' tag stitched on the clothing he was wearing when discovered lying beaten to near death on a German quayside, of a nearby ship he was taken upon, then as soon as he garners a minimum ability to reproduce the unconventional phonetics of the Finnish lamguage is sent to Finland, out of the hope that among the icy, unforgiving Nordic landscapes he will discover some trace that will unfurl his memory and help him rediscover his identity.


Exquisitely written, I enjoyed the fact that I was able to relate to the protagonist's feelings of existential crisis and being not just a foreigner in his adopted country but, worse yet, a stranger among all people, incapable to chivvy himself into establishing a profound connection emotionally or intellectually with them because of incertainity about his identity, a great deal. The story ultimately magnifies the importance of language and the memories, history of times erstwhile it keeps alive within its particular anomalities to the future of a nation, as well as the effect memories and language have on individuals. The storyline made me recall plots involving characters pursuing happiness while holding the foolish presumption that happiness isn't a temporary state of mind, that it is something that should be felt at all times, for its similarity to this one in the sense that the protagonist was also pursuing something intangible, within the ruminations of ancient land and the souls of the surrounding people,- his memory and subsequently his identity, esentially his heart, as an individual who seeks to create substantial meaning in his world. It made me wonder about the inextricable connections between memory, language and happiness, three rudimentary aspects of human life.


Additionally, I highly appreciated the references to and supplementary insight provided regarding the Kalevala epic throughout the text, which added a sense of the mystic to the work and gave it a multifaceted finishing. In short, this is a book which has carved a niche to occupy in my heart.

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