Tag: Scandinavia

Top Genre Picks: Crime/Thrillers

Each week, Bookstr will be offering a look at some of the best novels in a particular genre for your continued reading list. Today, we’ll be recommending five recent crime/thrillers for your reading pleasure. Thrillers and crime novels often overlap, containing equal amounts of suspense, anxiety, anticipation, and shock. These novels will certainly set you on edge and leave you guessing until the very end.


The cover to the Boy by Tami Hoag, featuring numerous reeds against a blue set sky

Image Via Goodreads

1. ‘The Boy’ by Tami Hoag

The Boy by Tami Hoag has quickly shot up the New York Times bestsellers list and it’s easy to see why. The premise of the novel is that a detective, Nick Fourcade, enters into a home in Louisiana to discover a young boy of seven murdered by an alleged intruder, yet his mother appears to be unhurt and there is no sign of forced entry. The waters are further muddled when the boy’s babysitter goes missing. All fingers begin to point to the mother as the murderer of her own child but Nick thinks there may be more to the case than meets the eye. With a premise like that, this is a must read that will keep you guessing until the very end.

The cover to the Drowning by J.P. Smith, featuring a ladder descending into a shallow lake

Image Via Goodreads

2. ‘The Drowning’ by J.p. Smith

The Drowning by J.P. Smith isn’t an easy read but it’s a great one. Alex Mason, a camp counselor, leaves a young boy in the middle of the lake to teach him a lesson but the boy vanishes. Alex doesn’t tell the truth, leaving the death to be forgotten, until twenty years later he begins receiving threatening notes from the boy, Joey Proctor. But Joey is dead. Or is he? With a strong prose, an excellent hook for its creepy plot, The Drowning is a book that’ll keep you guessing until the very end. Alex Mason is a multilayered protagonist, at once unsympathetic yet showing enough humanity for the audience to be on his side. Check this one out for sure.


The cover of My Lovely Wife featuring a woman looking at herself in the mirror of a knife

Image Via Amazon

3. ‘My Lovely Wife’ by Samantha Downing

This one isn’t technically out yet, but it’s received excellent early reviews and features a wild as hell premise that’s impossible to ignore. My Lovely Wife is about a married couple who engages in a new activity to keep their marriage alive. One catch: the activity in question is murder. The book is described as deliciously wicked, dark, and ‘completely crazy’ but in a good way! This one is suggested to just go in blind, so we won’t give in anything away, so pick this one up when it hits shelves March 26th.

The cover to the Stranger Diaries, featuring a house being carved in half in a cozy suburb

Image Via Goodreads

4. ‘The Stranger Diaries’ by Elly Griffiths

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths is a modern gothic fantasy, themed around literary killings. Clare Cassidy specializes in a course revolving around gothic writer R.M. Holland. But when a dead body turns up with a quote from Holland’s story, ‘The Stranger’, Elly Griffiths is drawn into a dark murder mystery, as more murders begin to pop up themed around Clare’s beloved book. To make matters worse, Clare receives a note in her personal diary, from the killer that says ‘Hello, Clare. You don’t know me.” This should be a must read for literature fans, especially since the killings are themed around literature!

A young woman walking in a snow drenched filed in a red coat Image Via Goodreads

5. ‘The Reckoning’ by Yrsa Sigurdardottir 

The second novel in the Children’s House series, a series of psychological thrillers that examines police procedurals in Scandinavia. This novel deals with series characters Huldar and Freyja, a detective and a child psychologist respectively. In the present time dismembered limbs begin popping all over town, while flashbacks deal with a young girl who went to use the phone at her friend’s house and didn’t return. The mystery gets quite dark, but leaves readers invested in seeing it through to the end, thanks to the author’s strong sense of characterization and excellent atmosphere. Its not an easy read but well worth the ride.

Will you be picking up any of these thrillers? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image Via Deadline


National Library of Norway exterior nice

Norway Blesses Their Citizens With 250,000 Online Books…for Free!

The Norwegian National Library, which was only established in 1989, has made about 250,000 available for free online. All of the titles were released before the year 2000, and only about 4,000 titles have been reserved by publishers and authors.


The digitization process began back in October 2012 with the launch of Bokhylla (“Bookshelf”). Back then a measly 100,000 books were available for free online. In 2013, the library announced the site had been visited 51 million times in 2012 alone. Considering it was only launched in October and the population of Norway is just over 5 million, that’s pretty incredible.


250,000 titles are available today. This was all accomplished through a partnership between the National Library and Kopinor, which is an organization for writers. Per the agreement, authors currently holding copyrights for their books will get paid to have their works digitized and made available for free. Considering book sales for books published before 2000 are generally not super high, it’s a decent deal for writers and readers alike.


National Library of Norway interior

Where are all the books? Oh. Online. | Image Via Wikimedia


Many books are only available to those accessing the digital library in Norway, but those outside the country can apply for access by following this link.


To be honest, though, this is just another reason to move over to Norway. First and foremost, all the best Viking stories come from there. Second of all, they have this now. Anybody want to join?


Feature Image Via Wikipedia

What hygge is

Allow the Scandinavians to Teach You Their Joyous Ways in New Book

Some may remember 2017 as “The Year of Hygge.” The concept reached its warm fluffy arms far and wide throughout Europe all that year and the year before it. Scandinavia contains some of the leading examples of happy societies in the world today. Denmark time and time again proves itself to be statistically the happiest nation in the world. With free university education, universal healthcare, efficient infrastructure, paid family leave and the right to at least one month of vacation a year being just a few examples of how much Nordic people have their sh*t together, Scandinavia, despite its long dark days of winter has become one of the most enticing parts of the world to live in. 


Don’t worry though, there are books the rest of us can read on how to not be a grim cynical inhabitant of winter and on how to embrace the philosophy of comfort, togetherness and well-being instead.





With Thanksgiving and Christmas ( the most hygge period of the year) just around the corner, we’re about as ready as the next guy to build cosy forts, stick our dogs in there and roll up with a book and a cup of coffee and not leave ever.


“Hygge,” pronounced “heurgha” is kind of a huge deal in Denmark, however it  has no direct translation to English, although “hug” comes to mind. Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hyggewho is also the CEO of the The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (yes it is real), tells us of its importance in describing it as a key indicator of any Danish social gathering. 


“We talk about hygge things coming up that we’re looking forward to; we point out when something hygge is happening right now, and then we like to talk about what a great ‘hyggelit‘ time we’ve had afterwards.” Did he just say ‘hygge-LIT’? “You hear hygge being talked about all the time – by everyone, no matter who they are. It’s like a form of Tourette’s.” 


So if you missed out on the hygge-hype last Winter, don’t worry you can always take part this year round. Here are a few instances in which you might find yourself trying to be like happy Danish people: Eating pastries in candlelight is hygge. Using your dog as a couch pillow is hygge. Chilling with friends around the fire pit is hygge. Not navigating a crowded sidewalk made out of snow ice and sludge is hygge. Seems pretty attainable.


Of course hygge exists outside of Denmark, but people don’t seem to have a name for it yet. Look no further for guidance than the best selling book in the arch of Scandinavian living, The Little Book of Hygge for tips on how to live a happier, more fulfilled life this season.


The Little Book of Hygge

Image Via Latte Lisa


Author Meik Wiking, who has been acknowledged by The New York Times as making hygge ‘a fully-fledged lifestyle category,” describes hygge as “comfort, togetherness, well-being…hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, it is about being with the people we love, a feeling of home, a feeling that we are safe.” 


This little instruction manual may be purchased here as a Christmas gift for a loved one or maybe to be the first addition to your new coffee table or bookshelf.


Also relevant to last year’s craze are the astonishing amount of books that have been published based around the nordic lifestyle ranging from design, architecture, food and well-being. Here are a few examples of the bestsellers, if you’re serious about getting serious about hygge:


1. How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets To a Happy Life by Signe Johansen



Image Via Amazon


2. The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering The Secrets of The World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell



Image Via Amazon


3. Making Winter: A Hygge-Inspired Guide to Surviving The Winter Months by Emma Mitchell



Image Via Target


4. Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark



Image Via Amazon



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