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The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days Paperback – October 27, 2014
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About the Author
Alda Sigmundsdóttir is an Icelandic-born writer, journalist, translator and blogger. She is author of The Little Book of the Icelanders, a humorous take on the quirks and foibles of the Icelandic people, and Living Inside the Meltdown, about the effects of Iceland's financial crash on ordinary citizens. For six years she wrote Iceland's most popular English-language blog, The Iceland Weather Report, which among other things chronicled Iceland's economic meltdown and was featured in media all over the world. English is her first language, and she has written extensively about Iceland for the international media. Her translations from Icelandic to English are diverse and numerous, ranging from advertising copy to published fiction and non-fiction. Catch up with Alda on her website aldasigmunds.com and The Iceland Weather Report on facebook.com/icelandweatherreport.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days is great. It's informative without being dry, thought-provoking without being pedantic, and droll without being buffoon-esque. The writing is sharp and clear, and Alda covers a lot of material briskly and comprehensively. Whether you've been to Niceland, as she puts it, and are suffering from withdrawal, are planning on going and like to read extensively on the subject, or just interested in a good, entertaining, well-writing read, pick up a copy!
The laughs continue, but gradually as one becomes more steeped in the past times (some not so very far past, as references to her grandmother attest) there is a subtle and moving change in one's *experience* of what one is reading. There are plenty of memorable tid-bits, some funny, some sorrowful: odd superstitions, quirks of the language, the advantages of "badass survivor driftwood" from Siberia, the story of the man freezing to death in the open boat while his companions can do nothing to help him, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The epilogue - which don't try to skip ahead and read, read it when you've read the rest of the book - is a particularly effective piece of writing and a terrific rounding off of the journey one has been on while reading.
On a more technical note, the illustrations by Megan Herbert are such a perfect match in tone and style that one wishes there were a few more of them. The e-book is doubtless a fine read, since it has all of Alda's words, but the physical book is such a pleasure of design and feel - the sort of thing that would have been treasured in a kvöldvaka (read the book!) in The Old Days - that I can't help saying one is missing something with only an electronic version.
It's a very funny book, but it is more than that. With the eerie energy of a Sigur Rós song such as "Kveikur", the sincerity of the singing of Ásgeir Trausti, and the haunting evocativeness of the music of Árstíðir, "The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days" is a truly Icelandic volume not to be missed and deeply to be savoured.
You should buy those “The Little Book of the Icelanders” because they will treat you with wonderful inside information you simply don’t find in other books about N-Iceland. Yes, buy them both, as they complement each other and you will find relationships between the stories of the present and the past.