Here's the Swedish Book We're Reading in October

When we announced that Sweden was the next country, I honestly thought that we’d end up reading one of the country’s famous crime or mystery novels like the Millennium series such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (view on Amazon) or the Kurt Wallander mysteries such as Before the Frost (view on Amazon). So I’m very shocked by the vote this month…but pleasantly. The vote was also very close between the first choice & the runner up—less than a single point between the two as you’ll see in the results below. Every vote really does count.

Before we get to those results, a poetic interlude from Sweden's greatest woman poet:

Early Spring (A Painting in Pre-Renaissance)

A veil-light mist stands over the meadow,
and pearl-grey dew sprinkles pale leaves –
a spring morning, cool and melancholy-glad,
when airy flowers unfold from humid groves.

In the grass, narcissi dully gleam in rows.
From fragile chalices a scent of spring spreads down,
when over them with dreamy gaze there goes
a noble boy from Arno’s town.

A happiness of wonder rests upon his face.
His walk is full of awkward charm and pliancy.
A book he bears, as careful as a sage.

He scarce perceives the meadow’s paradise,
but stares foreboding-pale as the spring day
at mysterious distance, hidden in morning haze.
— Karin Boye

SO what book are we reading next?

“Hilarious and chilling.” -Times of London

“Daily grind got you down? Escape into this Swedish dark comedy.” -O, the Oprah Magazine, Ten Titles to Pick Up Now

”Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works—a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn's bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.

Debut author Jonas Karlsson doesn't leave a word out of place in this brilliant, bizarre, delightful take on how far we will go—in a world ruled by conformity—to live an individual and examined life.”

(Suggested by Beth McCrea, book club co-founder.)

View on Amazon (US) | (UK) Note: You can also get this author’s 3 novellas (of which the Room is the first included as a single paperback here.

Happy reading!