The Little Book of the Icelanders has been published by Forlagið, Iceland’s largest publisher.
About the book:
In 1994, I moved back to Iceland after more than 20 years of living abroad, and ever since I have been in the enviable [to me!] position of being both an insider and an outsider in Icelandic society.
I figure this makes me sufficiently qualified to dissect the national psyche of the Icelandic people.
Among the fascinating subjects broached in The Little Book of the Icelanders:
- the appalling driving habits of the Icelanders
- naming conventions and customs
- the Icelanders’ profound fear of commitment
- the Icelander’s penchant for irreverence
- why Icelandic women are really men
- how the Icelanders manage to make social interactions really complicated
- the importance of the family in Icelandic society
- where to go to meet the real Icelanders [and possibly score some free financial advice]
- Rituals associated with weddings, confirmations, graduations, and deaths
… and many, many more.
Illustrations in the book are by Megan Herbert.
The electronic version of The Little Book of the Icelanders is non-illustrated. Also, because of copyright issues, it has a different cover than the printed book. Apart from that it is exactly the same.
Iceland Review online, Iceland’s longest-established English-language website, gives the book four stars out of five:
One chapter leads to the next, creating a continuous chain of storytelling. It feels as if you’re sitting in the author’s kitchen, enjoying a cup of coffee and conversing with her about the quirks of her countrymen, every now and then bursting out laughing. […] I’m going to heartily recommend The Little Book of the Icelanders, both to fans of Sigmundsdóttir’s blog and those unfamiliar with her work. [Full review here.]
From Icelandic-Canadian paper Lögberg-Heimskringla:
There aren’t many books I’d recommend reading over morning coffee but The Little Book of the Iceanders is one of them. […] I laughed at the essays in this book, not because I was laughing at Icelanders but because I recognize much of the behaviour in myself and members of my family. It felt good. It’s not just the sanest, most impressive characteristics that we pass on and share but also some of the zaniest. As I read this book, I frequently thought, yup, I’m definitely part Icelandic. [Full review here.]
Quentin Bates, author of Frozen Out:
I don’t know if my appreciative snorts of laughter distracted the conjuror or his sparse audience, but The Little Book of the Icelanders is a great read. There’s so much in there that’s absolutely spot on that I could recognise from my own experience, all succinctly put and with an unmistakable affection for Icelanders and their odd ways. [Full review here.]
Sylvia Hikins, author of Journeys:
This is a book that made me laugh out loud but at the same time exposed human frailties that we all recognise and share. Buy it and enjoy it. Its sweet taste will stay just like your last Rollo!