Book review, Community

Summer Reading

Summer in Australia, means that many of us can use the excuse of the heat, to relax inside the air-con with a good book, guilt free. And if you are anything like me, it would usually be a good crime novel that you reach for.

As my summer is now over, I thought I’d share a few lesser known authors I read, in particular some Icelandic authors. 

Iceland Thingvellir

Authors from Iceland

One Icelandic author that you may not be familiar with is psychological thriller/crime writer, Arnaldur Indridason. I really enjoyed the tone of his books, particularly how he depicts the cold bleak landscape of Iceland using this to not only to illustrate the tragedy and sadness in the plot, but also to reflect thoughtfully on the past.

It’s easy to feel sympathy for Indridason’s protagonist, when the character reveals the great personal cost of police detective work. Two of Indridason’s books include, The Draining Lake and Tainted Blood which is alternatively: “Jar City” and both give an insight into police procedures.

Jar city is the story of a murder mystery that spans a generation and discusses the implications of inherited traits or diseases in a country where they Human genome project is extremely topical. (The Icelandic genetic pool has, to a large extent, been isolated from external influences). Jar city has been made into a motion picture and the cinematography in certain rural scenes, is absolutely fantastic, as one would expect from a country as scenic as Iceland. And right now, virtual travel is best!

‘The Draining Lake’ delves a little into historical fiction and Icelandic political attitudes during the Cold War era, so it also provided an insight into cultural beliefs of that time. For example, police staff being rung at home by members of the public or getting into political arguments with suspects, seems not to be an unusual occurrence for detectives in Iceland. 


One Review states,” THE DRAINING LAKE boasts an interesting and unusual angle, especially for those of us not familiar with Iceland’s recent history. There’s a link to the Cold War and spying, and to the 1950s when idealistic Icelandic teenagers went to study in East Germany. Unlike Indridason’s earlier books, where I never felt much of a sense of place, Iceland and its society plays a more vital role in this book – particularly as the posting from hell for diplomats! “

Suggested reads  by Icelandic authors: Arnaldur Indridason or,  if your preference is not for thrillers/crime, you might like to try Iceland’s Nobel prize for Literature winner Halldor Laxness, whose books are available include, Independent People, The Fish can Sing, Iceland’s Bell and Atom Station. I hope you find these entertaining as Icelandic literature is something well worth pondering over.


Reading Recommendations

Blogger M-R has just referred me to the Daughters of Time, which I downloaded on the Kindle last night, so I am keen to get started on that book today.

I hope you enjoy discovering some new authors this summer. (Or winter if you are living in the south).

Do you have any recommendations of books you have read lately?

Crime fiction/Historical Fiction/Autobiographies? It matters not the genre.

I would love to hear them.

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43 thoughts on “Summer Reading”

  1. DAUGHTER – singular ! “Truth is the daughter of Time”
    I’m with you on the crime novels, but my love of the Scandinavian ones has faded ..
    I think I might post about audio books instead. 🙂


    1. Alright….singular!! I actually don’t read meat add many add I used to. I am more selective if the authors now. Some of the characters feel like old friends now because I’ve been reading the series for so long. I will let you know about the “daughter” of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I do love a good thriller but I can’t say I’ve read any by Icelandic authors! Harlan Coben is one of my favourites as is David Baldacci. I’ve also read many of James Paterson books. Time to download a few new authors on my kindle I think. Happy reading!


  3. This review arrived in my inbox the day after libraries closed for the duration! I’ve already bought several books, but really, this is my opportunity to read all the unread volumes on my shelves. All the same, I’ll bookmark these suggestions for later. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a good idea. I”m certainly going to buy what I can afford, as I’m desperate to support our wonderful independent bookseller. Nevertheless, I devour fiction a such a rate that my purchases tend to be non-fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Not really my genre, though I can sometimes get involved in a good plot if I enjoy the writing style. Husband would probably read them. I’m on to something much lighter by Lucinda Riley (The Olive Tree) right now, having ploughed through Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale, and spent far too long reading, but loving, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods 🙂 🙂 Happy reading, Amanda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your recommendations, Jo. Crime fiction is not for everyone. I ccould not ever read the Handmaid’s tale, I don’t think of the promos on TV are anything to go by. The Olive Tree sounds interesting though. What is it about?


      1. A family saga- an old house in Cyprus, inherited, and the responses of a complex family and it’s various members. A hackneyed theme but she writes well and I needed something lighter to break up my Portuguese lessons 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve not been reading much this last year. I did read Born A Crime by Trevor Noah and thought it was an interesting glimpse into apartheid. And his unique childhood. It’s one of those memoirs that’ll stay with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That trailer looks interesting, Amanda! Sadly I don’t have the time these days to read any books. Although crime would be definitely an interesting genre for me, I have read some many, many years ago 🙂 Iceland is such an interesting country isn’t it. I’d definitely enjoy something set there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a shame you don’t have time to read, Pooja. But books are there as a possibility whenever you do. When I was busy, I would read a page every second night. It would take forever to get through a book.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am not much of a crime fiction lover and so have not read probably any other than The Girl WIth the Dragon Tattoo. But I sometimes wonder if I should give this genre a try! Will definitely keep your suggestions in mind if I do decide to venture in that direction! Meanwhile, I have started re reading Snow by Orhan Pamuk and Doctor Zhivago. Snow is one of my very favorite books of all times. Have you read that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not heard of the book snow, Moon, but I have heard of Dr Zhivago. I might have to research Snow as it sounds interesting. I certainly do like snow in fact, I love snowfalls, so a book about it could be really interesting for me. Many thanks for the suggestions. I hope you like the Icelandic offers there is an even better ones from Norway and Sweden, that I could recommend, if you find you like this genre.


    1. Jar City is a film. For a good series, try Trapped – set in Iceland. A big bear of an Icelandic cop a the main character, that you can easily warm too. The world is strange but it is good to get away from Covidosis for a while….😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just read a peculiar book by an Icelandic author called Woman at 1000 degrees. I can’t really recommend it as it was a strange read. Look it up for the sake of it! I’ve read 44 books this year, finally I have a lot of time for it ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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