Bjork (I just thought I’d get the obligatory mention out of the way in anything you read about Iceland. It was hard to find a picture without her in it!)
This is interesting Iceland: Where one in 10 people will publish a book on the BBC website. What an amazing statistic, I originally thought they’d all be reading each other’s, as naively I imagine everyone in Iceland knows each other (it practically says that in the article too so I am not alone in this).
So I thought if this ratio was applied to my friends how many books would I be obliged to read (being polite). I think I’m pretty average so I discovered that there is a figure called Dunbar’s number which is the number of stable relationships the human brain can maintain, about 150. So that would be 15 books. (I don’t think I have anywhere near 150 stable relationships).
With all these books coming out of Iceland I wondered if I’d read any. I did a search and found a whole genre I knew nothing about. Icelandic Crime Fiction looks worth perusing. I might have to acquire one and read it as a BIB. Any recommendations welcome. I think the nearest I got was Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow – Peter Hoeg. Which was a book I can recommend and made me think I should find out some of his other works. He’s Danish though I think.
Why Iceland though? Is it really as cultural as it appears? Does the seismic energy of the place infuse the inhabitants? Mind you there’s a lot of murder and crime in the books, so what does that tell us? I must admit to just really thinking there isn’t too much to do in Iceland when the winter sets in and the light levels are low so do they get depressed and plan how to kill each other? I feel like I’ve trooped out a whole psychiatrist’s sessions worth prejudices and misconceptions there!
Is this a case of quantity not quality? I think I’m going to have to find out.
I am Pilgrim is still continuing to knock my socks off as a BIB, I keep yoyo-ing around as to what I think the books is really about. Still lots of questions, and the promise of answers. I strongly recommend it.
- One in Ten People in Iceland Will Publish a Book (readingbyeugene.com)
- BBC Covers Iceland’s ‘Book Boom’ (icelandreview.com)