Category Archives: Books with Nordic themes

Nordic Book Discussion Group selects its reading adventures for 2018

The 2018 reading list for the Nordic Lodge’s Bok Klub has been selected!  It’s a diverse and interesting list, with something to appeal to just about everyone’s taste. This year’s selections span varied genres – fiction and non-fiction; historical, current day and futuristic stories; crime mysteries and lighter fiction; Vikingtales and history. Through these stories participants will travel the globe from occupied Norway during WWII, Sweden, England, China, Africa, even Minnesota!

moon is down history of bees land of dreams
girl who saved the kingfar travelerunit
beartown i-m-travelling-alone ship in the hill

Bok Klub meets the second Thursday of the month, ten times a year (taking off the months of July and August), at 1:30 p.m. All members and guests are welcome. The Bok Klub’s goal is to expose participants to a variety of books which are either written by Nordic authors or which pertain in some way to Nordic culture. Books are discussed in a casual manner. The discussions are informal, lively and always friendly! Consider joining us to discuss this year’s titles!

Nordic Book Discussion Group selects its reading adventures for 2017

The Nordic Book Discussion Group reading list for the coming year includes a wide range of subject matter, both fictional and non-fictional, and all selections have either a Nordic/Scandinavian theme or author.  Fictional stories take in Norway, Denmark, Iceland, United States, and Sweden.  One of these finds us in the far north of Norway – home to the indigenous Sami people.    Authors include some well known to us, such as Ivan Doig, Neil Gaiman, Vilhelm Moberg, and Per Petterson, and some who, though not as well known, are very well reviewed.

The Nordic Book Discussion group meets the second Thursday of the month September to June at the Nordic Hall in Coupeville, 1:30-3:00 pm. If you are interested in joining their adventures this year, please contact them at whidbeyislandnordiclodge@gmail.com for more information and also visit  our Activities web page.

A Scandinavian Immigrant Story

skipping stones cover

Scandinavian mass migration, World War I, influenza epidemic, Great Depression, dust bowl, and World War II create the wide-angle sweep for Skipping Stones : a story of finding home written by local author Gloria Koll.  The novel is about Kari, a brave young woman who travels on her own from Norway to 1880s Dakota Territory to make a life for herself.

On Saturday, April 16th, Gloria will talk about her book aGloria Koll authort the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge.  She will alternate her reading of stories from the book with American vocal & harp tunes performed by Claudia Walker. The program will last about one hour.

This novel will brighten discussions among readers young and old  who like well-told stories about women helping women, dissimilar Claudia Walker harpmarriages, mothers and sons, big, energetic families, American landscape, and men and women making it through hard times.

The program will start following a short business meeting of the Lodge which will begin at 10:00 a.m. The public is welcome. Refreshments will be served and donations  are welcome as well.

Nordic Book Discussion Group selects its reading adventures for 2016

The Nordic Book Discussion Group reading list for the coming year includes a wide range of subject matter, both fictional and non-fictional, and all selections have either a Nordic/Scandinavian theme or author. Subjects include WWII, Nordic myths, and murder! Authors include well known ones, such as Henning Mankell, and some who though not as well known, are widely acclaimed for their work.  And, one of this year’s authors is Whidbey author Gloria Koll, presenting us with her first novel Skipping Stones!

jsw_heritage_of_darkness    InCodWeTrust  skipping stones cover   gold run   jsw_buzz_aldrin

dogs of riga   jsw_song_of_the_vikings   birkebeiner   jsw_almost_nearly_perfect_people   jsw_norwegian_by_night

The group meets the first Thursday of the month September to June at the Nordic Hall in Coupeville, 1:30-3:00 pm. If you are interested in joining their adventures this year, please contact them at whidbeyislandnordiclodge@gmail.com for more information and also visit  our Activities web page.

 

A Scandinavian immigrant story

skipping stones coverScandinavian mass migration, World War I, influenza epidemic, Great Depression, dust bowl, and World War II create the wide-angle sweep for Skipping Stones : a story of finding home written by local author Gloria Koll.  The novel is about Kari, a brave young woman who travels on her own from Norway to 1880s Dakota Territory to make a life for herself.

Gloria, in cooperation with Sno-Isle Libraries and local Gloria Koll authorharpist Claudia Walker, will talk about her book at the Coupeville Library on Sunday, November 1st at 2pm Gloria will alternate her  reading of several stories from the book with Claudia’s  Norwegian and early American tunes.  The program will last about one hour.

Claudia Walker harpThis novel will brighten discussions among readers who like well-told stories about women helping women, dissimilar marriages, mothers and sons, big, energetic families, American landscape, and men and women making it through hard times.

Heartstrings

At the Whidbey Island Nordic  Lodge monthly meeting on Saturday April 21st, author Dr. Inga Wiehl read excerpts from her recently published book, Heartstrings: A Tale of Danish Loyalty, Resistance, and Homecoming, discussed her research for the book and answered questions  from her audience.

Inga first explained that the occasion for Heartstrings was the death of her mother, which brought her back to Denmark in December of 1984.  After her funeral, she spent a week by herself in her mother’s house in Southern Jutland, where the memoir is set.  While there, she would look out the window at the land she had loved first and at the photographs on the walls that she had seen all through her childhood, especially those of her grandmother, who had lived with her the first ten years of her life.  Inga explained that she had never bothered to ask any questions about her grandmother’s life before she became part of their family but that during that week after her mother’s funeral, she realized that she now wanted to do so.  How had her grandmother managed to run her farm, bring up two children, and survive to be the strong, resilient, mild, and loving grandmother that she was ?   She did not know  who to ask; her grandmother’s generation of mostly women was long gone, and her own parents were gone as well. All she had were her own  memories.  She came to discover however,  during subsequent summers of researching Southern Jutland history, that she also had a rich archive of personal and national records pertaining to the years Southern Jutland was German territory (1864-1920).  Inga scoured second-hand bookstores for books not available in local libraries and visited museums, buying what she could not borrow, and started drafting what would become Heartstrings.

The rest is history, figuratively and literally, carefully researched and told in a heartfelt manner.  It’s a story both real and as the author has imagined it in letters  between her grandmother and her friend Carola. It’s a  story is of a region and its people at a particularly challenging time in history as well as a piece of immigrant literature, written from the double perspective of those who left and those who stayed behind.

Inga Wiehl holds a B.A. from the University of Copenhagen and an M.A. and PhD in comparative literature from the University of Washington.