I did not buy many books on this trip. That I bought only two in Finland must be a new record. I returned to C. Hagelstam and climbed the ladder inside the shop to look at the internal second storey where all the books on the Nordic countries and languages were.
I was delighted to find Vepsä: Maa, kansa, kulttuuri. I am very interested in the severely endangered Finnic languages, and Vepsian is one of them. The book was full of Vepsian history with maps and lots of photos. It included entire chapters on the Vepsian language and literature.
While in Finland I intended to pick up Ultra Bra–sokeana hetkenä by Ville Similä and Mervi Vuorela. This biography about Ultra Bra was published last year and I kept the price sticker on to show that I paid half price for it at Suomalainen Kirjakauppa. It was full price at Akateeminen Kirjakauppa. I loved looking through this book in the store! I’d almost forgotten that I didn’t have to stay there and that I could very well take the book home with me. Full of photos, even of the reunion concerts from 2017. I surprised myself in the store about my level of Finnish reading comprehension: I don’t need a dictionary when I’m reading about a subject I know plenty about.
In Tallinn I shopped at Rahva Raamat and concentrated on books on Estonia written in English. Sailing to Freedom by Voldemar Veedam and Carl B. Wall is about sixteen Estonians who fled Soviet persecution by sailing a 37-foot single-masted sailboat with decks only two feet above the water across the ocean to Norfolk, Virginia.
Baltic Lenin: A Journey into Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania’s Soviet Past by Keith Ruffles is just what I was looking for. I wanted a history of the Soviet-era Baltic states.
Aside from the first thirty pages, Estonia: A Modern History by Neil Taylor focussed on Estonian history after 1918 when it first became an independent state.
The ABBA Guide to Stockholm by Sara Russell was purchased at ABBA The Museum. It’s a guidebook featuring sites in Stockholm with an ABBA connection, complete with addresses and subway, tram and bus routes to get there. Some of the sites included were the gravesite of Stig Anderson, ABBA’s manager; Alexandra’s Disco, scene of many ABBA photo sessions including the Voulez-Vous album cover; and the park and its bench used for the cover shot of their first Greatest Hits album (showing Benny and Frida kissing passionately while on the same bench Agnetha and Björn are looking sad and preoccupied with reading):