I didn’t buy any books in Stockholm, however unlike in past trips I did visit some second-hand bookstores. It didn’t matter to me that I couldn’t read the language as I like to peruse the shelves and might find something that caught my eye. The only book I brought back was from the free library at the Zinkensdamm hostel:
Murmansk is a tiny polyglot (Russian, English, French and German) hardcover from Progress Publishers from 1976 comprised entirely of colour photos with multilingual captions of this Arctic city.
When we planned our trip back to Toronto from Helsinki, we decided to fly via Iceland. I had a lot of money left over from the last time I visited Iceland in 2018 so decided to bring it with me, in case there was time to shop at the airport. I managed to find two books at the new Eymundsson store on the lower level of Keflavík Airport. (I never had the time to find out if I could access the larger Eymundsson store on the level above me.) I also used my Icelandic cash for Mark and me to buy some exorbitantly-priced sandwiches since neither leg of our flight home served food that wasn’t an extra charge. What was it with these Icelandair flights? We didn’t even get a complimentary bottle of Icelandic glacial water when we boarded.
With the interest more in using up my money over the quality of book I was buying, I decided to get:
The Little Book of Icelandic: On the Idiosyncrasies, Delights, and Sheer Tyranny of the Icelandic Language by Alda Sigmundsdóttir caught my attention by its subtitle. While little in terms of page count (162) it didn’t skimp on chapters (42) which covered such topics as Fun false friends; He she it; Women and men; Old letters, strange sounds; Hatching new words; Secret language club; Amazing alliteration; The quintessential Icelandic words; The mystery of the missing dialects; Curse it; The problem with love; Words no longer in use, plus thirty more.
101 Reykjavík by Hallgrímur Helgason was originally published in 1996 and was made into a movie in 2000. I was intrigued by the first sentence of the blurb on the back cover: “101 Reykjavík is a dark, comic tale of perverse sexuality and slacker culture in Iceland’s trendy capital city, a place that more than makes up for its diminutive size with the many pleasures it can offer.” After I read this I knew I can easily find people to give it to.