Must-read books

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Woods
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Must-read books

Postby Woods » 2019-04-24, 8:09

What are the must-read books written in the Swedish language, in terms mainly of language skills and mastership, but also other ones you would consider very important?

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Johanna
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Re: Must-read books

Postby Johanna » 2019-04-24, 8:21

I'm not sure if we really have any such books for adults, the whole literary classics thing has been an international affair since my grandparents were young.

But, pretty much all kids grow up with Astrid Lindgren in one form or another, and some of the expressions she coined have made their way into the everyday language. Of her work, I'd say Pippi Långstrump, Emil i Lönneberga and Ronja Rövardotter are the most important in that regard.

She's also the kind of author that makes you admire her feel for the language even though she wrote for a young audience, so even if you don't need the biggest vocabulary, there is just something there which can't be imitated.
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

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Re: Must-read books

Postby Aurinĭa » 2019-04-24, 17:52

Tove Jansson! Tove Jansson and Astrid Lindgren are the two authors writing in Swedish that everyone should know.

Even more so since you're in Finland and she was a Swedish-speaking Finn. In the book I'm currently reading there are sometimes footnotes saying "X would be called y in Sweden", so it's a nice way to learn vocabulary from both countries.

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Re: Must-read books

Postby Woods » 2019-04-25, 7:31

Hi Johanna,

But what would you personally recommend in terms of "read that if you want to read something written very interestingly in excellent Swedish?"

I mean adult-books. Even though come to think of it, it might actually be a brilliant idea for someone like me with overall very bad Swedish to start with the children's books :)



Aurinĭa,

I'm the guy who was trying to borrow a Skånsk (how would that be called in English?) dictionary from the library a few days ago in order to make my Swedish more fancy than the average Swede would appreciate - do you think I would mind using a Finland-Swedish word here and there even if the Swedes don't understand? :D Nonetheless I stick to Sweden-Swedish pronunciation no matter what, so no /statʃon/ and /maʃin/ coming out of my mouth even though I live in Finland :)



Guys, keep on going. Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson are both in my list now, but I'm sure there's a lot more really good stuff in Swedish :)

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Re: Must-read books

Postby Yasna » 2019-04-25, 15:44

Män som hatar kvinnor by Stieg Larsson played a central role in making "Nordic noir" a global phenomenon. Dvärgen is apparently considered the most important work of Nobel laureate Pär Lagerkvist. I've yet to read it, but its premise intrigues me. You might also get some ideas from past winners of the Nordiska rådets litteraturpris.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

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Re: Must-read books

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-25, 15:57

Woods wrote:I'm the guy who was trying to borrow a Skånsk (how would that be called in English?)

"Scanian" (though the choice is somewhat moot since it's unfamiliar to all but a handful of English-speakers, so whatever term you use you'd have to explain to a general audience anyway).

Woods wrote:Guys, keep on going. Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson are both in my list now, but I'm sure there's a lot more really good stuff in Swedish :)

I remember that when I posted I was reading Gösta Berlings saga, the Swedes said something about having to read it in school and not hating it.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Must-read books

Postby Johanna » 2019-04-26, 6:40

Kallocain is a book I've been thinking about reading since about forever. Karin Boye is held in high regard and since it's a dystopia, it should be right up my alley.
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

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Re: Must-read books

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-30, 19:49

Aurinĭa wrote:Tove Jansson! Tove Jansson and Astrid Lindgren are the two authors writing in Swedish that everyone should know.

What do folks think of Jansson's Sommarboken?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Must-read books

Postby Aurinĭa » 2019-04-30, 21:32

I have to admit that, although I bought a copy of it years ago, I haven't actually read Sommarboken yet.

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Re: Must-read books

Postby linguoboy » 2019-04-30, 22:04

Aurinĭa wrote:I have to admit that, although I bought a copy of it years ago, I haven't actually read Sommarboken yet.

Well, I just bought a copy, too. If I get to reading it before you do, I'll tell you what I thought.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Must-read books

Postby Allekanger » 2019-05-12, 5:54

I started reading Sommarboken a few years ago. It's good! It's a clever portrayal of the relationship between a grandmother and her grandchild in the sort of melancholic adventure style characteristic to Tove Jansson. I never finished it though, because I wanted to return it to my friend before she moved.

Regarding must-reads, the first author who came to mind was of course Tove Jansson. My father and my brother read the Arn series by Jan Guillou. It's an adventure series about a knight set in Southern Sweden and the Middle East during the 1300's. Not saying it's a must-read, but they said it's a good triology.

There's also a book called En komikers uppväxt which our teacher read to us in school. I remember liking it then, so maybe it's worth a look.

I've also realized just now that I don't really read Swedish books at all. I do, however, listen to a lot of audiobooks, but they're all in English.
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Då sjunger o sakta för elva små trolla di vackresta orl o känner
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