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Have you heard of Jólabókaflóð? It’s also called the Book Flood. I only just discovered it two years ago while writing for ThriftBooks. It’s a Icelandic celebration of books. Each Christmas Eve Icelanders gift each other books and eat chocolate. It’s a perfect evening, but also prompted by Iceland having the most books published per capita in the world (and between September and December annually) and World War II making imports too expensive while locally published books remained affordable gifts. And well, chocolate.
Last year, missed it because of my darling friend Claudia held a Christmas Eve party. In 2017 it was a collection of Roald Dahl stories. They were audio books and I don’t recall chocolate because I was in Vancouver for the day.
This year I’ll be at my grandmother’s house in Stawell. At first I thought it means skipping Jólabókaflóð but my grandmother is 92 years old and goes to bed early. So Jólabókaflóð 2019 starts at 8:30pm.
That means deciding which book to read for the Book Flood. I have a few options.
I’m currently reading The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, but I’m struggling. It’s a 549 page collection of his speeches, articles and other writings. Some interest me, others not so much. I’ve been splicing in other books, so it’s not really appealing to me.
Michelle Barker’s new novel is out in February and I’m fortunate enough to have an ARC. Her last novel, The House of One Thousand Eyes, was a gripping historical fiction of life in divided Germany. My Long List of Impossible Things stays in Germany and this time is the story of recovering from World War II.
The options on my physical TBR pile are:
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
Stone Girl by Eleni Hale
Making Friends with Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu
Unmasked by Turia Pitt
The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge by Clare Strahan
My current thoughts are heading towards My Long List of Impossible Things. It feels fitting to read a novel set in post-World War II to celebrate a tradition that also came from the war. But I can be swayed. Any suggestions?
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