Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Favorite Books

My Favorite Books


                 DATES OF NOTE:

May 2011

May 8th                Closed

May 11th            6:15 pm

May 14th        11am-1pm

May 29th & 30th  Closed

Happy Mother’s Day!

Book Club Meeting discussing the mystery series featuring Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear.  Join us!

Rhett DeVane will be signing the long-awaited third in her Chattahoochee series, Mama’s Comfort Food.  Copies will be discounted 15%.

Memorial Day fun in the sun...

             Scandinavian crime fiction has a long tradition in the various countries – Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland – however, few books were translated for a world audience until the success of Sjowall and Wahloo’s ten novel  series.  Soon Henning Mankell, Arnaldur Indridason and others were translated into major languages and claimed international readers.

And then came Stieg Larsson!  His three book series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, set the fiction world buzzing.

His super-star status catapulted other like authors into the limelight.  While still only a small percentage of Scandinavian fiction is translated into English, some authors are gaining well-deserved readership.

Sweden’s Ake Edwardson is a professor at Gothenburg University and three-time winner of the Swedish Crime Writers’ Award for best novel.  His work was first translated into English in 2005, and now five of the twelve Erik Winter series are available.  Edwardson’s prose is atmospheric, his stories psychologically gripping, and his primary character is introspective and smart with distinctly European sensibilities.  The reader gets a true feel of Gothenburg and its seamy dark corners.  The titles currently available in English, chronologically written, are Death Angels (which introduces Chief Inspector Winter),  Shadow Woman, Frozen Tracks, Sun and Shadow, and Never End.

Karin Fossum made her literary debut in Norway, publishing poetry in 1974.  It was her Inspector Konrad Sejer mysteries that began to be translated into English in 2005, starting with the fifth in the series, Don’t Look BackFossum’s setting is a small, picturesque village near Oslo.  The setting itself is less important than the characters that people the claustrophobic community – relationships and secrets are central to Fossum’s psychological police procedurals.  Inspector Sejer, an aging, brooding policeman, is as much about understanding people, their actions and underlying motives, as investigating a case.  One critic says of Fossum’s work, “Like a Scandinavian winter, her thrillers chill to the bone.”  Titles to look for are Don’t Look Back, The Indian Bride, He Who Fears the Wolf, When the Devil Holds a Candle, Black Seconds, Bad Intentions, and The Water’s Edge.

A little taste of Sweden…Grandmother Benson’s Swedish Toast

        ½ cup butter                                                               1 ½ tsp baking powder
        1 cup sugar                                                                 ½ tsp salt
        1 egg                                                                          ½ cup finely chopped almonds or pecans
        ½ cup milk to which 1 tsp vinegar has been added                 ½ tsp cardamom (optional)
        ½ tsp baking soda                                                      Cinnamon sugar
        2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9” square pan.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg.  Mix dry ingredients and add alternately with milk.  Stir in nuts.  Spread in prepared pan, and bake 35 minutes or until center springs back.  Cool slightly.  Reduce oven heat to 250°.  Slice cake into 1 ½” slices, then in half.  Place slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and dry in oven 15-20 minutes.  Turn off oven and let slices dry another 20-25 minutes.  Turn slices and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Broil lightly on both sides until crisp.  Store airtight.  Wonderful dunked in your favorite hot beverage!

             Stories for young audiences have long been a part of the oral tradition, although children’s literature as a published genre is relatively new.  Scandinavian authors have played a particularly large role in shaping this concept.  Trolls, Vikings, and princesses are intriguing no matter your age.

Hans Christian Andersen, who penned such fables as “The Ugly Duckling,” “Thumbelina,” and “The Little Mermaid,” set the tone for Scandinavian tales by matching whimsy and reality in equal parts.
             You might be surprised by how many of the most influential children’s authors hail from Sweden.  Selma Lagerlöf was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature, though she is best remembered for The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, a fantastical yet educational classic tale about a boy discovering his homeland while riding atop a wild goose.  Astrid Lindgren, who later went on to create the Pippi Longstocking series, described Nils’ adventures as brightening her childhood.
             A more recent Swedish gem is Reidar Jönsson’s My Life as a Dog.  It is the punchy yet poignant tale of Ingemar, a not-quite-orphan whose adolescence is shaped by his eclectic experience living in the Swedish countryside with his aunt and uncle.  Ingemar’s courage in the face of tragedy is both humorous and heartwarming.

Psst…  Pass it on!  My Favorite Books stocks great books at great prices!  Introduce a friend on your next store visit and you’ll both receive 10% off that day’s purchase.  Print and present this offer for a chance to prove to your friends that you know where the best books can be found in Tallahassee. This coupon is valid for the month of May only. Watch for other offers in the newsletters coming up.

We always welcome your comments, questions, and will be glad to BOLO (be on the look out in crime fiction terminology) for books on your wish list.  Stop by, phone us or email.  Please note our new email address:  staff@myfavoritebooksllc.com.

MFB Staff,
Dianne, Vivian, and Trisha

My Favorite Books
1415 Timberlane Rd.
(Market Square)
Tallahassee, FL

Open Mon.– Sat. 10 am-6 pm
Sun. 11am-6 pm

Phone: 850-668-7498

Jenny Jeffers
Book Tender