Beat the Winter Blues with the Free Library (and some Nordic Spirit!)

By Alix G. RSS Fri, December 21, 2018

I’m staring with dread at the slog of ever-colder, ever-shorter days upon us.

I do not "just love sweater weather." I "just love" some palm trees and ocean breezes.


For solace, perhaps my fellow sun-lovers and I should turn our gaze to our northeasterly Nordic Neighbors, who are old pros at handling long, cold winters with aplomb. (As of this posting, our Finnish friends are looking at under 6 hours of daylight, to say nothing of the frigid temps. Yikes.)

So how do they muster through this dark, dreary season … and how can the Free Library help us embrace the bleak road ahead?

Get Your Heart Rate Going With Some Nordic Noir
There’s nothing quite like digging into a creepy, chilly thriller on a dark and windy night. Stieg Larson’s Millennium series is now safely in the hands of Swedish author David Lagercrantz, and the books are as gloomy, moody, and terrifying as ever—look no further than 2017’s The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye if you need evidence. For still more sinister fair, grab a copy of some Jo Nesbø from our shelves; I still count The Snowman as one of the scariest Scandinavian thrillers I’ve ever read. If your heart just can’t take it, listen in on Nesbø’s take on the genre from his visit to our Author Events Series in 2017. And don’t miss Henning Mankell’s belovedly bleak Wallander series; we’ve got the books as well as DVDs of the television adaptation! (If gruesome thrillers aren’t your thing, try the lighter side of Nordic fiction with Jonas Johansson’s silly, charming, and utterly unique The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.)

Embrace a Warm State-of-Mind
If the dark, cold nights get you down, focus on cozying up instead! Read up on the latest Nordic lifestyle trend, the Danish art of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). Hygge is all about creating a warm and cozy sense of well-being in your life and in the physical spaces you occupy … which comes in handy during these brutal winter months. We’ve got enough hygge-related books on the shelves and ebooks in our digital media collections to keep you practicing your cozy until springtime!


Go Full-On Nordic
If bleak books and cozy nooks have you seeing the sunnier side of darker days, why not go the full-nine and find out what life in the Nordic countries is all about? We’ve got Anu Partanen’s The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life—which chronicles the Finnish journalist’s transition to U.S. citizen while highlighting some of the major distinctions between the country she was born in and the one in which she now lives—in hard copy and streaming audiobook on Hoopla. And if you’re ready to go see for yourself, hit up our travel section for a guidebook and brush up on your language skills with our Mango database, which features courses on Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish.

So what are you waiting for? Get out of the cold and into the Nordic winter spirit!

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