The Almost Nearly Perfect People

THE ALMOST NEARLY PERFECT PEOPLE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE NORDIC MIRACLE

BY MICHAEL BOOTH

The Almost book cover

 

The last few years has seen our enthusiasm for all things Nordic grow. From their bleak television dramas to their chunky knitwear, it seems we can’t get enough of the Scandinavians.

In this timely book, writer Michael Booth leaves his adopted home in Denmark to travel through the five Nordic countries to discover the truth behind the myths and successes of these northern folk.

  • Why are the Danes the happiest people on earth when they pay the highest taxes?
  • Why do 54% of Icelanders believe in the existence of Elves?
  • Why do the Finns believe all Swedish men to be gay?
  • And most worryingly, why have 5% of Danish men had sex with an animal?!

Booth doesn’t just present us with the answers to these questions and other interesting facts, he writes with humour and gentle teasing about his findings. Some have accused him of being snotty, but I don’t agree, he’s just offering his opinion based on what he experiences from the point of view of his own liberal outlook. Fantastically readable and very funny, there is nothing to skip over here, a book packed with fascinating content. Continue reading

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Oldies art heist lost in translation

THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO BROKE ALL THE RULES

BY CATHARINA INGELMAN-SUNDBERG

Translated from Swedish by Rod Bradbury

 thelittleoldladywhobrokealltherules

I picked up this international bestselling novel as the cover art reminded me of Jonas Jonasson’s excellent ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.’ Unfortunately this book contained few of the belly laughs and galloping plotlines that that did.

This is the story of five old age pensioners in Sweden who are tired of the way society treats them. They leave their care home in a bid to launch new careers as thieves as they notice that prisoners are treated better in jail than the elderly in old people’s homes.

Egged on by central character Martha, the League of Pensioners become a daring and cunning gang of criminals carrying out a high profile art theft and even serving time behind bars. Continue reading