Recommended summer books
Summer is approaching and with it, for most of us, a well-deserved break. Perhaps the extra time off will give us a little more time for literature and reading. The editors have compiled a list of books whose authors are linked to our university in one or more ways.
If you don’t want to just relax in your hammock, you might want to take a trip to Östergötland and Lake Tåkern. That’s where you’ll find the Rök runestone, with the world’s longest and most complicated runic inscription. You can read Henrik Williams’ book entitled Rökstenen och världens undergång [The Rök runestone and the end of the world] if you’d like to prepare for this. The Rök runestone is ancient, while the book was published last year (2021). The author is Professor of Runology at Uppsala University.
En svensk kändis [A Swedish celebrity] by Alma Kirlić has a few years under its belt (this book was published in 2018). Alma, full of anticipation, arrives at Uppsala City Theatre, where she’ll be working as a prompter. As she works, Alma starts to remember how she ended up there: her upbringing in Bosnia before the war, but not least when she first arrived in Sweden as an ordinary teenager on a visit, yet at the same time being labelled a refugee. The author studied mathematics, media and communication studies and philosophy at our university and is currently working here as a webmaster.
Johanna Hedman’s book Trion was published last year. This debut novel is all about three friends in their twenties who spend all their time together in places such as Stockholm and Paris. But beneath the surface there are some strong emotions and thoughts about identity, class and love. The author is from Stockholm but holds a Master’s degree in peace and conflict studies from Uppsala University. The rights to Trion in seven languages were sold long before it was published in Sweden last summer.
Sista sommaren [The last summer], Eleonore Holmgren’s debut novel, is a real summer book. This book is about the unusual friendship between young Adam, who’s being chased by drug dealers, and Britta, a surly old lady of 86. Their friendship grows at a house in the Stockholm archipelago. This is set to be one of the best summers of Britta’s life. This book has been nominated for Book of the Year 2022 by Bonniers Bokklubbar. The author lives in Uppsala and was a student on the cultural studies programme at our university.
It goes without saying that crime novels should be included in any list of recommended summer books. Last year, Åsa Larsson completed her series about prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson in Kiruna. Her book Fädernas misgärningar [The Sins of Our Fathers] won her Best Swedish Detective Novel of the Year 2021, an award presented by the Swedish Crime Writers' Academy. Rebecka Martinsson reluctantly investigates a statute-barred murder. But it’s not long before a fresh murder investigation turns up on her desk. And of course, the cases are connected – with secrets in the prosecutor’s own family, too. Åsa Larsson was born in Uppsala and studied law at Uppsala University.
And then there’s a brand new book, hot off the press, about Sweden’s crime queen. Margaretha Fahlgren’s biography Ett dubbelt liv Dagmar Lange, alias Maria Lang [A double life] will be published at the end of May 2022. Dagmar Lange was a lecturer and director of studies in Stockholm during term time, but in summer she was the crime writer Maria Lang. A new Maria Lang crime novel was published every autumn following her first novel in 1949. Her biography asks what this dual identity involves. Margaretha Fahlgren is Professor Emerita of Literary Studies at Uppsala University. She has been working on the interdisciplinary research project “Mammahursomhelst. Litterära, vårdrelaterade och mediala berättelser” [Mummy anyway. Literary, care-related and media tales] in recent years.
Enjoy your summer – and happy reading!