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2017 Book Selections

Tuesday, February 21 – League of Youth by Henrik Ibsen

The League of Youth features a protagonist Stensgaard, who poses as a political idealist and gathers a new party around him, the 'League of Youth,' and aims to eliminate corruption among the "old" guard and bring his new "young" group to power. In scheming to be elected, he immerses himself in social and sexual intrigue, culminating in such complexity that, at the end of the play, his plans for election fail and he is run out of town.

Tuesday, April 25 – Before I Burn by Gaute Heivoll

In 1970s Norway, an arsonist targets a small town for one long, terrifying month. Amid the chaos, only a day before the last house is set afire, the community comes together for the christening of a young boy named Gaute Heivoll. As he grows up, stories about the time of fear and fire become deeply engrained in his young mind until, as an adult, he begins to retell the story. Based on the true account of Norway's most dramatic arson case, Before I Burn is a powerful, gripping breakout novel from an exceptionally talented author.

Tuesday, June 20 – Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault by Cary Fowler

The remarkable story of the Global Seed Vault—and the valiant effort to save the past and the future of agriculture. Closer to the North Pole than to the Arctic Circle, on an island in a remote Norwegian archipelago, lies a vast global seed bank buried within a frozen mountain. At the end of a 130-meter long tunnel chiseled out of solid stone is a room filled with humanity’s precious treasure, the largest and most diverse seed collection ever assembled: more than a half billion seeds containing the world’s most prized crops, a safeguard against catastrophic starvation.

Tuesday, August 22 - Death of the Demon by Anne Holt

In a foster home outside Oslo, a twelve-year-old boy is causing havoc. The institution’s steely director, Agnes Vestavik, sees something chilling in Olav’s eyes. When Vestavik is found murdered at her desk and with Olav nowhere to be found, the case goes to maverick investigator Hanne Wilhelmsen, newly-promoted chief inspector in the Oslo Police.

Tuesday, October 24 – Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun

In the story of Isak, who leaves his village to clear a homestead and raise a family amid the untilled tracts of the Norwegian back country, Knut Hamsun evokes the elemental bond between humans and the land.

Tuesday, December 12 – Prose Edda

The Prose Edda is the most renowned of all works of Scandinavian literature and our most extensive source for Norse mythology. Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, it tells ancient stories of the Norse creation epic and recounts the battles that follow as gods, giants, dwarves, and elves struggle for survival.