The Almost Nearly Perfect People

The Almost Nearly Perfect People Author Michael Booth
ISBN-10 9781250061973
Year 2015-01-27
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher Picador
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NAMED THE #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, A WITTY, INFORMATIVE, AND POPULAR TRAVELOGUE ABOUT THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES AND HOW THEY MAY NOT BE AS HAPPY OR AS PERFECT AS WE ASSUME Journalist Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians for more than ten years, and he has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. In this timely book he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success, and, most intriguing of all, what they think of one another. Why are the Danes so happy, despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes? In The Almost Nearly Perfect People Michael Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, and what their quirks and foibles are, and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized by suffocating parochialism, and populated by extremists of various shades. They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn't easy being Scandinavian.

Fishing In Utopia

Fishing In Utopia Author Andrew Brown
ISBN-10 9781847085672
Year 2011-08-04
Pages 272
Language en
Publisher Granta Books
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From the 1960s to the 1980s, Sweden was an affluent, egalitarian country envied around the world. Refugees were welcomed, even misfit young Englishmen could find a place there. Andrew Brown spent part of his childhood in Sweden during the 1960s. In the 1970s he married a Swedish woman and worked in a timber mill while helping to raise their small son. Fishing became his passion and his escape. In the mid-1980s his marriage and the country fell apart. The Prime Minister was assassinated. The welfare system crumbled along with the industries that had supported it. Twenty years later, Andrew Brown travelled the length of Sweden in search of the country he had loved, and then hated, and now found he loved again.

The Nordic Theory of Everything

The Nordic Theory of Everything Author Anu Partanen
ISBN-10 9780062316561
Year 2016-06-28
Pages 432
Language en
Publisher HarperCollins
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A Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asks Americans to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer, happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and their children. Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life—from buying a cell phone and filing taxes to education and childcare—was much more complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland. At first, she attributed her crippling anxiety to the difficulty of adapting to a freewheeling new culture. But as she got to know Americans better, she discovered they shared her deep apprehension. To understand why life is so different in the U.S. and Finland, Partanen began to look closely at both. In The Nordic Theory of Everything, Partanen compares and contrasts life in the United States with life in the Nordic region, focusing on four key relationships—parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens. She debunks criticism that Nordic countries are socialist “nanny states,” revealing instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do. Partanen wants to open Americans’ eyes to how much better things can be—to show her beloved new country what it can learn from her homeland to reinvigorate and fulfill the promise of the American dream—to provide the opportunity to live a healthy, safe, economically secure, upwardly mobile life for everyone. Offering insights, advice, and solutions, The Nordic Theory of Everything makes a convincing argument that we can rebuild our society, rekindle our optimism, and restore true freedom to our relationships and lives.

How to Be Danish

How to Be Danish Author Patrick Kingsley
ISBN-10 9781476755496
Year 2014-02-04
Pages 192
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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Part reportage, part travelogue, this is a fascinating introduction to contemporary Danish culture for anyone who wants to know more about the world’s happiest nation. Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it’s the home of The Killing and Noma, the world’s best (and most eccentric) restaurant. We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about the Danes themselves? Part reportage, part travelogue, How to Be Danish fills in the gaps—an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans politics, television, food, architecture, and design.

Super Sushi Ramen Express

Super Sushi Ramen Express Author Michael Booth
ISBN-10 9781250099792
Year 2016-09-06
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher Picador
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From the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People comes Super Sushi Ramen Express, a fascinating and funny culinary journey through Japan Japan is arguably the preeminent food nation on earth; it’s a mecca for the world’s greatest chefs and has more Michelin stars than any other country. The Japanese go to extraordinary lengths and expense to eat food that is marked both by its exquisite preparation and exotic content. Their creativity, dedication, and courage in the face of dishes such as cod sperm and octopus ice cream are only now beginning to be fully appreciated in the sushi and ramen-saturated West, as are the remarkable health benefits of the traditional Japanese diet. Food and travel writer Michael Booth takes the culinary pulse of contemporary Japan, learning fascinating tips and recipes that few westerners have been privy to before. Accompanied by two fussy eaters under the age of six, he and his wife travel the length of the country, from bear-infested, beer-loving Hokkaido to snake-infested, seaweed-loving Okinawa. Along the way, they dine with—and score a surprising victory over—sumo wrestlers, pamper the world’s most expensive cows with massage and beer, share a seaside lunch with free-diving female abalone hunters, and meet the greatest chefs working in Japan today. Less happily, they witness a mass fugu slaughter, are traumatized by an encounter with giant crabs, and attempt a calamitous cooking demonstration for the lunching ladies of Kyoto.

Swedish Mentality

Swedish Mentality Author Åke Daun
ISBN-10 9780271041506
Year 1996-01-10
Pages 248
Language en
Publisher Penn State Press
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Is there a distinctly Swedish national character? Are Swedes truly shy, unemotional, conflict-avoiding, melancholy, and dour? Swedish Mentality, the English translation of the hugely successful book published in Sweden in 1989, considers the reality behind the myth. The author, Åke Daun, is a respected ethnologist who is sometimes referred to as the "guru" of Swedish character. In recent years, it has become popular to discuss Swedishness and Swedish identity. The advent of the European Union and the increasing presence of immigrant refugees in Sweden have fueled public debate on the distinctiveness of Swedish culture. Daun, however, goes beyond stereotype, drawing upon statistics gathered over more than a decade of research. The result is an entertaining and engagingly written book. Throughout, Daun quotes from interviews with native Swedes and immigrants as well as from travel accounts, folklore, and proverbs. We learn why some Swedes might prefer to walk up a flight of stairs rather than share an elevator with a neighbor and why some gain satisfaction from walking alone in the woods or going fishing. Daun describes a range of factors influencing Swedish character, including population composition, rural background, and even climate. He recognizes behavioral variations related to gender, age, class, and region, and he considers subtleties of individual character as well. Swedish Mentality should interest a wide array of readers, whether of Swedish descent or not.

Eat Pray Eat

Eat Pray Eat Author Michael Booth
ISBN-10 0224089633
Year 2011
Pages 296
Language en
Publisher
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World-weary, distracted and more often than not the worse for wine, Michael Booth really needed to make some major changes to his life. Instead, he embarks on an over-ambitious, self-indulgent attempt to write the definitive book on Indian food, taking his wife and two young children in tow. They criss-cross India, from mist-shrouded Delhi to Mumbai andthe slums of Dharavi, meeting the locals and samplying different cuisines along the way. However, his plan is derailed as he spirals deeper into his metaphysical middle-aged malaise, finally unravelling amid the sweltering heat of the Keralan backwaters. Fortunately, his wife takes control and enrolls her disintegrating husband in a hardcore yoga boot camp, enlisting a wise meditation guru who helps him chart a path towards enlightenment. But will Booth's cynicism and untrammelled appetites prove his undoing? Can he regain his balance, conquer his anxieties and face up to life as a husband and father?

Nordicana

Nordicana Author Arrow Film Distributors Ltd
ISBN-10 9781844038251
Year 2015-05-04
Pages 192
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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You've watched every Scandi TV series going, you have Nordic light fittings, and you want Birgitte Nyborg as your Prime Minister. Yes it's fair to say there is a general love-in with everything related to the northern countries. Over the last decade, the Nordic nations have quietly and unassumingly come to hold us in their thrall; but what is it, exactly, that we covet about their culture? Nordicana celebrates the objects, aesthetics and traditions that have inspired our obsession, with a quick introduction to 100 icons of Scandi style and Nordic cool, accompanied by beautiful illustrations. Whether it is the inimitable Faroe Isles jumper, made famous by TV detective Sarah Lund; the unusual-tasting delicacy salted liquorice; the ubiquitous Swedish Dala horse; the concept of 'hygge' (a feeling evoked by being in candlelit warmth with friends during winter); Midsomer seasonal celebrations; practical but breathtakingly stylish interiors; or an enduring love of noir literature and dramas, you'll find the key to attaining the Nordic way of life in these pages.

The Age of Social Democracy

The Age of Social Democracy Author Francis Sejersted
ISBN-10 9780691147741
Year 2011-01-31
Pages 543
Language en
Publisher Princeton University Press
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This is the history of how two countries on the northern edge of Europe built societies in the twentieth century that became objects of inspiration and envy around the world. Francis Sejersted, one of Scandinavia's leading historians, tells how Norway and Sweden achieved a rare feat by realizing grand visions of societies that combine stability, prosperity, and social welfare. It is a history that holds many valuable lessons today, at a time of renewed interest in the Scandinavian model. The book tells the story of social democracy from the separation of Norway and Sweden in 1905 through the end of the century, tracing its development from revolutionary beginnings through postwar triumph, as it became a hegemonic social order that left its stamp on every sector of society, the economy, welfare, culture, education, and family. The book also tells how in the 1980s, partly in reaction to the strong state, a freedom and rights revolution led to a partial erosion of social democracy. Yet despite the fracturing of consensus and the many economic and social challenges facing Norway and Sweden today, the achievement of their welfare states remains largely intact.

The Year of Living Danishly

The Year of Living Danishly Author Helen Russell
ISBN-10 9781848318137
Year 2015-01-08
Pages 354
Language en
Publisher Icon Books Ltd
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'A hugely enjoyable romp through the pleasures and pitfalls of setting up home in a foreign land' PD Smith, Guardian When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From childcare, education, food and interior design (not to mention 'hygge') to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.

Just As Well I m Leaving

Just As Well I m Leaving Author Michael Booth
ISBN-10 9781446485798
Year 2016-09-08
Pages 368
Language en
Publisher Random House
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'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times Having been dragged against his will to live in Denmark, Michael Booth discovered one of the great secrets of travel literature - Andersen's A Poet's Bazaar - a fascinating travelogue through a Europe on the cusp of revolution, by an author who invented children's literature. He discovered, too, his chance to escape Denmark. In 1840 Andersen was also desperate to flee, writing as he sailed: 'It is just as well I am leaving, my soul is unwell!' In Germany he was enraptured both by steam travel and the fiery Franz Liszt. In sultry Naples this latent bisexual wrestled with his erotic demons before travelling to Athens (little more than a village), seeing the dervishes dance in Istanbul, and sailing home up the Danube. Booth follows him every step of the way, reflecting on Andersen's life, work and pathological self-obsession, encountering his own cast of characters, from an accommodating Hamburg prostitute to a bemused Danish Ambassador to the first ever female dervish, who whisks him off to meet her guru.

History of Scandinavia

History of Scandinavia Author T. K. Derry
ISBN-10 0816637997
Year 2000
Pages 468
Language en
Publisher U of Minnesota Press
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Traces the history of Scandinavian countries, emphasizing common features in their heritage.

Leaving Berlin

Leaving Berlin Author Joseph Kanon
ISBN-10 9781476704647
Year 2015-03-03
Pages 384
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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Targeted by McCarthyism for his prewar politics, a young Jewish writer who fled the Nazis to America makes a desperate bargain with a fledgling CIA to work as a spy in a decimated Berlin. By the New York Times best-selling author of Istanbul Passage.

History of Norway

History of Norway Author John A. Yilek
ISBN-10 1681110245
Year 2015-03
Pages 270
Language en
Publisher
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Based on exhaustive research, History of Norway is a clear, informative and entertaining description of Norway's history from the earliest cultures of the Stone Age to today's oil and gas economy. Along the way, there are fascinating stories of Vikings, the Sami, kings and queens, farmers and fishermen, merchants and miners, the Black Death, the Hanseatic merchants, the Reformation, independence, emigration from Norway to America, polar explorers, the Nazi invasion and the Norwegian resistance in World War II, and much more!

Debunking Utopia

Debunking Utopia Author Nima Sanandaji
ISBN-10 1944229396
Year 2016-08-16
Pages 240
Language en
Publisher
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At first glance, Nordic countries seem to have everything liberals want to see in America: equal income distribution, good health, low levels of poverty, and thriving economies, all co-existing with big welfare states. By copying Nordic policies, many in the American left hope to transform America to a similar socialist "utopia." In"Debunking Utopia"," "Swedish author Nima Sanandaji explains why this is all wishful thinking. He systematically proves that the high levels of income equality, high lifespans and other signs of social success in the Nordics all predate the expansion of the welfare state. If anything, the Nordic countries reached their peak during the mid-twentieth century, when they had low taxes and small welfare states. Perhaps most astonishing are his findings that Nordic-Americans consistently outperform their cousins who live across the ocean. People of Nordic descent who live under the American capitalist system not only enjoy higher levels of income, but also a lower level of poverty than the citizens of the Nordic countries themselves."