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$59.95 $47.31
1. Scandinavian Modern Furnishing,
$19.95
2. Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa:
$16.32 $6.23 list($24.00)
3. The Fellowship of Ghosts : A Journey
$17.79 $17.51 list($26.95)
4. Christina, Queen of Sweden : The
$12.50 list($10.95)
5. Ibsen (A Da Capo paperback)
$15.61 $14.58 list($22.95)
6. The Fairy Tale of My Life
$4.69 list($35.00)
7. Madam Prime Minister: A Life in
$11.99 $2.95 list($17.13)
8. Letters from Africa, 1914-1931
$6.95
9. Splendid Swedish Recipes
$11.55 list($16.99)
10. The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian
$12.98 list($19.09)
11. A Short Residence in Sweden, Norway
$16.27 list($23.93)
12. Leif Eriksson: Viking Explorer
$29.95 $28.95
13. Knut Hamsun Remembers America:
$19.95 $12.17
14. The Follinglo Dog Book : A Norwegian
$12.92 $11.95 list($19.00)
15. Hans Christian Andersen : The
$6.95
16. Dear Danish Recipes
$16.47 $8.95 list($24.95)
17. Fly Fishing the River of Second
$17.61 $15.50 list($27.95)
18. On the Viking Trail: Travels in
$5.95 $3.85
19. Leif Eriksson (On My Own Biography)
$0.87 list($17.50)
20. Alva Myrdal: A Daughter's Memoir

1. Scandinavian Modern Furnishing, 1930-1970: Designed for Life (Schiffer Book for Designers and Collectors)
by Michael Ellison, Leslie A. Pina
list price: $59.95
our price: $59.95
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Asin: 0764314920
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Sales Rank: 53473
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Book Description

In the middle of the twentieth century, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland, four countries with a total population no larger than New York City, impacted the world of design to a degree never before seen and unlikely to be repeated. Scandinavian Modern design already had a solid domestic audience, and the Post-World War II American consumer was ready for the distinctive style and the fine quality it offered. With a focus on more than 60 designers, this extensively researched book presents the furniture and household objectsespecially those of wood and metal. of the Scandinavian Modern style, beginning in the 1930s and culminating in the 1970s. Hundreds of photographs and a comprehensive introduction, historical timeline, and appendices of furniture makers and designers, distributors, and sources are included. Detailed captions with current prices, a large bibliography, and an index make this book a valuable reference and a must for all collectors, dealers, and researchers of Scandinavian design. ... Read more


2. Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa: Karen Blixen's Untold Story
by Linda Donelson
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 0964389398
Catlog: Book (1998-04)
Publisher: Coulsong List
Sales Rank: 184442
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This new analysis of "Out of Africa" describes the young Baroness Blixen's struggles with a difficult marriage, a pioneer coffee farm, and a complicated love affair in Kenya. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Donelson fills the biographic cracks of Blixen's narrative.
There's a very fine line between autobiography, literary non-fiction and a historical novel. Karen Blixen's (Isak Dinesen's) _Out of Africa_ walks that line very carefully.

Linda Donelson's _Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa_ does a wonderful job retelling the Karen Blixen story that was obliterated when the middle-aged baroness began to transcribe and transform her Africa experiences. Using a voice similiar to Blixen's own sweeping narration, Donelson tells a story of the story behind the story. She often transcends direct quotation by providing a backdrop of letters and journals and memories that evoke what has always been left unsaid.

While a good biography, Donelson's short-coming is her literary interpretation, which sometimes becomes too concrete and narrowed. She seems to read the stories only for their insight on the author's life. While telling the story of the story, Donelson risks diminishing the mystical charm of the story and replacing it with only her own specific meaning.

But, Donelson, as a physician, is not writing a literary biography. Her tour de force is her reevaluation of Blixen's medical condition at the end of her life. The story teller ends her days by telling herself the story that has syphillis. Donelson exhumes the sad truth: that Blixen, and not her philandering husband, condemned herself to sphyllis-like symptoms late in life.

Donelson's book effectively recreates a life that gets blurred in her own autobiography, muted in other biographies and completely lost in film.

3-0 out of 5 stars For fans of Karen
For anyone with an interest in the life of Dinesen (Karen Blixen), this is a good addition to the library--unless you have read all of Dinesen's letters and books, because this is, verily, a compilation of writings already published--albeit a good compilation. The excerpts from Dinesen's writing can be irksome, however, when the author supposes they are thinly-veiled accounts of her true life. Some of these suppositions require a real leap of faith--especially because, most times, the gender must be transposed for Donelson's theory to hold water.

I did not find that the medical notes were the focus of, or detracted from, the book as a whole.

I have to ask: why is this book so doggone expensive? It's good, but not worth $35.00, given the fact that nothing new is brought to light.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well research
The difficulty with writing a biography about Karen Blixen lies in the fact that until the latter part of her life, she lived very much as a solitary and intensely private individual. Consequently, the part of her life we are most interested in, her time in Kenya, are closed except for the glimpses one gets from her letters back home. Donelson has done an admirable job of trying to move beyond Blixen's letters. She relies primarily on interpretations of Blixen's books to give more flavor to Blixen's motivations and state of mind. Naturally, it will always be speculative to speak of someone else's intentions. What I appreciated most in this book was the presence of hard numbers. We do get a better sense of the economics of the whole farm deal than with Thurman's biography.

Ultimately, the picture that emerges of Blixen is an unflattering one. Donelson downplays Blixen's self-avowed attachment to Africans and points at her neediness and helplessness. I'd recommend this book as a good counterpoint to the unrestrained romance of "Out of Africa". Why did Blixen write "Out of Africa" the way she did? On reading "Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa", as was suggested in the introduction, Blixen wrote the book to convince others that her experience in Africa was not a failure; but perhaps also to convince herself that despite the trauma of personal and financial loss, it was worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond the myth
Linda Donelson's book is so far (to my knowledge) the only work on Dinesen to move beyond the Hollywood movie "Out of Africa", the glossy version of Dinesen's own glossy memoir by the same name. Judith Thurman in her wonderful and lauded biography also writes a great deal about Dinesens's years in Africa, but Donelson's book is concentrated wholly on Dinesens's time there.

Donelson's writing is wonderful, transporting the reader to another time and place, but at the same time making Dinesen seem very real and very human. It is also the only work that gives us a Dinesen profile that in fact fits the one that comes to light through Dinesen's OWN letters from Africa (still in print and a must read for any true Dinesen fan) to her family in Denmark during the years 1914-31.

Her memoir "Out of Africa" was Dinesen writing nostalgically in retrospect about her lost paradise several years after her return to Denmark from Africa. The film "Out of Africa" is without doubt a gorgeous and highly entertaining composite version of Dinesen's memoir as well as other works on Dinesen, including Thurman's bio. However, Donelson's book gets at the truth. Whether one likes her work or not depends. If you are the kind of Dinesen fan who prefers the glossy nostalgic version, you might be irritated that someone would "dare" to go beyond the pretty fiction. If however you want the truth, confirmed in Dinesen's own letters, you will enjoy Donelson's book immensely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen
Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen

In the movie "Out of Africa" I believe that the writers of the film script missed a wonderful opportunity. In the book "Out of Isak Dinesen in Africa, Karen Blixen's untoldstoy, by Linda Donelson" a reader can find an exciting, wonderful, semsual, complex woman. A woman that is not the same person that appears in the movie. Sometimes, too often movies are made with just the vision of great profits alone, artistry be damned. Too often movie moguls seem to be most interested in maintaining the glory of the lead characters and less interested in telling the great story they have to work with. The Out of Africa Movie would have been so much better with new leading people and a script that didn't have to paint Barron Blixon as such a heavy and could have given a more realistic picture of the marvelous unique man, Denys Finch Hatton. I suspect that the script may have been contaminated by impute from forces that might have been less than insightful. As past history has demonstrated the Moguls some time miss the mark by a long ways.

Linda Donelson in her book, which is smooth reading, does a most wonderful job of letting us see inside the rich character of the real people in this story. But not only that, a long the way you taste and feel Arica and you begin to understand the remarkable history , not only of Nairobi and it's surrounding African wonderlands, this book is magic in the way it blends in social history and world events with close personal feelings and experiences. ... Read more


3. The Fellowship of Ghosts : A Journey Through the Mountains of Norway
by Paul Watkins
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 0792267990
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: National Geographic
Sales Rank: 56493
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4. Christina, Queen of Sweden : The Restless Life of a European Eccentric
by Veronica Buckley
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
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Asin: 0060736178
Catlog: Book
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Sales Rank: 20177
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Book Description

She was born on a bitterly cold December night in 1626 and, in the candlelight, mistakenly declared a boy. On her father's death six years later, she inherited the Swedish throne. She was tutored by Descartes, yet could swear like the roughest soldier. She was painted a lesbian, a prostitute, a hermaphrodite, and an atheist; in that tumultuous age, it is hard to determine which was the most damning label. She was learned but restless, progressive yet self-indulgent; her leadership was erratic, her character unpredictable. Sweden was too narrow for her ambition. No sooner had she enjoyed the lavish celebrations of her officialcoronation at twenty-three than she abdicated, converting to Catholicism (an act of almost foolhardy independence and political challenge) and leaving her cold homeland behind for an extravagant new life in Rome. Christina, Queen of Sweden, longed fatally for adventure.

Freed from her crown, Christina cut a breath-taking path across Europe: spending madly, searching for a more prestigious throne to scale, stirring trouble wherever she went. Supported and encouraged in turn by the pope, the king of Spain, and France's powerful Cardinal Mazarin, Christina settled at the luxurious Palazzo Farnese, where she established a lavish salon for Rome's artists and intellectuals. More than once the cross-dressing queen was forced to leave town until a scandal died down. She loved to buckle on a sword and swagger like the men whose company she adored, but the greatest mystery in her life was the true nature of her elusive sexuality, which biographer Veronica Buckley explores with sensitivity and rigor. For a time it seemed there was nothing this extraordinary woman might fear attempting, until a bloody tragedy of her own making foreshadowed her downfall.

Pairing painstaking research with a sparkling narrative voice and unerring sense of the age, Veronica Buckley reclaims a protean life that had been preserved mostly as myth. Christina was a child of her time, and her time was one of great change: Europe stood at a crossroads where religion and science, antiquity and modernity, peace and war all met. Christina took what she wanted from each to create the life she most desired, and she dazzled all who met her.

... Read more

5. Ibsen (A Da Capo paperback)
by Harold Clurman
list price: $10.95
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Asin: 0306803658
Catlog: Book (1989-09-01)
Publisher: Da Capo Pr
Sales Rank: 1711070
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6. The Fairy Tale of My Life
by H. C. Andersen, Hans Christian Andersen, Naomi Lewis
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 0815411057
Catlog: Book (2000-11)
Publisher: Cooper Square Publishers
Sales Rank: 353998
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Danish poet and novelist Hans Christian Andersen is best known for the dozens of fairy tales he wrote. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book by one of the best story tellers ever.
I really liked reading Han's Christian Anderson's biography. You learn a lot about him, and his stories from this book. He is one of the greatest writers ever. He tells the story of his life beautifully. It was full of adventures and travels, of which he tells a lot about in his book. He truly liked all people. I highly recommend this book, and would give it more stars if I could.

5-0 out of 5 stars A "must" for the legions of Hans Christian Andersen fans
The Fairy Tale Of My Life is Hans Christian Andersen's autobiography. Andersen (1805-1875) had an undeniable gift for storytelling that led to the creating of a series of classic fairytales that included "The Little Mermaid", "The Ugly Duckling", and "The Snow Queen. His sense of fantasy, descriptive abilities, and sensitivity to human emotions are also evident in the candor and engaging self-told story of his life from the extreme poverty of a provincial childhood to the international celebrity of his final years. Careful readers will also find valued insights into the sources for many of his most famous and enduringly popular stories. The Fairy Tale Of My Life is a "must" for the legions of Hans Christian Andersen fans!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for the legions of Hans Christian Andersen fans
The Fairy Tale Of My Life is Hans Christian Andersen's autobiography. Andersen (1805-1875) had an undeniable gift for storytelling that led to the creating of a series of classic fairytales that included "The Little Mermaid", "The Ugly Duckling", and "The Snow Queen. His sense of fantasy, descriptive abilities, and sensitivity to human emotions are also evident in the candor and engaging self-told story of his life from the extreme poverty of a provincial childhood to the international celebrity of his final years. Careful readers will also find valued insights into the sources for many of his most famous and enduringly popular stories. The Fairy Tale Of My Life is a "must" for the legions of Hans Christian Andersen fans! ... Read more


7. Madam Prime Minister: A Life in Power and Politics
by Gro Harlem Brundtland
list price: $35.00
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Asin: 0374167168
Catlog: Book (2002-09-04)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 385554
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Book Description

One of the world's leading woman politicians tells her inspiring story

At forty-one, Gro Harlem Brundtland, physician and mother of four, was appointed prime minister of Norway-the youngest person and the first woman ever to hold that office. In this refreshingly forthright memoir, Brundtland traces her unusual and meteoric career. She grew up with strong role models-her parents were active in the Norwegian resistance and involved in postwar politics. She became known as a pro-choice crusader in the seventies and entered politics as the minister of the environment. She appointed eight women to her second eighteen-member cabinet, to this day a world record, and was the leading figure in the process that led to the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. As director-general of the World Health Organization since 1997, Brundtland is the first woman elected to run a major UN institution. Along the way, she met a host of international politicians, including Margaret Thatcher-who did not share Brundtland's view on feminism-Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, and Hillary Clinton.

Brundtland writes candidly and with humor about raising children in the political limelight and about dealing with political opposition and stereotypes about women. Hers is a fascinating story of one person's ability to make a difference-globally.
... Read more

8. Letters from Africa, 1914-1931
by Isak Dinesen
list price: $17.13
our price: $11.99
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Asin: 0226153118
Catlog: Book (1984-04-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 80389
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Here is a rich new biographical perspective on the brilliant storyteller whose sophisticated romantic fiction . . . made her an international success and perpetual candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature. . . . [These letters] contain the raw material that was later transformed into her classic memoir Out of Africa (1937). They also reveal her as a highly intelligent and sensitive analyst of a strange new world."--Bruce Allen, Christian Science Monitor

"Letters from Africa is literary gold, 24 karat."--Alden Whitman, Boston Globe

... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A diary of letters
In her own words Isak Dinesen gives you a peak into life on her beloved farm. Her impressions of her new world, her hopes, triumphs and failures. Kinanjui, Farah, Kamante, Denys, Delamere characters that one came to love in her tales from "Out of Africa" are all in these letters. It was also fascinating to see from reading the letters how her writing style evolved. A style that would later mature into the legacy of work she would leave behind. A must for any collecter of this amazing woman.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like reading a personal diary
There's no better way of getting to know the real Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen than by reading her Letters. Blixen shares her life with you a letter at a time, and in such rich detail that one feels a bit inclined to purchase a ticket to Kenya and appear on her veranda for tea!

Blixen's deep love for "her people" finally comes out in its truest sense in that she considered the African natives her soul mates.

The letters to Ingeborg, Aunt Bess, and brother Tommy, reveal (to me at least) that Blixen felt a greater kinship and sense of mutual acceptance with her "black skinned brother" than she did with her Danish relatives.

"Letters From Africa" is essential reading for any Dinesen fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars A woman of the future
This is a very powerfull book, which gives good insight into the mind and soul of Karen Blixen. Compared to her own book "out of africa" you here have the "unprocessed" facts - she writes about her every day life on the farm, happy things as well as sad things in the form of letters to her loved ones. Very different from the intrepetation of the same facts in her book "Out of Africa". Read it! ... Read more


9. Splendid Swedish Recipes
by Kerstin O. Van Guilder, Kerstin Olsson Van Gilder
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.95
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Asin: 0941016528
Catlog: Book (1988-06-01)
Publisher: Penfield Press
Sales Rank: 100609
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This inexpensive, index card size spiral-bound recipe book features over 100 Swedish recipes. Makes a great gift or "stocking stuffer" for friends and relatives. The author came to America from Sweden in 1961. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Desserts Galore
I got this cookbook as a Christmas give for my Swedish wife. She loves the dessert recipies, especially the Cocoa Balls and the Coffee Bread. If you combine this book with "Good Food from Sweden" by Inga Norberg, you'll never lack for recipies to remind you of your Swedish roots.

5-0 out of 5 stars ¿Cooking the naturally delicious way¿
Splendid Swedish Recipes, in the popular recipe-card file size Stocking Stuffer format, is chock-full of the best recipes and notes on Swedish cuisine. Compiled by Kerstin Olsson Van Gilder, who came to America from Sweden in 1961, and refers to Swedish foods as "cooking the naturally delicious way." The Swedish diet consists mainly of fish (herring) and potatoes, making the food lighter than traditional American cuisine. This cookbook is inspired by the Swedish love of wholesome, natural foods. The cover shows a little girl in a Swedish folk-style outfit.

In addition to recipes, Splendid Swedish Recipes contains information on The Smorgasbord (a long table buffet Scandinavian tradition), Foods for Special Holidays and Seasons, Notable Sites and Events as well as historical information on the Swedish-American Experience. The book offers you plenty to choose from to make a Swedish feast for family and friends. Try the Swedish Kale Soup or the Swedish Meatballs. Stuffed Cabbage and Rye Bread will suit almost any table! And desserts are the Swedish specialty! Try the Coffee Bread or the Cocoa Balls to end the perfect meal! This is just a sampling of what is offered!

This book is excellent for personal collections and as a gift for anyone interested in Swedish cooking and heritage. ... Read more


10. The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen
by Jane Yolen, Dennis Nolan
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
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Asin: 0525469559
Catlog: Book (2005-02-03)
Publisher: Dutton Books
Sales Rank: 1092294
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11. A Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and Memoirs of the Author of the Rights of Women (Penguin Classics)
by Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Richard Holmes
list price: $19.09
our price: $12.98
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Asin: 0140432698
Catlog: Book (1987-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin USA (P)
Sales Rank: 257582
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12. Leif Eriksson: Viking Explorer (Explorers! (Enslow Publishers).)
by Joanne Mattern
list price: $23.93
our price: $16.27
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Asin: 0766021467
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Enslow Publishers
Sales Rank: 598715
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13. Knut Hamsun Remembers America: Essays and Stories, 1885-1949
by Knut Hamsun, Richard Nelson Current
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0826214568
Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Sales Rank: 181052
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Knut Hamsun Remembers America is a collection of thirteen essays and stories based largely on Hamsun's experiences during the four years he spent in the United States when he was a young man. Most of these pieces have never been published before in an English translation, and none are readily available.Arranged chronologically, the pieces fall into three categories: Critical Reporting, Memory and Fantasy, and Mellow Reminiscence. The pieces in this collection tell us something about the development of the worldview of a man who became a great writer, only to jeopardize his reputation by defending the Nazi oppressors of his own people. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absorbing perspectives on American civilization
Written by Knut Hamsun (1920 Nobel Prize winner for his novel "The Growth of the Soil", and who later became infamous for betraying his country of Norway to support the Nazis even as Vidkun Quisling did), Knut Hamsun Remembers America: Essays And Stories 1885-1949 is inherently interesting presentation of thirteen essays and stories based on Hamsun's experiences during the four years he spent in the United States when he was a young man. Translated into English and edited for a contemporary readership by Richard Nelson Current, these individual pieces reflect the negative side of "Yankeeland" all too well, though they are not unilaterally anti-American, and some even recall fond images. Knut Hamsun Remembers America is recommended for its gripping and absorbing perspectives on American civilization, while reflecting Hamsun's anti-Americanism in his perceptions and writings. ... Read more


14. The Follinglo Dog Book : A Norwegian Pioneer Story from Iowa (American Land and Life Series)
by Peder Gustav Tjernagel
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 087745678X
Catlog: Book (1999-06-01)
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Sales Rank: 971568
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Follinglo Dog Book both is and is not about dogs. The dogs are certainly here: from Milla to Chip the Third, we encounter a procession of heroic if often unfortunate creatures who, along with their immigrant masters, led a hard life on the nineteenth-century American frontier. However, if you pick up this book thinking it will offer a heartwarming read about canine experiences, you will find yourself reinformed by the way it unfolds.

Instead, these are the stories of a Norwegian pioneer family that came in 1860 to settle the Iowa prairie on a homestead called Follinglo Farm in Story County, Iowa. In the Tjernagels' experience one may read a chronicle of the state, the region, and the nation. Arriving in Iowa in what was still the age of wooden equipment and animal power, the Tjernagels witnessed each successive revolution on the land. They built homes and barns, cultivated the land, and encountered every manner of natural disaster from prairie fires to blizzards. Through the struggles and setbacks, Peder Gustav Tjernagel's stories sparkle with boyhood pranks and adventures, in which the family dogs frequently play a role.

Readers will discover a cast of Norwegian relatives and neighbors, including a Herculean uncle, Store Per (Big Pete), who could lift a cow by its horns; a mysterious aunt, Stora Fastero (Big Sister), whose arrival signaled that a baby was soon to be born; and Elling Eilain, the walking Lutheran apostle. And, of course, there are the dogs who shepherd, protect, and even baby-sit the residents of Follinglo Farm.

In his foreword to The Follinglo Dog Book, Wayne Franklin, professor of English at Northeastern University, places the book in its historical context and addresses our changing attitudes toward humane treatment of house pets since the nineteenth century. Peter Tjernagel Harstad, Tjernagel's grandson and director of the Indiana Historical Society, provides an afterword to this edition.

The Follinglo Dog Book is part of the American Land and Life Series edited by Wayne Franklin. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A well written reminder of home
I'm originally from Iowa, and of Norwegian ancestry to boot, so I took a chance and ordered this book. I'm very glad I did. The book seems to start out slow ... it goes through a pedigree of the Tjernagel family. But when I got to the dog stories, I was glad for the background. The book is thoroughly charming and it put me in mind of stories my grandfather used to tell. Peder Gustav's fine character and humor shine through the narrative and when the book is finished, you wish you lived next door to his ancestors. I believe that even the Danes and Swedes would like this book. O' jah, you betcha ... Read more


15. Hans Christian Andersen : The Life of a Storyteller
by Jackie Wullschlager
list price: $19.00
our price: $12.92
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Asin: 0226917479
Catlog: Book (2002-06-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 369992
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Beloved by generations of children and adults around the world for tales such as "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes," Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) revolutionized children's literature. Although others before him had collected and retold folk stories and fairy tales, Andersen was the first to create the stories himself, instilling a previously stilted genre with new humor, wisdom, and pathos.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and other original sources (many never before translated from the Danish), Wullschlager shows in this compelling, extensively researched biography how Andersen's writings--darker and more diverse than previously recognized--reflected the complexities of his life, a far cry from the "happily ever after" of a fairy tale. As we follow in his footsteps from Golden Age Copenhagen to the princely courts of Germany and the villas of southern Italy, Andersen becomes a figure every bit as fascinating as a character from one of his stories--a gawky, self-pitying, and desperate man, but also one of the most gifted storytellers the world has ever known.

"
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Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars An Artist who was Larger than Life or Rational Analysis
No true artist is really ever content in the age in which they live. Artists naturally resist time, space and matter. Given that, living in Europe during the 1800s must have been tedious for a man of Hans Christian Andersen's (b. 1805, d. 1875), passion and vision. In Andersen's case, writing became his way of transcending matter, of becoming timeless and immortal.

Author Jackie Wullschlager writes a thoroughly researched biography of the quirky genius. While I loved this book, I gave it three stars because I completely disagree with her premise that Andersen was a "victim" of classism and elitism and that his work was inspired in opposition to this.

Andersen pushed gender, sexual, social and artistic boundries so effortlessly that I have to believe it was instinctive not contrived. Isn't it every artists' lament that they are misunderstood? And isn't it every biographer's urge to explain it for them? All artists share the very same yearnings, complications, misunderstandings, restlessness and even nuttiness that Andersen did.

Quite simply there is no answer as to what informs any of their work. It just is. Mortals like us have to accept their magic gracefully. I certainly wish Wullschlager had.

5-0 out of 5 stars J. Wullschlager's Hans Christian Andersen - our dear friend
A well-researched critical, yet sympathetic biography of the complex brilliance which was Hans Christian Andersen.
When you reach the pages describing his death, you feel like you have lost a dear friend. HCA was known for his children's fiction, but in fact, many of his works are for adults. This biography is particularly interesting as it gives some insight into his little known adult works, together with his character, and places his work in the cultural context in Europe in which it found itself.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good biography of a flawed subject
Although this is a highly readable, extremely informative biography, the death of my Hollywood-derived impressions of Hans Christian Anderson, as personified by Danny Kaye, was a tortured one.

As Wullschlager clearly illustrates, Anderson was not a very likeable character. Easily wounded and quick to take offense (even where it was unwarranted), strangely self-assured to the point of embarrassing those around him with his pomposity and silliness (if not himself), he seems to have been almost incapable of giving the same friendship that he demanded of others. Even so, Wullschlager succeeds in making him sympathetic. Rather than try to make excuses for his behavior, she just lays out the facts and presents him as he was. She is particularly effective when she associates events in Anderson's life with the fairy tales and repeating literary themes they inspired.

That Anderson was able to transform his inner demons into timeless, allegorical tales that are both touching and uplifting is remarkable. That he was able to do so after having overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles in his background and early education marks him for the genius he was-warts and all.

This is a very good biography of an unusual, but brilliant, story-teller.

5-0 out of 5 stars The first comprehensive study of Andersen and his work
Others collected folk stories and retold them; but Hans Christian Andersen's efforts stood out from his peers in that he was the first to create fairy stories himself. Surprisingly, this is the first comprehensive study of Andersen and his work to be published in English, telling of his life and poverty, his struggle to achieve fame, and the psychological forces which drove him to keep on producing. A fascinating and different portrait of the man evolves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enthralling.
A heartbreaking and page-turning account of the original Ugly Duckling -- Andersen's own awkward, striving, half-mad character, as it turns out, informs his best known stories, nearly all of which involve an outsider trying to penetrate rigid, hypocritical society. Tales like The Emperor's New Clothes and The Little Mermaid, in their original form (Disney versions will be even more unwatchable once you read this book) were clearly understood by contemporaries in 19th-century Copenhagen as the brilliant and vituperative satires they were. An impressive book. ... Read more


16. Dear Danish Recipes
by Michelle Spencer
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0941016536
Catlog: Book (1988-07-01)
Publisher: Penfield Press
Sales Rank: 250534
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This "quick-flip" spiral bound recipe book is the same size as your recipe cards. Contains recipes, facts and cooking hints from contributors of Danish heritage. A great gift or "stocking stuffer" for Danish-American friends and relatives. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sample Wonderful Danish Recipes
Dear Danish Recipes, in the popular recipe-card file Stocking Stuffer format, is full of the best recipes and notes about Danish foods and culture. Compiled by Michelle Nagle Spencer, a Scandinavian American with a love a gourmet cooking. Dear Danish Recipes contains recipes, facts, and cooking hints from contributors of strong Danish heritage. The cover features calligraphy and traditional red hearts by Esther Feske.

In addition to wonderful recipes, Dear Danish Recipes also includes information on Danish American culture, Sites to See, such as The Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa, and Danish Table Prayers which gives a reader a true sense of Danish heritage. This book is a must for chefs and tourists alike

The recipes are wonderful individually or to create a full Danish meal! Included are a variety of soups such as Split Pea and Danish Soup Dumplings. Served with a homemade Rye Bread, this is a hearty meal for those cold days! The Appetizers and Snacks section has wonderful suggestions for your next get-together. Try a Cheese Buffet that serves up to twelve people, or a Salmon Log. For a main entrée, Shrimp au Gratin with Sugar Browned Potatoes and a Spinach Soufflé make for a wonderful meal. Top it off with Danish Tea Cakes for dessert!

Dear Danish Recipes is excellent for personal collections and as a memento of Danish American culture. ... Read more


17. Fly Fishing the River of Second Chances: Life, Love, and a River in Sweden
by Jennifer Olsson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312313152
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 221735
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jennifer Olsson had a busy life in Bozeman, Montana. Mother to a young son and running a tackle shop alongside her husband, she was also much in demand as a fly-fishing guide. Then a letter arrived from a Swedish river-keeper named Lars. He had found Jennifer's name in a brochure and thought that inviting this well-known American fishing guide to visit his stretch of river---once nearly ruined by logging and now making a comeback---might be a terrific public relations coup.

At first, Jennifer considered tossing the letter out with the junk mail. Reasons not to go were legion, beginning with a fully booked guide season and no extra shop help. Besides, what did Sweden have to offer a fly fisher from the hallowed trout waters of the American West? Lars, however, was persistent. Late one night, in apparent ignorance of the time difference between Sweden and Montana, he called to follow up. Listening to his voice on the answering machine, Jennifer made one of those decisions that change life instantly and forever. She picked up the phone and said she would come.

This wonderful memoir provides us with a true "and then . . ." story.Jennifer went to Sweden and fell in love---with the country, the river, and with its keeper. Jennifer and Lars Olsson venture into a cross-cultural fly-fishing life, beginning with an attempt on Jennifer's part to wade the chilling but bracing currents of rural Sweden. Here people speak sparingly (if at all), paint their houses in one of two colors (one predominates), and seem curiously immune to mosquitoes (in numbers beyond counting). They are passionate about berry picking, barn dances, moose hunts, and a delicacy called surströmming, or sour herring---so toxic that it is best eaten only where there is ample ventilation and a ready source of fresh water. When she isn't fishing the river for grayling (a cousin of the trout), Jennifer explores her village, discovering a place and its inhabitants that time almost forgot. When she gets invited to participate in the annual moose hunt, Jennifer knows she has truly been accepted.

Fly Fishing the River of Second Chances is about starting over, about navigating our way when our choices take us in over our heads. Delightful, sometimes bittersweet, often hilarious, and always deeply affectionate, here is a portrait of Sweden and a memoir about second chances that no reader will forget.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Reinforcing the stereotype
In case you didn't know: Swedes are bipolar herring-munchers who live deep inside the forest in little red houses without indoor plumbing. The Swedish men always prefer to live with their mom until she dies - sometimes longer... In some cases though, in their mid-forties when they hit a mid-life crisis, they go to Thailand to buy a bride and bring home to the mosquito infested village. Swedes rarely say anything at all, if they do it is something shallow about the weather or expressing the urge to get stupid-drunk on moonshine. Swedes also hunt or collect everything they eat i.e. moose and lingonberries. Swedes are indeed primitive, but really harmless and fun to watch. This is the portrait Jennifer Olsson paints of Sweden.

The general problem with this book is that Olsson hasn't bothered to look outside the little village she resides in to get an idea of what life is like in the rest of Sweden, but she frequently makes statements like "Three out of four Swedes prefer moonshine, fermented herring and cloudberries over burgers, fries and a super-sized coke". The entire book gives a disturbingly distorted view of life in Sweden.

If I set out to replicate her mission from a Swedish perspective I would have to abandon my dysfunctional family in Sweden and move in with a salmon fishing guide in Alaska preferably in a native Indian territory. Then I would report to my fellow Swedes about the wildly exotic, "Americans" living in teepee's hunting buffalo on dirt bikes, making a living on revenues from tax-free cigarette sales and having wild parties in the chief's double-wide - and then claim that:" This is America and this is how Americans live and interact with each other!

Instead of dozens of anecdotes about all the "cute-but-weird-Swedes" and their habits it would have been nice to know more about the fishing, how your son reacted to this drastic change in environment and your friends responses. Now we are stuck with an overly ego-centric Bill Bryson-like burlesque but without the depth, irony and humor he masters.

I'm sorry to break it to you - but almost anyone can join a moose hunt if they ask politely and promise to shut up for the duration of the hunt.

Gunnar - a typical Swede

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest and funny
This book is a lovely memoir. It's honest, funny, poignant and filled with great details about life (and food!) in rural Sweden. It is also supremely optimistic--about the possibilities of love and the possibilities of rehabilitating a stream that had been damaged by years of logging abuse. This is a story about restoration, personal and environmental. A very enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fly Fishing the River of Second Chances
Jennifer puts something for every reader in this delightful novel. She brings back memories of family time; both good and bad. She entices the reader into the challenge of starting life over again, under any circumstance. The aspect of fly fishing is generously covered throughout, but one doesn't have to be a fan to completely indulge the novel. Hats off to Jennifer and Lars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sincere
Life, love and a river in Sweden are good words to describe this book. This isn't your typical book on fly fishing. Some fly fishing authors get too caught up in all the minute details of the sport. And, unlike most men, Jennifer doesn't try to impress the reader with her mastery of fly fishing. Jennifer describes fly fishing in its simplest form, and it even takes a back seat to some of the more important things in life, such as her love for Lars. This book is about romance, understanding the Swedish culture, and the life of a close knit community in the Village of Gimdalen. If you're looking for fly recommendations, latin names, or the hatch reports for the River Gim along the section called Idsjöströmmen you're looking in the wrong place. If you're looking for a heartfelt, romantic story that takes Jennifer across the ocean to find love then sit back next to the fireplace and read on. I would gladly spend my time fly fishing with Jennifer and Lars any day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful
Fly Fishing the River of Second Chances will leave you with a feeling as warm as holding a kitten to your cheek. Olsson contrasts her life in the United States with life in a tiny village in Sweden where she, a professional fly fishing guide, discovers a love "forever and always". Her second chance. Her deepest love. She writes with warmth and in plain language how she learned to live on two continents. Her affection for her Swedish village and its inhabitants comes flying off the pages. ... Read more


18. On the Viking Trail: Travels in Scandinavian America
by Don Lago
list price: $27.95
our price: $17.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0877458928
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Sales Rank: 246958
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When his father developed Alzheimer’s disease, Don Lago realized that the stories and traditions of his Swedish ancestors would be lost along with the rest of his father’s memories. Haunted by this inevitable tragedy, Lago set out to fight back against forgetting by researching and reclaiming his long-lost Scandinavian roots.

Beginning his quest with a visit to his ancestral home of Gränna, Sweden, Lago explores all facets of Scandinavian America—Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Icelandic—along the way. He encounters Icelanders living in the Utah desert, a Titanic victim buried beneath a gigantic Swedish coffeepot in Iowa, an Arkansas town named after the famous Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, a real-life Legoland in southern California, and other unique remnants of America’s Scandinavian past. Visits to Sigurd Olson’s legendary cabin on the banks of Burntside Lake in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and Carl Sandburg’s birthplace in Galesburg, Illinois, further provide Lago with an acute sense of the Scandinavian values that so greatly influenced, and continue to influence, American society.

More than just a travel memoir, On the Viking Trail places Scandinavian immigrants and their history within the wider sweep of American culture. Lago’s perceptive eye and amusing tales remind readers of all ethnic backgrounds that to truly appreciate America one must never forget its immigrant past. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Must read" for all Scandinavian Americans
I'm only half way through but I must stop to urge Scandinavian Americans everywhere to read and reread this wise, wonderful and informative exploration of what it means to be a Scandinavian American. Belongs in the library of everyone with a drop of Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian or Swedish blood, or mixture thereof. ... Read more


19. Leif Eriksson (On My Own Biography)
by Shannon Knudsen
list price: $5.95
our price: $5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1575058286
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: First Avenue Editions
Sales Rank: 975383
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20. Alva Myrdal: A Daughter's Memoir (Radcliffe Biography Series)
by Sissela Bok
list price: $17.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201608154
Catlog: Book (1992-07-01)
Publisher: Perseus Books
Sales Rank: 919939
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