Thursday, April 8, 2010



The Black Sheep Dances is challenging you to its first

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2010!

Explore new locations and new cultural traditions, from the land that brought us LEGOS, Ikea and Carlsberg beer, among other essential treasures.

This challenge starts now and runs through December 31, 2010.

Don't know where to start? Scandinavian authors are hot right now (even if the temperatures might be chilly). Stieg Larsson, Per Petterson, Dag Solstad, Hakan Nasser, Henning Mankell, Linda Olsson, Arnaldur Indridason and Knut Hamsun all have great books to get you started. Email me for titles if you get stumped. Once a month I'll throw out some titles and some interesting trivia.  TITLES DO NOT HAVE TO BE CRIME, ANY GENRE OF THE AREA IS FINE.

Reading goal:
"Skal" 6 books before year end
Leave a comment to sign up with your email address and goal. Sign up as a follower as well. I'll contact you and provide a badge for your blog if you wish (just ask). Additionally, I'll have a sidebar widget listing participants by their name or blog name.

There will be prizes to all who complete the 6 book challenge. Prizes not selected yet, but most likely a new book by a Scandinavian author. Maybe a jar of herring. Suggestions accepted!

EDITED TO ADD: You can count books that you were already reading as of March 1, 2010 and any books started since then that fit the criteria of Scandinavian fiction Please make sure your name is on leftside bar of particpants and contact me if not.

Some titles to get you started:

•Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
•The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
•Astrid & Veronika, Linda Olsson
•Shyness & Dignity, Dag Solstad
•Suggest via email your own favorite titles

Email me with your titles as you complete them. I'll keep a file of participants and titles read and if anyone wants to have a discussion or share thoughts on a title, let me know. Giveaways related to the Challenge will automatically enter any participants...but there may be special giveaways not related that will require you to enter separately.
Thanks for the enthusiastic response, and please know I am open to suggestions as this is my first hosting of a Reading Challenge.


  1. Just signed up as a follower & would love to participate in the challenge. I've been on a Scandanavian kick since the beginning of the year and have probably already read 6 since 3/1, lol.

    javagrey at gmail dot com

  2. I don't seem to be showing up as a participant. I probably did something wrong. Anyway, I am in and I am counting "The Redbreast" by Jo Nesbo as my first since I read it at the end of March and today I am starting "Tainted Blood" by Arnaldur Indridason

  3. i signed up as a follower as well. will get my acceptance post up later today. for now take a peek at my stieg book dresses.
    vvb32 at
    would also like the badge for the challenge to post.

  4. Please sign me up for the challenge - have added your blog in my follows.

  5. here's my acceptance post with reading list:

  6. Hey Amy,

    I'm back from my big outback adventure and would love to sign up for the challenge. And I'd love the badge for my site, too. (mail me: rhuna9 (((@))

    I will also add you to my blogroll.



  7. Thought I signed up already, but maybe not. I've been reading Scandinavian mysteries for about a year now, and hope to read some more-
    I'm following your blog on my rss reader- Renee

  8. I'm so behind on everything - but I'm in! I will read LOTS of Scandinavian mysteries, is that good enough? I just got a new Finnish translation of a Jarkko Sipila crime novel and am very much looking forward to reading Arnaldur Indridason's Hypothermia and Jo Nesbo's The Snowman in the near future.

  9. Hi, I'd like to join! Even though I live in Norway, I've mostly been reading American and Japanese writers over the past few years. I haven't been a big fan of Norwegian crime writers, but have started reading Indridason (Icelandic). Iceland usually isn't considered a part of Scandinavia, but I see you've listed him here, so I guess it's ok.

  10. Hi Amy, in my earlier comment above, I was recommending authors that I have read previously Since March this year, I have read:

    The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell (Sweden)

    Snow Angels by James Thompson (Finland)
    (May not count as the author is American who has lived in Finland for some years, and the book was written in English not Finnish originally)

    The Locked Room by Maj Sjowell and Per Wahloo (Sweden)

    The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg (Sweden)

    I shall be adding Norway, Denmark and Iceland soon!

    Best wishes, Maxine.

  11. Amy - Not sure if we have to send you our book selection to partipate in the Scandinavian Reading Challenge. Just in case I have posted the books I'm planning to read in my blog:

  12. I'd love to join: kasmith9 at

  13. Just read - The Last Fix by K O Dahl (Norway).

  14. Hi Amy
    I think I've had some technical problems, I signed up weeks ago and don't see my name on the list of participants. Also, I use bloglines to keep track of my blogs and yours didn't show up until today. Anyway, I'd like to participate, I've been reading Scandinavian crime fiction exclusively for the last year! And now that I count from March 1, I've finished more than the 6 books:
    The Redbreast Jo Nesbo
    Nemesis " "
    The Devil's Star "
    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Stieg Larsson
    The Redeemer Jo Nesbo
    The Snowman Jo Nesbo
    The Man from Beijing Henning Mankell
    All the books were terrific reads, and I'm now regretting that I got the last 2 Jo Nesbo books from Amazon UK because I couldn't wait!

    I'm enjoying your blog!

  15. Hi Amy.

    Do books that are not translated into English count? My favourite Danish authors have not been translated into English yet.

  16. Dorte,
    Go ahead and count doesn't matter if they are in English or not. But please share your authors and titles so we can get an idea of what to look for (when they are translated!).

  17. Well, I´d better sign up then. But I am going to follow the Scandinavian definition of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden and Denmark :D

  18. What a great idea. I have been reading Scandinavian crime novels for the last 18 months and have posted a complete list on my blog. Since 1st March I have read Jo Nesbo - The Snowman; Mari Junstedt - Unknown and Camilla Lackberg - The Ice Princess (still reading).

    Thoroughly enjoyed The Snowman and consider it to be the best Harry Hole novel yet.

    Will try to keep in touch - now where did I put that book?

  19. Hi Amy,

    Please sign me up for the Challenge (as "phebj"). I read The Summer Book by Tove Jansson in March so I'm already one down. I signed up as a follower too. Looking forward to reading more Scandinavian authors this year!


  20. In for a penny, in for a pound...please sign me up I've read 2/3 of the Steig Larsson series but would love to extend my Scandinavian repertoire!

  21. Please sign me up for the challenge at

  22. I have followed and would like to be part of the challenge. Not sure how many I will read but have a few on my list already. One in particular which is already started.

  23. I have now completed The Killer's Art by Mari Jungstedt (Sweden) and have posted a review of The Library of Shadows by Mikkael Birkegaard (Denmark).

    Still not sure whether I need to do more than just log the books here?

  24. Great idea! I'm up for this challenge. At the moment I am reading Woman With Birthmark by Håkan Nesser. So far a very good and unusual read.

  25. I've completed the challenge Amy.
    My post is here

  26. Hi Amy I have completed the challenge and my post is at:

  27. I'd like to sign up for the challenge. My first book: Out Stealing Horse by Per Petterson

  28. I forgot to add that I'd like to have a badge for my site. Thanks.

  29. Thank you for stopping by my site! The Scandinavian Reading Challenge is a great idea. I read the three Stieg Larsson books earlier this summer. I absolutely loved them, and I was left wondering why I haven't read more Scandinavian literature. I may join up w/ the challenge sometime in Oct or Nov.

  30. Hi—

    Just finished The Blood Split
    By Asa Larsson
    and posted a review.

  31. Just finished The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist - excellent!

    here is the link

  32. Just finished When The Devil Holds the Candle by Karen Fossum

  33. Forgot to add another completed book: Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson

  34. Two more books completed:
    I Curse the River of Time
    by Per Petterson

    and Silence of the Grave by Indridason


  35. I would like to sign up for this challenge.
    May be a stupid question, but do i need to have a blog to participate?

    Well, anyway. I can start from scratch - but i have already read 3 Scandinavian books this summer.

    Knut Hamsun - Hunger
    Haldòr Laxness - The Atom Station
    Linn Ullmann - Grace

  36. My hubby has read The Devil's Star - by Jo Nesbo.

    Probably not going to make it to the 6 this year.

  37. I am a rabid fan of scandinavian "mysteries", having caught the bug a number of years ago through Henning Mankell.
    Recently read:
    Demon of Dakar - Hakan Nesser
    Between the Summer of Longing etc. - LW Persson
    Laughing Policeman - Stowall and Persson
    Ice Princess - Camilla Lackberg
    I Curse the River of Time - Per Petterson
    Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo
    Nemesis - Jo Nesbo

    So many more on my list!!!

    Janice Grubin

  38. I've now completed my challenge. I read The Water's Edge, Don't Look Back and Bad Intentions all by Karin Fossum. Ice Moon by Jan Costin Wagner, The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna and Jar City by Arnaldur Indridasson. Thanks Amy, it was great fun!

  39. I finished the challenge and listed all the books read and links to my reviews.

    Books read:
    Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

    Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson

    Blood Split by Asa Larsson

    When the Devil Holds the Candle by Karen Fossum

    Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason

    I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson

    To Siberia by Per Petterson


  40. Wow, I found this topic particularly interesting.