During 2014, overwhelmingly many books that go into the depth on narrow themes were released in Norway. Literature relating only to knitted jackets, Scandinavian smokeless tobacco snus, barns, laws, crows, fjords, dead inventors and many other quirky topics have become quite a trend in the book market.
ThorNews present a list of books that take the fussiest things with great seriousness. (PS: English titles translated by ThorNews)
«Norges låver» (Norwegian Barns) by Eva Røyrane. The book contains over a thousand photographs of Norwegian barns. (Editor’s note: The title is a pun derived from the official book of Norwegian Laws. Låver pronounces the same way as lover, meaning laws.)
«Fjord» by Per Flood. For nearly fifty years, author and photographer Per Flood has been studying the life in the fjords in Western Norway.
«Norges uskrevne lover» (Norway’s Unwritten Laws) by Egil Aslak Aursand Hagerup. In connection with the Norwegian Constitution’s 200 anniversary in 2014, the author has taken the trouble to write down the unwritten laws we relate to in order to maintain a normal every day life.
«Lefseboka: oppskrifter frå heile Noreg» (The Lefse Book: Recipes from All over Norway) by Bodil Nordjore and photographer Mona Gundersen. Book about traditional Lefse.
«Ete fysst» (Eat First) by Gunnar Garfors, Agnete Haaland, Eldrid Lunden, Ronny Brede Aase et al. 18 writers got the key word “Sunnfjord” – a traditional district in Western Norway – and were challenged to write a personal text.
«Lykkens pris: Snus – historien, rusen og nytelsen» (The Price of Happiness: Snus – the Story, Intoxication and Pleasure) by Kjetil Bergman Olsson. A culture historical journey into the history of Snus – a moist powder tobacco product originating from a variant of dry snuff.
«Spikkeboka» (The Whittle Book) by Eivind Falk. DIY on how to make toys and artifacts from branches you can find in the woods.
«Komma: Kommategnets personlighet, historie og regler» (Comma: The Comma Character’s Personality, History and Rules) by Bård Borch Michalsen. The history of comma is several thousand years old. The book is about the importance of making ourselves understood in different media – from text messages to statutes.
«Oppfinnere som døde av sin egen oppfinnelse» (Inventors Killed by Their Own Inventions) by Ola Vikås. Title needs no further explanation.
«Kofteboken – den store koftejakten» (The Kofte Book – The Big Cardigan Sweater Hunt) by Liv Sandvik Jakobsen and Lene Holme Samsøe. This book tells the history of Norwegian knitting tradition and includes patterns.
«Lakris: Mat, drikke, søtsaker» (Licorice – Food, Drink, Sweets) by Elisabeth Johansson. Originally published in Swedish with only recipes containing licorice.
«God tobakk — tøft, sunt og lovlig» (Good Tobacco – Cool, Healthy and Legal) by Knut Are Tvedt. A nostalgic journey back in time when smoking provided a social network and was a symbol of status and success.
«Fletteboka» (The Braid Book) by Bente-Helen Schei. Norway’s first and only book about braided hair dues.
«Gråtass: Traktoren som bygde landet» (Gråtass: The Tractor That Built the Country) by Kjell Ola Dahl. The tractor Gråtass was originally built for small farmers seventy years ago, and was easy to use and maintain. It is still in use. Dahl tells both about the tractor and about the people who care for it.
«Bier og birøkting i by og bygd» (Bees and Beekeeping in Urban and Rural Areas) by Ragna Ribe Jørgensen. A handbook for everyone with a front porch, backyard, garden or cottage who want to learn how to make their own bee yard.
«Hørane og dørane: Dialektordbok fra Dalane» (Hørane og Dørane: Dialect Dictionary from Dalane) by Linda Husveg. Old and new expressions from the Dalane area in Rogaland County, Western Norway.
«En nese for alt: Hunden – menneskets nyttigste venn» (A Nose for Everything: The Dog – Man’s Most Useful Friend) by Frank Rosell. If you have ever wondered why dogs always smell your groin, this book will tell you the answer and a couple of other great things about dogs.
«United States of Cakes: Ekte amerikanske kaker» (United States of Cakes: Genuine American Cakes) by Swedish confectioner and Master Chef Roy Fares. The book, which won Gourmand World Cookbook Award, will give you water in the mouth.
You can read about barns, fjords, snus and other exciting topics (Photo: NRK)
In recent years, several books with quirky topics have been released:
«Ysting i Valdres, sett i norsk og internasjonal sammenheng» (Cheesemaking in Valdres, Seen in Norwegian and International Context) by Helge Gudheim.
«På gress: Komplett guide til den grønnere siden av gjerdet: Gress til pryd, plen, park, idrett, mat og ellers overalt på kloden» (On Grass: The Complete Guide to the Greener Side of the Fence: Ornamental Grass, Lawn, Park, Sports, Food and Everywhere Else on the Planet) by Tor Smaaland.
«Bildilla» (Hooked on Cars) by Eskil Roll and Gunn M. Roll.
«Komlelandet: Ei reise i raspeballen sitt kokevatn» (The Komle Country: A Journey into the Boiling Water of Potato Dumplings) by Kjartan Brügger Bjånesøy.
«Ball, klubb og komle med dott: Kraftkost til kvardag og fest» (Potato Dumplings: Healthy Food for Every Occation) by Gunda Djupvik.
«Måk snø! Alt om snømåkingens redskaper, historie og sjel» (Shovel Snow! Everything About Shoveling Tools, History and Soul) by Bjørn Skomakerstuen and John Smits.
«Til skogs: Blant skiløpere og soppsankere, jegere og joggere, bønder og baroner og vanlige folk» (To the Forest: Among Skiers and Mushroom Pickers, Hunters and Joggers, Farmers and Barons and Commoners) by Haakon Bull-Hansen.
«Fuglesang» (Birdsong) by Lars Svensson and Jan Pedersen.
«Jeg skal bare ut i boden en tur» (I Am Just Going Out in the Shed for a While) by Bjørn Gabrielsen.
«Norsk etymologisk ordbok» (Norwegian Etymological Dictionary) by Yann de Caprona.
«Hel ved» (Official English title: Solid Wood: All About Chopping, Drying and Stacking Wood — and the Soul of Wood-Burning) by Lars Mytting.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews