I’ve been reading a lot in various online publications about Nordic lifestyles. Articles that throw around terms like Hygge, Lagom and Fika. I also enjoy Nordic Noir so I thought it would be good to read something Nordic in which no one dies. My library had Lagom by Linnea Dunne and How to Hygge by Signe Johansen. How to Hygge had quite a big recipe section, so it might be more of a book to buy if you’d like to try the recipes. Both of these were interesting, quick reads, with nods towards finding balance, minimalism, a sense of community and connection, and outdoor living. They certainly make the lifestyle and more importantly the priorities of Nordic countries sound idyllic, how accurate they are I can’t really say. I found the interesting conversation to be less about why Hygge is so desirable/beneficial and more about why American lifestyle is so determinedly headed in the opposite direction, more stress, more working hours, less time off, less socialization. Two interesting reads for anyone interested in lifestyle trends or who reads all these Nordic murder mysteries and want to see something less grim about Nordic life.
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty is a closed room mystery set in space. I am not a big Science Fiction reader but the idea that it was a mystery just with a science fiction setting appealed to me so I picked this one up from the library. The crew of ship headed to a new world with a cargo of humans to populate it as Earth is in its death throes awaken in their cloning pods amidst a grisly scene of death. Instead of the pristine cloning lab there is blood and bodies everywhere. The lynch pin of this story is cloning. The conflicts on earth are between clones and humans and the crew are all clones. They have to be to survive the long journey. The idea being as one ages and dies the next clone awakes complete with the memories of each of its predecessors. This was OK, but it was much more to the science fiction side than the mystery side and that is not really my thing. Lots of discussion of cloning, cloning politics, mind maps and the computer programming that goes into them. Science Fiction fans will probably like it as it does have strong characters and an interesting plot.
Dead Silent by Helen Durrant is this month’s read over at the Kindle English Mystery Club on Goodreads. This is book 2 in the Calladine and Bayliss series. I have not read Book 1 so this is my introduction to the characters. The main protagonist of Calladine is a good character with conflicts occurring in his love life, in his relationship with his adult daughter, in the impact having a criminal relative is having on his career and in dealing with the death of his mother and her deathbed revelations. All this and a missing child and mysterious, horribly tortured body found at the scene of an auto accident.
I found the torture over the top, way over the top and not really realistic. Dehydration would have killed the victims before anything else. I thought the pacing seemed rushed somehow and it didn’t really feel like the story flowed naturally. Thrillers are usually fast paced but this just seemed to race towards the end at the expense of the story. The storyline of the missing child felt incomplete, although perhaps it will be explored in the next book? An ok read.