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The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days
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The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Iceland in centuries past was a formidable place to live. Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the edge of the inhabitable world, the nation was both isolated and abjectly poor. Centuries of colonisation translated into oppression and subjugation from the colonial overlords, and a hostile climate and repeated natural disasters meant that mere survival was a challenge ...more
144 pages
Published by Enska textasmidjan (first published June 22nd 2014)
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Oct 20, 2014 Braveharlot rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable read, informative, but liberally doused in humor. One of my favorite souvenirs from my trip to Iceland.
Apr 21, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing
My sister and I visited Iceland last year, and since then I've been obsessed with the country. While there, I picked up Alda Sigmundsdottir's The Little Book of the Icelanders and devoured it with much the same obsession I devour mint chocolate chip ice cream. I participated in her IndieGogo campaign to ensure I got a copy of this, her sequel, and have been impatiently waiting by the mailbox for my copy. It came, and I promptly disappeared into my room with a cup of tea and strict warnings to my ...more
Ted Wenskus
Jan 31, 2015 Ted Wenskus rated it it was amazing
Did you know that there is a compound verb in the Icelandic language (borið út) that literally means "left outside somewhere to die"? That this was something common enough in the Iceland of centuries past to warrant the creation of its own verb?

This is just one of the many, many fascinating facts presented in Alda Sigmundsdottir’s wonderful work The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days. Consisting of 50 short essays, the reader is taken on a cultural journey of how Icelanders eked out a
Robin Sencenbach Ferguson
Apr 03, 2015 Robin Sencenbach Ferguson rated it really liked it
What a delightful little book!

Loaned to me by a friend in route to our trip to Iceland, the "Little Book" is fun and quirky and can be enjoyed by a broad audience. "Little Book" is a series of short essays that tell the story of the early Icelanders, how they lived, how they ate, and how, despite both living in poor conditions and eating...anything possible...they still managed to survive and find purpose in life. Other topics include early superstitions(so, so many superstitions), cultural ane
Feb 17, 2015 Katrine rated it it was amazing
I love these 'Little Books'! Alda Sigmundsdottir has followed up 'The Little Book of the Icelanders' with 'The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days' and it's wonderful. The writing style is very casual and highly amusing, and I have to say that I think it is my favourit thing about this book. The content is interesting, don't get me wrong - it's very fascinating to learn more about the Icelanders. How they managed living on that bare rock without the commodities, technologies etc. of ...more
Cenhner Scott
Aug 19, 2015 Cenhner Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: islandia
De mi viaje a Islandia, una de las cosas que me arrepiento es no haberme traído más libros. Son caros los libros allá. Pero debería haberme traído algunos más, y hasta algún libro de fotos. Pero me traje estos dos libritos, uno sobre la sociedad islandesa (que ya lo leí hace unos meses) y este sobre historia. Pero no la historia con datos duros sino la historia social: costumbres, tradiciones, creencias de la sociedad islandesa a comienzos del milenio pasado.
Como está escrito de una forma sumame
A quirky, short little book on the life, beliefs, culture and superstitions of the Icelanders of old.
My two criticisms: 1. Some of the historical aspects (eg washing clothing in urine) were not unique to Iceland. 2. It might have been interesting to know the period in which the little chapter was talking about.
Still if was good enough for me to go and buy the first book in this series.
Julia Fink
Jul 21, 2016 Julia Fink rated it really liked it
Having just returned from Iceland, I loved reading this book. It is an amazing place with amazing people, landscape, and steeped with folklore. I enjoyed it more after I returned so I could imagine the place while I read it. It is a fun, simple read. Read it in a day...a hot summer day reading about a place known for its cooler temps. Perfect.
Suzanne Hansen
Jul 20, 2015 Suzanne Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

I loved it! I love learning about the history of Iceland and it's people. This book mixes fun with facts and keeps your attention. I only wish it was longer!
Jan 04, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it
A lighthearted and hilarious look at just how shitty it was to be an Icelander from basically the time of the settlement until....recently.
Jul 23, 2015 Anfenwick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
I just got off the ferry to Iceland and picked this up in the youth hostel. The lives of Icelanders in the second half of the last millennium really sucked, but the book is great!
Jimmie Lee Johnson
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Sep 01, 2015 Tasha rated it it was amazing
We read this quirky, informative little book aloud while driving around the Ring Road. Loved it.
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“The haymaking officially began at the end of July, when the blowballs had formed on the dandelions.” 0 likes
“It was where they kept their minds active by making up poetry on the spot, which they called að kveðast á - someone would make up the first line of a poem, someone else would make up the next line, and so on.” 0 likes
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