The Almost Nearly Perfect People

Author: Michael Booth
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 9781250061973
Release Date: 2015-01-27
Genre: Travel

NAMED THE #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, A WITTY, INFORMATIVE, AND POPULAR TRAVELOGUE ABOUT THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES AND HOW THEY MAY NOT BE AS HAPPY OR AS PERFECT AS WE ASSUME Journalist Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians for more than ten years, and he has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. In this timely book he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success, and, most intriguing of all, what they think of one another. Why are the Danes so happy, despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes? In The Almost Nearly Perfect People Michael Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, and what their quirks and foibles are, and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized by suffocating parochialism, and populated by extremists of various shades. They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn't easy being Scandinavian.

The Almost Nearly Perfect People

Author: Michael Booth
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781448192281
Release Date: 2014-02-06
Genre: Travel

The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. 'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is the richest country on earth. 5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic and hygge that has engulfed the rest of the world. He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades. 'The next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times Winner of the Best Narrative Travel Book Award from the British Guild of Travel Writers

The Almost Nearly Perfect People

Author: Michael Booth
Publisher:
ISBN: 0224089625
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Humor

The Danes are the happiest people in the world, and pay the highest taxes. 'Neutral' Sweden is one of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. Finns have the largest per capita gun ownership after the US and Yemen. 54 per cent of Icelanders believe in elves. Norway is the richest country on earth. 5 per cent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the rest of the world. He leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades.

Fishing In Utopia

Author: Andrew Brown
Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781847085672
Release Date: 2011-08-04
Genre: Travel

From the 1960s to the 1980s, Sweden was an affluent, egalitarian country envied around the world. Refugees were welcomed, even misfit young Englishmen could find a place there. Andrew Brown spent part of his childhood in Sweden during the 1960s. In the 1970s he married a Swedish woman and worked in a timber mill while helping to raise their small son. Fishing became his passion and his escape. In the mid-1980s his marriage and the country fell apart. The Prime Minister was assassinated. The welfare system crumbled along with the industries that had supported it. Twenty years later, Andrew Brown travelled the length of Sweden in search of the country he had loved, and then hated, and now found he loved again.

Super Sushi Ramen Express

Author: Michael Booth
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781250099808
Release Date: 2016-09-06
Genre: Travel

From the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People comes a fascinating and funny culinary journey through Japan Japan is arguably the preeminent food nation on earth; it’s a mecca for the world’s greatest chefs and has more Michelin stars than any other country. The Japanese go to extraordinary lengths and expense to eat food that is marked both by its exquisite preparation and exotic content. Their creativity, dedication, and courage in the face of dishes such as cod sperm and octopus ice cream are only now beginning to be fully appreciated in the sushi and ramen-saturated West, as are the remarkable health benefits of the traditional Japanese diet. Food and travel writer Michael Booth takes the culinary pulse of contemporary Japan, learning fascinating tips and recipes that few westerners have been privy to before. Accompanied by two fussy eaters under the age of six, he and his wife travel the length of the country, from bear-infested, beer-loving Hokkaido to snake-infested, seaweed-loving Okinawa. Along the way, they dine with—and score a surprising victory over—sumo wrestlers, pamper the world’s most expensive cows with massage and beer, share a seaside lunch with free-diving female abalone hunters, and meet the greatest chefs working in Japan today. Less happily, they witness a mass fugu slaughter, are traumatized by an encounter with giant crabs, and attempt a calamitous cooking demonstration for the lunching ladies of Kyoto.

Viking Economics

Author: George Lakey
Publisher: Melville House
ISBN: 9781612195377
Release Date: 2016-07-12
Genre: Business & Economics

Liberals worldwide invoke Scandinavia as a promised land of equality, while most conservatives fear it as a hotbed of liberty-threatening socialism. But the left and right can usually agree on one thing: that the Nordic system is impossible to replicate elsewhere. The US and UK are too big, or too individualistic, or too . . . something. In Viking Economics—perhaps the most fun economics book you’ve ever read—George Lakey dispels these myths. He explores the inner-workings of the Nordic economies that boast the world’s happiest, most productive workers, and explains how, if we can enact some of the changes the Scandinavians fought for surprisingly recently, we, too, can embrace equality in our economic policy.

The Nordic Theory of Everything

Author: Anu Partanen
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062316561
Release Date: 2016-06-28
Genre: Political Science

A Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asks Americans to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer, happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and their children. Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life—from buying a cell phone and filing taxes to education and childcare—was much more complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland. At first, she attributed her crippling anxiety to the difficulty of adapting to a freewheeling new culture. But as she got to know Americans better, she discovered they shared her deep apprehension. To understand why life is so different in the U.S. and Finland, Partanen began to look closely at both. In The Nordic Theory of Everything, Partanen compares and contrasts life in the United States with life in the Nordic region, focusing on four key relationships—parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens. She debunks criticism that Nordic countries are socialist “nanny states,” revealing instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do. Partanen wants to open Americans’ eyes to how much better things can be—to show her beloved new country what it can learn from her homeland to reinvigorate and fulfill the promise of the American dream—to provide the opportunity to live a healthy, safe, economically secure, upwardly mobile life for everyone. Offering insights, advice, and solutions, The Nordic Theory of Everything makes a convincing argument that we can rebuild our society, rekindle our optimism, and restore true freedom to our relationships and lives.

A Short History of Technology from the Earliest Times to A D 1900

Author: Thomas Kingston Derry
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 9780486274720
Release Date: 1960
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Highly readable, profusely illustrated survey relates technology to history of every age: food production, metalworking, mining, steam power, transportation, electricity, and much more. 354 black-and-white illustrations. 1961 edition.

History of Scandinavia

Author: T. K. Derry
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816637997
Release Date: 2000
Genre: History

Traces the history of Scandinavian countries, emphasizing common features in their heritage.

How to Be Danish

Author: Patrick Kingsley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476755496
Release Date: 2014-02-04
Genre: History

Part reportage, part travelogue, this is a fascinating introduction to contemporary Danish culture for anyone who wants to know more about the world’s happiest nation. Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it’s the home of The Killing and Noma, the world’s best (and most eccentric) restaurant. We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about the Danes themselves? Part reportage, part travelogue, How to Be Danish fills in the gaps—an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans politics, television, food, architecture, and design.

Scandinavia A History

Author: Ewan Butler
Publisher: New Word City
ISBN: 9781612309538
Release Date: 2016-04-12
Genre: History

Here is the dramatic story of Scandinavia - from its earliest Germanic origins and Viking sea raids to its battles for independence and its involvement in World War II. Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, writes award-winning historian Ewan Butler writes, struggled through unions and separations, with both outsiders and each other, developing their own personalities and languages yet retaining their ancient connections.

Scandinavians In Search of the Soul of the North

Author: Robert Ferguson
Publisher: The Overlook Press
ISBN: 9781468314830
Release Date: 2017-09-20
Genre: History

A journey of discovery though two millennia of Scandinavia’s history, culture and society, "told with deep knowledge and an intoxicating passion" (BBC). Scandinavia is the epitome of cool: we fill our homes with Nordic furniture; we envy their humane social welfare system and their healthy outdoor lifestyle; we glut ourselves on their crime fiction; even their strangely attractive melancholia seems to express a stoic, commonsensical acceptance of life’s vicissitudes. But how valid is this outsider’s view of Scandinavia, and how accurate our picture of life in Scandinavia today? Scandinavians follows a chronological progression across the Northern centuries: the Vendel era of Swedish prehistory; the age of the Vikings; the Christian conversions of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland; the unified Scandinavian state of the late Middle Ages; the sea-change of the Reformation; the kingdom of Denmark-Norway; King Gustav Adolphus and the age of Sweden’s greatness; the cultural golden age of Ibsen, Strindberg and Munch; the impact of the Second World War; Scandinavia’s postwar social democratic nirvana; and the terror attacks of Anders Behring Breivik. Scandinavians is also a personal investigation, with award-winning author Robert Ferguson as the ideal companion as he explores wide-ranging topics such as the power and mystique of Scandinavian women, from the Valkyries to the Vikings; from Nora and Hedda to Garbo and Bergman. This digressive technique is familiar from the writings of W. G. Sebald, and in Ferguson’s hands it is deployed with particular felicity, accessibility, and deftness, richly illuminating our understanding of modern Scandinavia, its society, politics, culture, and temperament.

Swedish Mentality

Author: Åke Daun
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 9780271041506
Release Date: 1996-01-10
Genre: Social Science

Is there a distinctly Swedish national character? Are Swedes truly shy, unemotional, conflict-avoiding, melancholy, and dour? Swedish Mentality, the English translation of the hugely successful book published in Sweden in 1989, considers the reality behind the myth. The author, Åke Daun, is a respected ethnologist who is sometimes referred to as the "guru" of Swedish character. In recent years, it has become popular to discuss Swedishness and Swedish identity. The advent of the European Union and the increasing presence of immigrant refugees in Sweden have fueled public debate on the distinctiveness of Swedish culture. Daun, however, goes beyond stereotype, drawing upon statistics gathered over more than a decade of research. The result is an entertaining and engagingly written book. Throughout, Daun quotes from interviews with native Swedes and immigrants as well as from travel accounts, folklore, and proverbs. We learn why some Swedes might prefer to walk up a flight of stairs rather than share an elevator with a neighbor and why some gain satisfaction from walking alone in the woods or going fishing. Daun describes a range of factors influencing Swedish character, including population composition, rural background, and even climate. He recognizes behavioral variations related to gender, age, class, and region, and he considers subtleties of individual character as well. Swedish Mentality should interest a wide array of readers, whether of Swedish descent or not.

Scandinavia and Finland

Author:
Publisher: Michelin Travel Publications
ISBN: 2067123300
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Travel

This guide presents an introduction to Scandinavia, its people and culture. It contains information on what to see, where to stay and how to get around, as well as top sights and attractions.

The Year of Living Danishly

Author: Helen Russell
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781848318137
Release Date: 2015-01-08
Genre: Travel

'A hugely enjoyable romp through the pleasures and pitfalls of setting up home in a foreign land' PD Smith, Guardian When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From childcare, education, food and interior design (not to mention 'hygge') to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.