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Read 10 books in Swedish

It might seem odd that I have the item “Read 10 books in Swedish” on my 101-in-1001 list, since I am native speaker of Swedish and not English. Still, I tend to read roughly twenty times as many books in English as I do in Swedish. I entered this item on the list to change that somewhat, because if I want to hone my Swedish skills, reading good literature is essential. Here are the books:

1. Harry Martinson – Aniara
2. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Hundra år av ensamhet
3. Albert Camus – Främlingen
4. Tove Janson – Pappan och havet
5. Catharina Lilliehöök – Mei wenti!
6. Wu Chen’en – Färden till Västern, del 1, Den gyllene cikadan
7. Hjalmar Söderberg – Doktor Glas
8. Michail Bulgakov – Mästaren och Margarita
9. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – En dag i Ivan Denisovitjs liv
10. Vilhelm Moberg – Rid i natt!

As you can see, only half of the books are originally written in Swedish, the other half being translations. Still, I think this goal was good to have, and I also think I achieved what I wanted: an increased interest in reading literature in Swedish. Please note that these books averaged an incredible 4,3 out of 5 snails! Most of them are definitely worth checking out.

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  1. thark’s avatar

    Out of all your crazy ideas, this is one I actually respect–reading more of what comes out of my own backyard is something I really should get around to at some point myself. I do think counting translations sort of cheapens it though (though this is partially my own bias against reading translations of something I’m capable of appreciating in its original form), surely there must be plenty of worthwhile actual swedish books we’ve missed out on? (Which for me would be the point of it, really.)

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  2. Olle Linge’s avatar

    I think that depends on what the aim is. If it is to read in Swedish, I do not think the original language matters that much. On the other hand, if it is to learn more or experience a greater part of Swedish culture, than I of course agree with you. I might even agree with you anyway, but I wwill stick to the definition I decided on in the beginning. Hopefully, I will keep on reading books in Swedish, translations and otherwise. :)

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