An unseen investigation by Stieg Larsson, the late journalist and author of the Millennium Trilogy, has come to light and will be revealed in a new true crime book. Larsson was a leading expert on antidemocratic, right-wing, extremist organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
On February 28, 1986, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot dead in Stockholm. The crime is still unsolved today. It’s now known that Larsson began his own investigation into the assassination—continuing the search until his own death. In 2014, journalist and documentary filmmaker, Jan Stocklassa gained access to the 20 boxes of Larsson’s research into the case.
“In The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson and the Hunt for an Assassin, Stocklassa reveals new facts about the case and reveals the hitherto unknown research of the best-selling author in a fascinating true crime story. For the first time in many years, the police in Sweden have taken active measures to investigate a new suspect in the murder case and are pursuing leads based on the research revealed in Stocklassa’s book.”
The Man Who Played with Fire will be published by Amazon Crossing, Amazon’s literature in translation imprint. It will be translated from the original Swedish by Tara F. Chace. The book has a publication date of October 1, 2019.
In the press release announcing the acquisition, Senior Editor Elizabeth DeNoma writes, “Jan Stocklassa’s access to Stieg Larsson’s investigation and his own years-long intrepid, exciting exploration into the suspects, motives, and connections gives readers a true crime story about one of the most gripping unsolved murder mysteries of modern times, investigated by one of the most well-known authors of all time. We can’t wait to share this story with Stieg Larsson’s English-language fans who will be struck by the parallels between the famous author and his famous character, Mikael Blomkvist.”
Stocklassa is also the executive producer of a documentary of the same name that focuses on Larsson’s research into extreme right-wing groups. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019.
This post was originally published on Book Riot.
Clarice Lispector is a legend, known the world over for her dark genius and glamour. She inspires cult-like fervor in her readers. Be inspired by these cutting and brilliant Clarice Lispector quotes on life, art, and more.
“Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“The world’s continual breathing is what we hear and call silence.” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey
“Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“You don’t understand music: you hear it. So hear me with your whole body.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler
“Do you ever suddenly find it strange to be yourself?” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz
“So long as I have questions to which there are no answers, I shall go on writing.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“How was she to tie herself to a man without permitting him to imprison her? How could she prevent him from developing his four walls over her body and soul? And was there a way to have things without those things possessing her?” —Near to the Wild Heart, translated by Alison Entrekin
“I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“I write as if to save somebody’s life. Probably my own. Life is a kind of madness that death makes. Long live the dead because we live in them.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz
“Things were somehow so good that they were in danger of becoming very bad because what is fully mature is very close to rotting” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“And I want to be held down. I don’t know what to do with the horrifying freedom that can destroy me.” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey
“Do not mourn the dead. They know what they are doing.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“No it is not easy to write. It is as hard as breaking rocks. Sparks and splinters fly like shattered steel.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“Because I dived into the abyss I started to love the abyss of which I am made.” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey
“Living isn’t courage, knowing that you’re living, that’s courage” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey
“I hear the mad song of a little bird and crush butterflies between my fingers.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler
“Here is a moment of extravagant beauty: I drink it liquid from the shells of my hands and almost all of it runs sparkling through my fingers: but beauty is like that, it is a fraction of a second, quickness of a flash and then immediately it escapes.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz
“Where does music go when it’s not playing?—she asked herself. And disarmed she would answer: May they make a harp out of my nerves when I die.” —Near to the Wild Heart, translated by Alison Entrekin
“I’m afraid to write. It’s so dangerous. Anyone who’s tried, knows. The danger of stirring up hidden things—and the world is not on the surface, it’s hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea. In order to write I must place myself in the void. In this void is where I exist intuitively. But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood. I’m a writer who fears the snare of words: the words I say hide others—which? maybe I’ll say them. Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz
“Meanwhile, the clouds are white and the sky is blue. Why is there so much God? At the expense of men.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser
“Never suffer because you don’t have an opinion on this or that topic. Never suffer because you are not something or because you are.” —Near to the Wild Heart, translated by Alison Entrekin
“At the bottom of everything there is the hallelujah.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler
“I’m no more than a comma in life. I who am a colon. Thou, thou art my exclamation.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz
“I want the following word: splendor, splendor is fruit in all its succulence, fruit without sadness. I want vast distances. My savage intuition of myself.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler
“Sometimes writing a single line is enough to save your own heart.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz
Do you have a favorite Clarice Lispector quote that isn’t on the list? Share it in the comments! Looking to read more Clarice Lispector but don’t know where to start? Check out this reading pathway through her books.
This post was originally published on Book Riot.
I don’t know how I ever got to sleep before audiobooks. I did, clearly, or I’d be dead, but audiobooks are now a permanent fixture in my sleep routine—an enviable eight plus hours of peaceful reverie almost every night. How’s that for sleep goals?!
For me, an audiobook just takes the edge off when I’m trying to fall asleep. I’m a light sleeper and when I’m listening to an audiobook I’m less likely to be startled awake by a car alarm or door slam than if I was falling asleep in relative silence. And I’m not thinking about my day or my to-do list because I’m listening to the book. I’m probably not absorbed in it, but that’s perfect. I don’t want to stay up reading! The audiobook smooths out all of the edges that, for me, come with falling asleep, the distractions and anxieties, and nudges me gently off to sleep.
I’ve selected some of my favorite audiobooks to fall asleep to and collected some great resources from other Book Riot contributors to help you incorporate audiobooks into your nightly routine too! I’ll also add that all of these books are amazing and should be read in the light of day too. Do you have a favorite audiobook to fall asleep to? Let me know in the comments below!
My hands-down favorite audiobook to fall asleep to is H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. It is a raw, haunting, and masterful book in its own right but it’s an even better audiobook. In the wake of her father’s death, Helen Macdonald adopts and raises a goshawk, detailing her battles with the feral creature that is her grief. Macdonald also weaves in the story of the life of T.H. White, the author of The Once and Future King, into her own narrative. White also wrote The Goshawk, a book that profoundly affected Macdonald and she discusses it extensively. In the book, White details his own training of a goshawk. Macdonald’s reading of H is for Hawk is affecting and beautiful—I can’t recommend it enough.
The Peregrine by J.A. Baker, narrated by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart
If you like H is for Hawk and want more nature writing to fall asleep to, my next suggestion is The Peregrine by J. A. Baker. In The Peregrine, Baker follows the daily comings and goings of a pair of peregrine falcons. He documents what he sees of their activities “with an extraordinary fusion of precision and poetry.” It is a classic in the nature writing genre and the voice of the narrator Dugald Bruce-Lockhart is reminiscent to me of David Attenborough. And with the subject matter, it’s very easy to dip in and out of and not feel like you need to listen for plot, just some gorgeous descriptions of falcons and the English fens.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa, translated by Philip Gabriel and narrated by George Blagden
An international bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a sweet and poignant story of Nana the cat, his owner Satoru, and their journey around Japan. It’s a charming story (I’ll admit to crying at the end) and I’d recommend it for comfort reading. George Blagden, the narrator, has a lovely, clear voice and he captures the tone of the book well. After reading it the first time straight through—you’ll want to know how the adventure ends—tuning in to sections of this journey, like Nana the cat seeing the ocean for the first time or teaching a kitten to hunt, will be perfect to fall asleep to.
Written by Man Asian Literary prize winner Kyung-Sook Shin and translated by Anton Hur, The Court Dancer is a historical novel set during the dramatic final years of the Korean Empire, the Joseon Dynasty. Based on a true story, The Court Dancer follows the tale of Yi Jin, an orphan who is adopted by the royal court and becomes a beloved dancer. When a French diplomat visits he is mesmerized by the Korean Empire but more specifically with Yi Jin. The writing is beautifully lyrical and narrator Rosa Escoda’s voice captures this and is richly expressive.
Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith, narrated by the author
Poet laureate Tracy K. Smith is a national treasure and although I’ve always loved her poetry, I had never thought to listen to her collections on audio. She has a great voice, emotive and resonant, and it’s a joy to listen to her read. But her poems are not to be slept through and so, in this instance, I’m recommending that you listen to a poem or two as part of a nightly routine. I think about them deeply, even sometimes playing them a couple times, and I’ve found that it has helped me focus, center, and get up the next day with those reflections in mind.
Looking for even more? Contributor Danika Ellis collected some of the great standbys in her post 13 Soothing Audiobooks to Fall Asleep To, including the Harry Potter books (whether you prefer Jim Dale or Stephen Fry) and many others. For a twist on an audiobook of a classic to fall asleep to, I’d recommend Longbourn by Jo Baker and narrated by Emma Fielding. And contributor Laura Marie has collected 6 of the Best Bookish Sleep Habits “to make your dreams as sweet and book-filled as possible.”
This post was originally published on Book Riot as part of New Ears Resolution Week.
After a record-breakingly frigid Thanksgiving here in the northeast, I’m dreaming wistfully of August. BBQs, beaches, and bikinis are all good but I mostly just miss being able to go outside without wrapping multiple scarves around my face. It’s the little things in life! I also miss Women in Translation Month. This past August my social media feed was packed with great book suggestions and conversations and I loved it. But it doesn’t have to be August to read women in translation and I’ve picked out a selection of great titles by women that are eligible for this year’s award.
I took my time with this sharp and stunning novel and I absolutely loved it. In parallel and entwining narratives that move from Havana to Paris to New York City, After the Winter is a novel ultimately about the human impulse to love, and yet it’s unlike any other love story I’ve ever read. The writing, in Rosalind Harvey’s brilliant translation, is nothing short of transcendent—subtle and dark but also surprisingly funny. Going forward, I want all of my love stories to have this many cemeteries in them.
The Governesses by Anne Serre, translated by Mark Hutchinson
In this U.S. debut from major French writer Anne Serre, three governesses are shut off in a remote country home. They’re supposed to be watching their pupils, but in this “intense, delicious meringue of a novel” they’re off instead having frenzied erotic adventures. It’s an absolute gem and I’m not the first judge to gush about it and I’m sure I won’t be the last. Sexy, funny, smart, and some spectacular writing. And all in like 100 pages and I just don’t know how that’s possible. Kirkus calls it “A sensualist, surrealist romp” writing that “each sentence evokes a dream logic both languid and circuitous as the governesses move through a fever of domesticity and sexual abandon.”
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good is dark, funny, and oh so satisfying. Maud is an 88-year-old Swede who has no scruples about solving life’s problems with some low-key murder. I enjoyed this story collection and am planning to pick up Helene Tursten’s mystery novels. An Elderly Lady is also just such a great package—the title is fun and clever, the needlepoint cover is hilarious, and the small trim size finishes it off perfectly.
Long viewed as Borges’s muse, Norah Lange has been widely overlooked as a writer in her own right. Translated for the first time into English, People in the Room is an intense, haunting, and canon-breaking novel that completely overwhelmed me. A young woman is looking out her window in the midst of a thunderstorm when she catches sight of three women in the house across the street from her. She begins to watch, obsess over, and imagine the secrets and lies of the women in the window. “Lange’s imaginative excesses and almost hallucinatory images make this uncanny exploration of desire, domestic space, voyeurism, and female isolation a twentieth century masterpiece.”
The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza, translated by Suzanne Jill Levine and Aviva Kana
I’m a huge fan of The Iliac Crest by Cristina Rivera Garza and translated by Sarah Booker and I couldn’t wait for the upcoming The Taiga Syndrome, Garza’s take on a contemporary Latin American detective novel. The narrative follows an ex-detective as she searches for a missing couple. It’s complicated and genre bending, with nods to fairy tales—Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood specifically—and written in a striking style that’s all her own. The dark, unsettling tone really hit the spot for me in the midst of my fall reading. In a starred review, Kirkus calls it “An eerie, slippery gem of a book” and I just love that description.
No list would be complete without a mention of Fox by Dubravka Ugresic and translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać and David Williams. Fox is astonishing. Complicated, intricate, funny, and wicked smart. And I’m crazy about Eventide by Therese Bohman and translated by Marlaine Delargy (if you’re keeping track, that’s two mentions of Delargy in this piece!) This insightful novel is at once cutting and beautiful. The prose, the character Karolina, the reflections on art and love—it’s masterful and devastating. I could go on but I won’t. I have to go outside and it’s going to take a while with these scarves.
The first time I read Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky, I was blown away. Kurlansky manages to turn a book about an everyday object—one that you and I have seen in every kitchen, every restaurant, and on every table we’ve ever sat down to eat at, throughout our lives—into an utterly fascinating page-turner. I was hooked and have since reread Salt many times and moved on to his other microhistory books, like Cod, Paper, and the latest Milk!: A 10,000 Year Food Fracas. Funny and endlessly fascinating, all of these books have interesting stories, historic recipes, and enough facts to make any reader “Did you know?” royalty.
And Kurlansky’s books are just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many great microhistories, ranging from subjects like butter and cotton to champagne and the color indigo. Check out this list of 50 must-read microhistory books for hours of enjoyment.
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett
“It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world’s water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain. Cynthia Barnett’s Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain.”
Broliology: A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature by Marion Rankine
This book is absolutely delightful! “Brolliology is a beautifully designed and illustrated tour through literature and history. It surprises us with the crucial role that the oft-overlooked umbrella has played over centuries—and not just in keeping us dry. Marion Rankine elevates umbrellas to their rightful place as an object worthy of philosophical inquiry . . . She tackles the gender, class, and social connotations of carrying an umbrella and helps us realize our deep connection to this most forgettable everyday object—which we only think of when we don’t have one.”
Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit
“Drawing together many histories—of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores—Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers.”
Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven Beckert
“The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Sven Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.”
Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden
“As entertaining as it is incisive, Stoned is a raucous journey through the history of human desire for what is rare, and therefore precious. What makes a stone a jewel? What makes a jewel priceless? And why do we covet beautiful things? In this brilliant account of how eight jewels shaped the course of history, jeweler and scientist Aja Raden tells an original and often startling story about our unshakeable addiction to beauty and the darker side of human desire.”
Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson
I can’t resist a Crate and Barrel or a Williams Sonoma. If you’re the same way, then this book is for you. A fascinating and fun history of the tools we use in the kitchen, and how these tools “have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson takes readers on a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of objects we often take for granted.”
Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
“The codfish. Wars have been fought over it, revolutions have been spurred by it, national diets have been based on it, economies and livelihoods have depended on it, and the settlement of North America was driven by it. To the millions it has sustained, it has been a treasure more precious than gold. Indeed, the codfish has played a fascinating and crucial role in world history. Cod spans a thousand years and four continents . . . Mark Kurlansky introduces the explorers, merchants, writers, chefs, and of course the fishermen, whose lives have interwoven with this prolific fish.”
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
The big one from Mark Kurlansky. If you’re only going to read one book from this list, it should arguably be this one. “The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.”
Those are just some of the great books that made my list. Check this post out in full on Book Riot.