Sadly I missed last week’s #BookSnap, but this week is featuring When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald. This year I am making a bit more of an effort to read some new releases. Most of my TBR comprises of classics, titles from the 1001 list, prizewinners from previous decades and any other book that has caught my eye. I have never been too worried about reading the “book of the moment” as I figure if it’s a good book, it should stand the test of time and still be a good book when I eventually get around to reading it. But still, I thought it might be a good idea to at least try to read a few titles in the year they were published. The bright orange cover of When We Were Vikings caught my attention, as well as the blurb on the back and Vikings do have a reputation all of their own, after all.
The Vikings originated in Scandinavia (modern Denmark, Norway & Sweden) and raided, traded and pillaged across Europe during the 8th – 11th centuries. Our contemporary fascination about the Vikings is probably based more on legend than on actual historical and archaeological research though. Apparently there is no real evidence that they really did wear horned helmets like Hagar the Horrible, but they look cool anyway.
Dan and Bec have danish ancestry on their father’s side, which has inspired an interest in Viking history. I often like to joke with Bec about her “Viking ancestry.” When she is going through a tough time, I like to encourage her to find her “Viking Spirit.” Not the lust for pillaging and violence, but a sense of courage and fearlessness.
When We Were Vikings centres around Zelda and she sounds like my kind of girl.
For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:
- A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
- Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
- Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
- Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
- Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.
I haven’t started reading the book yet, but Jane from JaneReads summed it up as “a unique, wonderful read with a lovable, memorable heroine,” so I am looking forward to a positive and uplifting read. The book is pictured above with my DVD collection of ‘The Vikings’ television series – obviously not for everyone, as they are pretty violent but the depiction of the Viking society is very interesting, particularly the role of women – and some danish pastries, of course. Don’t you just love edible props!