Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.


This week’s book:

Independent People by Halldór Laxness

Blurb from Goodreads

This magnificent novel—which secured for its author the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature—is at last available to contemporary American readers. Although it is set in the early twentieth century, it recalls both Iceland’s medieval epics and such classics as Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter. And if Bjartur of Summerhouses, the book’s protagonist, is an ordinary sheep farmer, his flinty determination to achieve independence is genuinely heroic and, at the same time, terrifying and bleakly comic.

Having spent eighteen years in humiliating servitude, Bjartur wants nothing more than to raise his flocks unbeholden to any man. But Bjartur’s spirited daughter wants to live unbeholden to him. What ensues is a battle of wills that is by turns harsh and touching, elemental in its emotional intensity and intimate in its homely detail. Vast in scope and deeply rewarding, Independent People is simply a masterpiece.


Why I Want To Read It

To be honest, I have never heard of Halldór Laxness nor have I encountered any of his works. Everything changed yesterday while browsing the album of an online second hand bookseller in Facebook. I saw three of his books and I luckily managed to purchase two of them – Independent People and World Light. I am featuring the former for this week’s Goodreads Monday update.

After researching more about Laxness, I am more compelled to immerse in his works. Imagine my surprise when I learned he won the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature. Not only that – he is an Icelander! It would seem normal to an ordinary spectator but I don’t think I have ever read a novel set in Iceland or read a book by an Icelander. What makes me look forward to Independent People, and by extension, World Light, is the promise of a new literary world that I have never dipped my toes into.

The blurb from Goodreads for Independent People also had me anticipating it! There certainly are a lot of places in the world that I have yet to explore and understand and books, particularly novels, provide me a secondhand experience. To be very honest, yesterday, I set my sight on two works of another Nobel Prize in Literature, Hungarian Imre Kertész. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to place my bid on time. This misfortune, however, led me to a new author; it’s not a futile attempt after all.

Thus ends my Goodreads Monday post. How about you fellow reader, what book do you want to read? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy reading! Have a great week ahead!

P.S. August is ending today. Wah. I couldn’t believe that eight months just zoomed past like that. Here in the Philippines, everyone is gearing up for the lengthy lead up to Christmas. Yes, we start our Christmas season as early as September 1! That’s four “-ber” months of Christmas and holiday atmosphere!