After more than 20 years away, Alda Sigmundsdottir returned to her native Iceland as a foreigner. With a native person's insight yet an outsider's perspective, Alda quickly set about dissecting the national psyche of the Icelanders.
Among the fascinating subjects broached in The Little Book of the Icelanders:
The appalling driving habits of the Icelanders
Naming conventions and customs
The Icelanders’ profound fear of commitment
The irreverence of the Icelanders
Why Icelandic women are really men
How the Icelanders manage to make social interactions really complicated
The importance of the family in Icelandic society
Where to go to meet the real Icelanders (and possibly score some free financial advice)
Rituals associated with weddings, confirmations, graduations, and deaths
… and many, many more.
One chapter leads to the next, creating a continuous chain of storytelling. It feels as if you’re sitting in the author’s kitchen, enjoying a cup of coffee and conversing with her about the quirks of her countrymen, every now and then bursting out laughing. [...] I’m going to heartily recommend The Little Book of the Icelanders, both to fans of Sigmundsdóttir’s blog and those unfamiliar with her work.
- Iceland Review Online
There aren’t many books I’d recommend reading over morning coffee but The Little Book of the Iceanders is one of them. [...] I laughed at the essays in this book, not because I was laughing at Icelanders but because I recognize much of the behaviour in myself and members of my family. It felt good. It’s not just the sanest, most impressive characteristics that we pass on and share but also some of the zaniest. As I read this book, I frequently thought, yup, I’m definitely part Icelandic.
- Lögberg-Heimskringla, Canada