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Reader! Reader!

Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

Currently reading

Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

Growth of the Soil

Growth of the Soil - Knut Hamsun, Sverre Lyngstad, Brad Leithauser

Very different from his novel Hunger, here Hamsun has written a sweeping story of one man's accomplishments as a homesteader in northern Norway near the border with Sweden.

Isak, a young and very strong man, with no fear of work, goes looking for a good place to settle. He walks and walks, looking for a place that has everything he needs: water, haying grounds, pasture, areas to farm, timber.

When he finally finds it, he settles in. There is a coastal town a full day's walk away (20 miles? 10 miles?). He puts out word that he needs a woman's help--and lo and behold, Inger comes. She too has no fear of work, and she has a harelip--teased for much of her life, she finds a good man in Isak.

They work, they have several children, Inger is imprisoned for 6 years. Others come and settle the area between their farm Sellanra and the town.

A fascinating story of rural northern Norway in the 2nd half of the 19th century.