Popular holiday gifts come and go yearly in a variety of ways, according to countries, foundations, or personal relationships. But the best Christmas presents for decades are still given in Iceland.
The Perception of Christmas as a Holiday is deeply rooted in Icelandic culture, with books being given as presents on the night of the 24th and people spending the night reading.
What a brilliant idea to share knowledge and wisdom with our fellow humans; as the saying goes, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; Learn a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime."
Iceland has a long literary history dating back to medieval times. Landmarks of world literature, including The Sagas of the Icelanders and the Poetic Edda, are still widely read and translated there, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
It is worth mentioning in this point that Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world, with five titles published for every 1,000 Icelanders.
Friday's Book Suggestion this week will honor the splendor of Icelandic literature, The Sagas of Icelanders, also known as the family Sagas. The best stories to read in front of a fireplace or sit in our favorite armchair with a glass of wine. Simple as that, we get into the holiday spirit, and our heart warms up with love and knowledge.
A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world's greatest literary treasures--as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, and as engagingly human as Shakespeare.
Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled in Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured further west--to Greenland and, ultimately, the coast of North America itself.