I usually shun social media memes and challenges. Recently, for the first time, I accepted a Twitter challenge to share seven books on seven days, without explanation.
- Crime and Punishment
- New Dictionary of Modern Finnish
- Seven Brothers
- Slaughterhouse 5
- The Six Bullerby Children
- Don Quixote
I started the challenge on April 17th with Shakespeare and finished it on April 23rd with Cervantes. Hamlet is my eternal favorite. I have to admit that I picked Don Quixote primarily because the final day of my challenge happened to be World Book Day, which marks the deaths of both Cervantes and Shakespeare.
Reading Crime and Punishment was a mind-blowing reading experience at a young age, and I eventually even wrote a thesis on it. The protagonist Raskolnikov also has a connection to Hamlet and his fevered mindset, so it’s no surprise that both are among my favorites.
With Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers, I’m attracted by its rich language and its distinctive humor, which is also at the heart of Vonnegut’s novels – though the American’s humor is far more sarcastic than Kivi’s cosy wordplay. Astrid Lindgren’s children’s books are all popular in Finland, but I have never read any book more often than The Six Bullerby Children. Its popularity endures from generation to generation.
By explaining my choices even this briefly, I’ve now broken the rules of the #7books #7days challenge. In general, any list of best books always seems somewhat narrow-minded in the boundless world of literature, so this challenge probably will stand as both my first and last.