Nordiska’s Book Club Launch

To broaden our Nordic reading repertoire and engage with fellow bookworms, Nordiska is excited to announce the creation of our own Nordiska Book Club launching this month. Each month we will select a title from our library, and then host a virtual club meeting via Zoom to discuss the book.

As aforementioned, the goal is to introduce club members to a variety of Nordic works from a diversity of authors and genres: fiction and nonfiction, for younger people and adults. The idea is to encourage as many members of our community as possible to participate, and with our online platforms Nordiska can safely reach a broader audience in Poulsbo, the PNW and beyond!

Announcing our first book: By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends translated by Barbara Sjoholm

For our first book club meeting, we will be discussing By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends, translated by Barbara Sjoholm. Collected by Danish artist and ethnographer Emilie Demant Hatt (1873–1958) during her travels in the early twentieth century among the nomadic Sami on the Swedish side of Sápmi, grant entry to a fascinating world of wonder and peril, of nature imbued with spirits, and strangers to be outwitted with gumption and craft. This first English publication of By the Fire is at once a significant contribution to the canon of world literature, a unique glimpse into Sami culture, and a testament to the enduring art of storytelling.


We are especially fortunate, and excited, to have Barbara Sjoholm herself join our very first book club discussion. Barbara Sjoholm is a writer, editor, and translator of Danish and Norwegian literature. She has written fiction and nonfiction, including Black Fox: A Life of Emilie Demant Hatt, Artist and Ethnographer.

February 6th is Sami National Day, a holiday that commemorates the meeting of the first transnational Sami Congress in Tråante/Trondheim in 1917, organized by Elsa Laula Renberg. In honor of this day, Nordiska’s blog will be highlighting Sami language, culture and history. Though documented by a Danish woman, By the Fire is an excellent collection of stories from the Sami oral tradition. We hope this book, in addition to our upcoming blog posts along this theme will introduce our readers or at least provide further insight into the Sami’s rich, complex and living Indigenous culture.

The Practicalities

You can purchase your copy of By the Fire in our shop location in downtown Poulsbo or order online here:

It is free to join Nordiska’s Book Club and participate in our virtual meetings over Zoom. The discussion will take place on Thursday February 25th at 6:30pm PST. If you do not already have Zoom I would suggest downloading it onto your personal computer beforehand here: Alternatively you can open the invitation in your web browser, but downloading the application is usually easier in the long-term.

Sign up here to join Nordiska’s Book Club and get updates via email by filling out this Google form.

Once you are signed-up, we will send you the Zoom meeting link for our discussion the day before via the email address you provided.

Published by nordiskapoulsbo

I write for, edit and maintain this blog about celebrating and being inspired by Scandinavian cultures for the Nordiska store in Poulsbo, WA.

6 thoughts on “Nordiska’s Book Club Launch

  1. Excellent background comments and framework for introduction of “By the Fire.”
    Especially appreciate descriptors of “rich, complex, and LIVING,” of Sami culture.

    Numerous Native Americans have mentioned the “here and now” relevance of their cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hei Susan! Which link are you referring to?

      The Sami National Day webinar on climate change is going on now via zoom and is being recorded:

      We will be discussing “By the Fire” on February 25th, and I will be sharing the zoom link for that the day before to all those who signed up for the book club via the google form.

      Please let me know if you have other questions!


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