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Moonstone
Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was: A Novel | Sjn
The mind-bending miniature historical epic is Sjn's specialty, and Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was is no exception. But it is also Sjn's most realistic, accessible, and heartfelt work yet. It is the story of a young man on the fringes of a society that is itself at the fringes of the world--at what seems like history's most tumultuous, perhaps ultimate moment. Mni Steinn is queer in a society in which the idea of homosexuality is beyond the furthest extreme. His city, Reykjavik in 1918, is homogeneous and isolated and seems entirely defenseless against the Spanish flu, which has already torn through Europe, Asia, and North America and is now lapping up on Iceland's shores. And if the flu doesn't do it, there's always the threat that war will spread all the way north. And yet the outside world has also brought Icelanders cinema! And there's nothing like a dark, silent room with a film from Europe flickering on the screen to help you escape from the overwhelming threats--and adventures--of the night, to transport you, to make you feel like everything is going to be all right. For Mni Steinn, the question is whether, at Reykjavik's darkest hour, he should retreat all the way into this imaginary world, or if he should engage with the society that has so soundly rejected him.
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blurb
Kalalalatja
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In 1918 most of the person on Iceland were wondering whether the Spanish Flu or war would #HitTheNorth. However, for Máni Steinn there are other things to worry about - most pressing: being queer in a country that doesn‘t accept you.

This short book packs a punch, and I would highly recommend it!

#RedRoseSeptember

Cinfhen Oh, totally new to me xx Thanks for the recommendation 😁 3mo
arlenefinnigan Oh this sounds excellent. (see this is what annoys me when people make out we're living in the worst of times now. 1918 was worse, really.) 3mo
82 likes6 stack adds2 comments
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GuiltyFeat
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Pickpick

A really astonishing novella that starts with an epidemic of Spanish Flu in Iceland in 1918 and spins it into a yarn about a lost boy and a then a generation of lost boys nearer the end of the century.

I was lucky enough to meet Sjón last night after seeing him on a panel with novelist David Grossman at the International Writers Festival in Jerusalem. Another amazing evening at the festival.

Cinfhen Hey, just read your ToB camp review!! Brilliant!!! I couldn‘t agree with you more. I haven‘t read Bowlaway but I‘d hate to see Daisy advance. Although it‘s a summer tournament and Daisy does make a good mindless beach read🏖 5mo
GuiltyFeat Thanks, @Cinfhen It was such a treat to take part even if the book they assigned me wasn‘t so great. 5mo
Cinfhen The summer picks are not that great overall 😝Last year @L_auren was a guest judge for the #ToB and she was fabulous!!! It‘s such a huge honor to be chosen. Congrats to you ♥️ 5mo
L_auren @GuiltyFeat ToB people unite!! 5mo
L_auren @Cinfhen Aw thank you!! I would have been so anxious if it wasn‘t for the Litsy community having my back. So grateful 💜 made it so I could enjoy the experience 5mo
22 likes5 comments
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IzzyRoseHardy
Pickpick

😯

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Easytiger
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Soooooooo how does one get in the loop for swaps???

I‘ve only ever done one and I‘m always discovering swaps when it‘s way too late...... sooooo are there any swaps people can point me too or websites or something...... I‘d like to do one here for the new year :)

BookHoarder32 Maybe follow @LitsySwaps ? 12mo
Easytiger I‘m still figuring things out here, a bit of a lone wolf on litsy .... thanks so much for the connect!! @bookhoarder32 (edited) 12mo
RainyDayReading You could also follow @LitsyHappenings they tend to also post about swaps happening. Even if I don‘t see anything in my feed I‘ll just look up their page and see if they‘ve posted anything. @TheReadingMermaid is also pretty good about spreading the word about swaps. 12mo
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TheReadingMermaid Sure I can help spread the word no problem! 😃 12mo
Reggie There was a cupidgoespostal swap announced by @BookishMarginalia today. She ran the first swaps we ever had on Litsy. Check her page out. Hers are always well done. 12mo
Easytiger @TheReadingMermaid thanks 🙏 12mo
Easytiger @Reggie I signed up thanks for the connect ☺️ 12mo
8 likes7 comments
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tricours
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Pickpick

Nice and mellow! Just like Iceland.

37 likes1 stack add
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tricours
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I‘m traveling to Iceland tomorrow so I thought this would be fitting!

CouronneDhiver Safe journey ✈️ 1y
Kalalalatja Safe travels! I bought this book while visiting Iceland, and it was a great read! 1y
39 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A knockout. Beautiful, spare, supple prose: Sjon paints scenes with few brushstrokes; he evokes the Spanish flu w a few surreal pages hovering between life & death; historic events are juxtaposed w intimate scenes in the boy‘s life. Memorable characters: the boy young but resourceful; Sola a superhero in his mind; the old woman wonderfully dry & matter-of-fact but is the heart of the novel. Moving ending.

Libby1 Beautiful photo. 1y
emilyhaldi Nice review 👌🏻 1y
Kalalalatja Loved this 💙 1y
51 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Kalalalatja
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Pickpick

Book two finished for #readathon. This slim little book was over in a wink, but I wouldn‘t have minded staying a bit longer in Sjón‘s Reykjavik of the past. 16 year old Máni Steinn is an outsider, a prostitute and a cinema lover in a time of volcano eruptions and Spanish fly epidemic. It is quiet, Nordic minimalism, and it is quite wonderful ?

BiblioLitten The last line made me stack it in less than a second.😊 2y
Litlady Stacking this one as well as 'The Blue Fox' by Sjon. I need some Icelandic authors in my literary life!! 💜📚👍 2y
C.Perone 👍 2y
98 likes7 stack adds3 comments
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Kalalalatja
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Moray_Reads Isn't it pretty much the law to buy Sjon when in Iceland? 2y
JanuarieTimewalker13 Loved this book! 2y
JazzFeathers What a fantastic cover! 2y
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LeahBergen Book buying bans don‘t count on holiday! 2y
Soubhiville @LeahBergen I love that rule! 2y
Kalalalatja @Moray_Reads Well, I was wondering why there were so many signs saying “You must buy Sjon!” 😉😄 @JanuarieTimewalker13 I have heard lots of great things about it! @JazzFeathers it really captures the Icelandic feel 👌 @LeahBergen @Soubhiville I can only agree wholeheartedly 👏 2y
LeahBergen @Soubhiville I have many such rules. 😂😂 2y
RealLifeReading Book buying when on vacation is like buying souvenirs - it's a requirement really! 2y
98 likes1 stack add8 comments
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wormkim
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Mehso-so

The cetenary of the outbreak of Spanish flu so this seemed approrpiate but I'm not sure I fully 'got' this; i certainly enjoyed parts of it and was completely lost in other parts. Intriguing, I'd say but agree with @rachaich on this one. Bit so-so for me.

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rachaich
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Mehso-so

Hmm. Really not sure how I feel about this book.
I wasn't expecting the opening scene ;) or the content! I liked the spassness of the writing.
It was a very short read and I found this fitted with the dating of the chapters.

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rachaich
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I've been waiting to read this since Christmas Eve :)
It was a Christmas Eve gift from him, along with chocolate, as in the Icelandic tradition. Due to book club reads, it's taken me until now to start!

[DELETED] 3803335244 The cover just drew me in! ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
9 likes1 comment
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rachaich
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Wow! Christmas Eve gift from amazing boyfriend :) :) :)

JanuarieTimewalker13 What a great book!! You will love it!! I just bought another Sjón book!! Something with Muse in title! 2y
15 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Aaronlisa
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Pickpick

Sjon is an amazing writer. This book is visceral at times and beautifully written throughout.

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shawnmooney
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Bailedbailed

Arresting opening blowjob scene aside, this got boring very quickly. Bailed early due to the lifeless prose. I‘m not sure who to fault,the translator or the author, but this is a 142-page novel that should‘ve been 141 pages shorter.

erzascarletbookgasm Ouch! 😄 2y
Godmotherx5 Thanks for taking one for team. I‘ll steer clear of this book. 2y
DGRachel I love how you don‘t pull punches in your reviews! 😂 2y
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Cinfhen Redefining “quickie” 😜 2y
JanuarieTimewalker13 Oh my goodness!! I found this book a quick, interesting read!! And very creative at the end!!! 2y
ReadingEnvy I didn't know anything about the Spanish flu so there was that. 2y
LeahBergen Damn it! 2y
46 likes1 stack add7 comments
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shawnmooney
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Do I have your attention? This book sure has mine! This is within the first couple pages…

#QuoteOfTheDay

LeahBergen 😆 2y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen As ush you are the only soul brave enough to admit it ;) 2y
23 likes2 comments
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JanuarieTimewalker13
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Pickpick

First novel by an Icelandic author I've ever read. Follows a 16 year old boy for about 3 months during the Spanish influenza of 1918. For such a short novel, it packs a punch. Excellent. Thanks to Simon @SavidgeReads for recommending this on his booktube channel...excellent read. There's so much more to this book than a short synopsis can do justice.

CouronneDhiver Great review 👍🏽 2y
JanuarieTimewalker13 @CouronneDhiver Thank you!!! I just noticed I said excellent two times...hahaha! That's ok...it really was! 2y
45 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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SavidgeReads
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Pickpick

1918 WWI is a mere backdrop trouble to the people of Iceland as the Spanish Flu arrives out of nowhere killing thousands. We see this period through the eyes of 16 year old Mani, a hustler; whose mainly sleeps with men for money/pleasure, or goes to the cinema for escapism. Big world dramas & small life dramas have equal importance in a novella that takes you through 3 of the most pivotal months in both Iceland and Mani's histories. I loved it.

JanuarieTimewalker13 Ha!! Had no idea you posted this!! Great recommendation, Simon!!! 2y
45 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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Easytiger
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Sometimes I wish I was just a character in someone's book..... my existence would matter more than it does.
Id be a relatable tragic character I'm sure. #igetdepressedaroundmybirthdayforgiveme

jpmcwisemorgan Are you sure we're not characters in a book? If not, I'll join you in wanting to be one. As for mattering, you do, even if you don't feel that way right now. I'm sorry you get depressed around your birthday. (edited) 2y
CaliforniaCay I also get depressed around my birthday (which is next week) I feel like its a normal occurence as an adult. Hang in there :) 2y
Easytiger You two are very kind!! Thank you 2y
RebaRecommends Your existence matters! Sometimes you may just not know the impact. 2y
Libby1 You matter. ❤️. Immeasurably. 2y
5 likes5 comments
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tamaria
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"He can't feel a thing apart from the wingbeats where his heart used to be."

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Sophie_VersTand
Pickpick

Island im Jahre 1918 - ausgehender Krieg, die spanische Grippe und ein 16-jähriger homosexueller Junge, der seine Kinoobsession mit Prostitution finanziert. Skurril und merkwürdig, irgendwie auch faszinierend.

AnniKMars Klingt wie ne Mischung aus Nemesis und 4321 xD 2y
1 like1 comment
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shawnmooney
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TOKYO BOOKSTORE (KINOKUNIYA) 20% OFF SALE - BOOK 5 of 6

I've had my eye on this little queer-themed novel by Iceland's most renowned novelist, based on the life of his gay uncle or is it gay great uncle.

JazzFeathers What z fantastic cover. Makes me want yo pick it up 😆 3y
40 likes1 stack add1 comment
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elizawilcox
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Some of the best writing I've read in a while. Sjón is a master of the image and short fiction form.

1 like1 stack add
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bartsbooks
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Pickpick

Solid 3.5/5 for me. It both benefits and suffers from its brevity. But it does have some nice prose. If you want to read it, its best that you know little about the story itself. It's a little bit surreal, a little bit metaphor, a little bit Bildungsroman. But that's all you're getting from me.

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sprinkledwithwords
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Pickpick

I really loved this book. It was so abstract and beautifully written. I loved how fevers and dreams were written and I could not put it down! There was one character I felt a little irrelevant but I loved it overall. The ending especially was wonderful.
Full review will be on my blog soon: sprinkledwithwords.wordpress.com & goodreads (same name!) x #arc

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BookBr
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Las Vegas: Doing it right with bookstore tourism!

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Easytiger
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And now the boy lives in the movies. When not spooling them into himself through his eyes, he is replaying them in his mind.
Sleeping, he dreams variations on the films, in which the web of incident is interwoven with strands from his own life.

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Linds
Pickpick

Queer+Iceland+epidemic= basically my fever dream novel.

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Easytiger
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I just finished this beautiful work! I found it the night I found myself alone for the first evening a couple weeks back and decided I must buy, and I connected so much with mani so much about certain things.

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This_Accidental_Hipster
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I'm visiting both of my beloved indi stores today. The first is Pages in Kensington, my original foray into the independent book store culture. As the area marches on and forward, ever changing, this place holds fast. The wood floors creak as you slowly scan shelves, the stairs groan as you scan the artwork and authors that call this place home, and the second floor sighs with your inability to decide on a book. The whole store envelopes you.

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Cody
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Pickpick

This trim novel covers serious ground. It tells the story of a young, queer man working as a hustler in 1918 Reykjavik. He walks the line of insider/outsider in this closed community as Iceland deals with the end of the Great War, a volcanic eruption, political separation from Denmark, and Spanish influenza. Máni spends most of his free time at the cinema, escaping the confines of both his body and time while the world crashes around him.

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nycbookboi
Bailedbailed

☹️ that is all.

Cody When you're wrong, you're wrong 3y
Easytiger You must not have been able to handle chapter 1 3y
nycbookboi @Spacecowboytx no I made it pretty decently through. I just didn't connect well with the character(s). I can't finish a book if I don't care about the characters. 3y
nycbookboi @Cody don't come for me ;> 3y
Cody @Josh cool cool yah no cool cool cool 3y
4 likes1 stack add5 comments
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AndjoSant
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My next novel to read, thankfully considerably shorter than Murakami.

cariashley I'm on book 3 of 1Q84 and getting antsy like I always do with long books, even though I really like it! Well done on finishing! 3y
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Ammar25
Pickpick

This is the first book that I have read by Sjon.

A novella set in the end of WW1 in Iceland and also through the Spanish Flu.

Mani Steinn our protagonist is 16 years old. Gay. Movie goer. Who comes of age during this period and through him we see a side of the Icelandic society that's less well knows to others.

The novella does contain graphic homosexual sex scenes that are quiet long in some chapters regarding this is a short book.

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bookloversnevergotobedalone
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Enjoying this ARC, very sexually graphic first chapter but don't let that stop you, it's good so far.

20 likes1 stack add
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shawnmooney
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Not a brand new title, but Twitter's just brought it to my attention: a 2014 novel about a gay teenager in 1918 Iceland! Oh my!

amandaz Oh, I love this author! I've got to check it out. 4y
DreeMorris Sound interesting--I love Scandinavian fiction. Was the author writing in 1928, or is he/she a contemporary of Laxness? 4y
shawnmooney @AudreyMorris I believe the novelist is a young man writing nowadays. Check the link for more information. I haven't had time to investigate deeply. 4y
marita I've been wanting to read this! Loved Sjòn's The Blue Fox (The whispering Muse not so much). 4y
17 likes6 stack adds5 comments