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Woman at 1,000 Degrees
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
“I live here alone in a garage, together with a laptop computer and an old hand grenade. It’s pretty cozy.” Herra Björnsson is at the beginning of the end of her life. Oh, she has two weeks left, maybe three—she has booked her cremation appointment, at a crispy 1,000 degrees, so it won’t be long. But until then she has her cigarettes, a World War II–era weapon, some Facebook friends, and her memories to sustain her. And what a life this remarkable eighty-year-old narrator has led. In the internationally bestselling and award-winning Woman at 1,000 Degrees, which has been published in fourteen languages, noted Icelandic novelist Hallgrímur Helgason has created a true literary original. From Herra’s childhood in the remote islands of Iceland, where she was born the granddaughter of Iceland’s first president, to teen years spent living by her wits alone in war-torn Europe while her father fought on the side of the Nazis, to love affairs on several continents, Herra Björnsson moved Zelig-like through the major events and locales of the twentieth century. She wed and lost husbands, had children, fled a war, kissed a Beatle, weathered the Icelandic financial crash, and mastered the Internet. She has experienced luck and betrayal and upheaval and pain, and—with a bawdy, uncompromising spirit—she has survived it all. Now, as she awaits death in a garage in Reykjavík, she shows us a woman unbowed by the forces of history. Each part of Herra’s story is a poignant piece of a puzzle that comes together in the final pages of this remarkable, unpredictable, and enthralling novel.
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Bianca
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Herra might be my spirit animal. Thanks for the rec, Jenny! @ReadingEnvy

#booksintranslation #dogsoflitsy

ReadingEnvy I was laughing from the beginning. It does get serious but she is a character indeed. 5mo
47 likes1 stack add1 comment
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LauraJ
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Bailedbailed

I made it through 13% of this before deciding to bail. And I rarely bail. The story has the potential to be funny and interesting, but it‘s lost in translation.
#24in48

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LauraJ
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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This is the last of my library holds..need more holds to come in!

Bookladylinda Be careful what you ask for, they will start rolling in altogether! 😂😂 6mo
43 likes1 stack add1 comment
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shawnmooney
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Bailedbailed

I read a third of this and learned a lot about Iceland. I also learned that a crappy translation is, well, a crappy translation. Some of the clunkiest prose this side of an undergraduate essay.

LauraJ Could not agree more! 6mo
52 likes1 comment
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shawnmooney
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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shawnmooney
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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CouronneDhiver Do you think there‘s any truth to that? Pretty interesting 🤔 6mo
33 likes1 comment
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shawnmooney
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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saresmoore Beautiful! 7mo
Suet624 This was a favorite book of mine in 2018. I hope you like it. 7mo
39 likes2 comments
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Suet624
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Pickpick

My librarian timidly and eagerly handed this book to me and told me she thought I would like it. I sure did. An elderly woman living in a garage as she nears death, wreaking havoc with folks through her computer, tells the story of her life in Iceland when the Germans invaded her country. Humor and tragedy mix and mingle throughout the story.

saresmoore This sounds great! 10mo
Reviewsbylola Ooooh this one would be good for #booked2018 #MCover70! Stacking it for next quarter! 10mo
Suet624 @saresmoore @Reviewsbylola I hope you like it! 😳😳😳 10mo
See All 15 Comments
LeahBergen I‘ve had this stacked for a while. I‘m glad you liked it! 10mo
Suet624 @LeahBergen Thanks! I was excited to see Jenny‘s positive review of it on Goodreads. @ReadingEnvy 10mo
ReadingEnvy @Suet624 I talked about it on the podcast too, where I practiced the Icelandic things I'd need to say (and probably still butchered them!) I really learned a lot from this book, and enjoyed it! 10mo
ReadingEnvy Tell that librarian to quit being timid and own her excellent book recs! 10mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa That sounds very interesting! Stacking! 10mo
Suet624 @ReadingEnvy I learned a lot from the book as well. And I think the librarian is finally feeling okay about recommending to me, but she seems to think it‘s not professional to push books on people. We have such similar tastes that it‘s become easier for her. 10mo
charl08 Great recommendation! 10mo
Suet624 @charl08 thank you! 10mo
Reggie I feel like you love the good story of a complicated woman. 10mo
batsy @Reggie I was gonna say the same! I've always got my eye on Sue's recs :) I have this stacked already and your review has sold me on it. 10mo
Suet624 @Reggie @batsy Haha. I hadn‘t thought of that but you‘re probably right. 😀 10mo
kspenmoll Sounds compelling with an unusual setting! 10mo
85 likes9 stack adds15 comments
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Suet624
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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This breaks my heart.

saresmoore Well, that‘s also how it is for my 7yo these days. 😆 But seriously, I can‘t imagine living through that kind of intensity. 12mo
Suet624 @saresmoore I‘m glad I‘m not 7 again. 12mo
saresmoore Ugh, me too. I‘ve been reading up on the hormonal changes and attitude/personality/existential shifts for their ages. It makes me thankful to be an adult. 12mo
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Suet624
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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As I have done through much of my life, I‘ve let my instincts determine what books to read. Apparently the cruelty of war and World War II in particular is what I‘m supposed to be reading about, as I‘ve read 4 books in close succession on this theme. I‘ll be glad when this phase is over and I can move on to something more pleasant.

TrishB I read so many WW2 books last year I had to ban them for a bit! 12mo
Suet624 @TrishB Good call! 12mo
saresmoore Interesting! This is a subject that is on my mind frequently, too. Maybe the next phase will be about woodland creatures or beekeeping... 12mo
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Suet624 @saresmoore I think I‘ll be just a bit more selective with my next book. 😁 12mo
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @TrishB Me too! I had to take a break when I kept dreaming about hiding in Tube stations during the Blitz. 🤦‍♀️ 12mo
TrishB @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I was definitely hanging from my parachute in a tree whilst helping the French resistance 😁 12mo
Suet624 @TrishB ooohhhh, I remember that happening in one of my books and now I can‘t remember which one it was. 12mo
TrishB 😂😂 12mo
60 likes9 comments
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Suet624
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Gosh. Sounds familiar.

Bklover No kidding! 12mo
Leftcoastzen Hmmmmm,nailed it. 12mo
50 likes2 comments
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Librarybelle
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Bailedbailed

I‘m officially throwing in the towel. I kept hoping I‘d catch a spark, a need to continue reading. But, I did not. Herra is a horrible character, and while that should not be a deterrent (sometimes it‘s intriguing to see why someone is the way he/she is that way), I found I had no compulsion to find out more about her.

This is award winning, so many people thought it was great. Alas, it‘s just not for me.

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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Book club meets next week. Couldn't resist grabbing these from the library to bring for consideration. See any you would pick?

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EliNeedsMoreShelves
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Mehso-so

This was actually a bit disappointing for me. This book had a fantastic opening line, and the protagonist was feisty and funny. The narrative of Iceland during WWII is a story I hadn't read before, so I was very interested in reading it. But the story, for me, never quite lived up to it's great beginning. #readharderchallenge

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mrozzz
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Look at this beautiful #BookMail !! 😍 My goodness I‘m so excited for these I might actually read them sooner than later!

ephemeralwaltz You have a color scheme going on! 1y
mrozzz Don‘t you love it when that happens?! @ephemeralwaltz 1y
ephemeralwaltz @mrozzz I do! 😍 1y
118 likes3 comments
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dixi_e
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Time to dive into this!

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laduper
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
Mehso-so

I didn‘t love this book, but I also didn‘t want to put it down. I like the writing, and the perspective is certainly creative. I laughed, I came close to crying, I was uncomfortable - I really had strong reactions to a lot of parts of this book. I‘m not sure why I didn‘t love it, but... I didn‘t, and I was ready to be done.

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Librarybelle
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Taking a break from The Boys in the Boat to start this one. It‘s due to the library very soon!

Mitch Oh - and it‘s a big one! 1y
LeahBergen Stacked! 1y
85 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Alismcg
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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when the library does not have a digital copy... LOL

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Librarybelle
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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This came in for me at the library today. Sounds so intriguing...can‘t wait to read it!

BookishMe Indeed! Another Icelandic title to check out ;D 2y
Librarybelle @BookishMe 🙂❤️ 2y
Alismcg we didn't have in our library system, just put it on my Kindle 1y
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Librarybelle @Alismcg It looks so good! I hope to get to it soon. 1y
Librarybelle @Alismcg And, welcome to Litsy! It‘s a fun community! ❤️ 1y
Alismcg i cannot figure out how to add books i have read LOL 1y
Alismcg @Librarybelle TY for the welcome... it will get easier 😂 1y
Alismcg @Librarybelle how did you do with this, i made a 1/3 of the way through and had to STOP. I don't know that i can continue... the woman's so absolutely venomous in her adult role ... her child voice grabs me. What were your 1st impressions? 1y
Librarybelle @Alismcg I just started over the weekend. As I told one of my friends today who wants to read it, the main character is crass and bitter and very disorganized. I like your use of the word venomous to describe her! It‘s definitely not a read for everyone. I‘m going to keep reading (not quite to 100 pages yet); I want to read on to see what events helped shape her into the noxious creature she has become. 1y
Alismcg omg, thanks so much for your response... have not yet removed the book from my Kindle... maybe i just needed to distance myself from her toxic character for a time. 😂 1y
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ReadingEnvy
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Pickpick

Translated from the Icelandic, this novel looks back at a woman's life. She came of age in Iceland during World War II so I learned a lot about that, but I also loved Herra in the present day. She is bedridden and dying of emphysema but spends her time encouraging her nurse to have more sex, hacking her daughter-in-law's email, and flirting with strangers on the internet. More here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2247425744

Lindy Sounds fab. 😀 2y
batsy Intriguing! This sounds like a better of version of 2y
ReadingEnvy @batsy far more complex but at times just as explicit 2y
68 likes10 stack adds4 comments
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ReadingEnvy
Woman at 1,000 Degrees: A Novel | Hallgrimur Helgason
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Woohoo my campus has delayed start tomorrow so my current plans are to stay up later than I would have.

MrBook 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
Daisey My school is having a late start tomorrow too, so I'm doing the same! 2y
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