An­dri Snær Mag­na­son

Geographical - - RE­VIEWS -

is one of Ice­land’s most cel­e­brated writ­ers. He has writ­ten nov­els, poetry, plays, short sto­ries and es­says

Broth­ers Lion­heart

by Astrid Lind­gren (1973)

When we are old and grey and name the books that in­flu­enced us the most I think ev­ery­one will name a few chil­dren’s books.

The Chi­nese Al­li­ga­tor

by John Thor­b­jarnar­son (2010)

John Thor­b­jarnar­son was my un­cle, one of the world’s lead­ing ex­perts in crocodil­ians. He speaks of these crea­tures with love and af­fec­tion, with his­tory and mythol­ogy in­cluded.

The Po­etic Edda


The pri­mary source of Nordic mythol­ogy, I spent a whole sum­mer guard­ing this book in the Man­u­script Ex­hi­bi­tion in Reyk­javík. This book has in­spired Tolkien, Wag­ner, Borges, Mar­vel Comics and count­less other works.

Life af­ter God

by Dou­glas Cou­p­land (1994)

Be­ing very much into fan­tasy and poetry this book struck a chord. Cou­p­land cap­tures a strange, sin­cere melan­choly with some dread of the zeit­geist but al­ways a twist and some hu­mour.


by Michael Ende (1973)

I re­mem­ber when the class bully came en­light­ened to school af­ter read­ing this amaz­ing book. It hap­pens in a world where some grey men start steal­ing time and the char­ac­ter finds a way to walk faster if she walks slower.

The English Dane

by Sarah Bakewell (2005)

This book tells the re­mark­able life story of Jor­gen Jor­gensen, who washed up on the shores of Ice­land in the sum­mer of 1809 and de­clared in­de­pen­dence.

Moun­tains of the Mind

by Robert Macfar­lane (2003)

I brought this with me when I did a trek to Au­den’s Col in the Garhwal Himalaya and ended up tear­ing it in half so that my guide and I could talk about it as we laboured our way up the Ruda­gaira val­ley.

The Great Derange­ment:

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