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The Summer Book (1972)

by Tove Jansson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2101105,025 (4.18)394
"This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia's grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland." -- Publisher's description.
  1. 41
    Moominpappa at Sea by Tove Jansson (Jannes)
    Jannes: Janssons kärlek till den finska skärgården är mycket tydlig i båda dessa böcker som trots sina ytliga olikheter har mycket gemensamt.
  2. 10
    Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (Jannes)
    Jannes: Interconnected stories abour childhood and endless summers. Bradbury is more fantastical, while Jansson leans more to the realistic and understated, but both books runs over with wonderful and lyrical prose, and both captures a sense of childhood and summer i a way that is very rare.… (more)
  3. 00
    A Bird in the House by Margaret Laurence (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: A similarly constructed series of connected short stories told through the eyes of a young girl.
  4. 00
    The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (pitjrw)
    pitjrw: Unusual, beautiful relationships between the old and young
  5. 00
    Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest by Amos Oz (cometahalley)
  6. 00
    First Teacher by Tschingis Aitmatow (cometahalley)
  7. 00
    Melodia della terra: Giamilja by Cingiz Ajtmatov (cometahalley)
  8. 00
    The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna (jonathankws)
  9. 00
    Il te e l'amore per il mare by Fazil Iskander (cometahalley)

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» See also 394 mentions

English (96)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (105)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
A touching, funny, and nature-soaked set of stories about a grandmother-granddaughter duo learning to build a life together on an island in the Gulf of Finland. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
This is quite lovely, in its own quiet little way. Don;t expect plot or progression, there isn;t any. It is simply a set of incidents that take place on a little island, occuplied by Sophia, Papa and Grandmother. Sophia and Grandmother spend quite a lot of time together over this one summer, exploring the islan, exploring what it is to be 6 and old, from two very different perspectives. There are things that happen, there is weather and the plants grow, and nothing much takes place. And yet it is lyrically beautiful. As it progresses you come to realise that it is a love song to Grandmother and all she stands for. This is was written after the author's mother, Grandmother, had passed away and it serves as a means of importalising this lovely woman in words that roll around on the page and bring her to life. It turns out to be quite beautiful and life affirming ( )
  Helenliz | Nov 30, 2020 |
Wish it had gone on forever ... ( )
  Overgaard | Nov 17, 2020 |
A meandering walk through a unique summer. Delightful. ( )
  drwilko | Nov 17, 2020 |
I am in the middle of the forests of Finland on holiday but still indulged my passions by having the cricket on in the background for the final England v The West Indies Test decider earlier this week. In order to counterbalance this irregularity, what better way than simultaneously re-visiting Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book (Sort of Books). Sitting here looking out on the lake where we brought up our children each summer, is there a more perfect book than this? It is clever, funny, moving and has that simplicity that only brilliant writers can achieve. Tove Jansson may be most famous for success with her Moomin books and characters but they were a relatively small part of her prodigious output which included fiction, short stories, anti-Nazi illustrations during WWII in Garm magazine, and also her career as a painter. Any chance to visit exhibitions of her wider work should be taken. ( )
  davidroche | Oct 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
In Why Read the Classics, Italo Calvino defines a classic as "any book that comes to represent the whole universe, a book on a par with ancient talismans". He indicates how a classic book reduces the noise of the contemporary world to a background hum when we read it, and conversely is always itself there in the background "even when a present that is totally incompatible with it holds sway".
The Summer Book is a world apart. It is very good to have it.
added by DouglasAtEik | editThe Guardian, Ali Smith (Jul 12, 2003)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jansson, Toveprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, KathrynIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freud, EstherForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giorgetti Cima, CarmenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kicherer, BirgittaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivivuori, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teal, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was an early, very warm morning in July, and it had rained during the night.
Che cosa strana è l'amore, disse Sofia. Più si ama l'altro e meno l'altro ti ama.
È assolutamente vero, osservò la nonna. E allora che cosa si può fare?
Si continua ad amare, disse Sofia minacciosamente. Si ama sempre peggio".
Grandmother walked up the bare granite and thought about birds in general. It seemed to her no other creature had the same dramatic capacity to underline and perfect events -- the shifts in the seasons and the weather, the changes that run through people themselves.
Eriksson was small and strong and the colour of the landscape, except that his eyes were blue. When people talked about him or thought about him, it seemed natural to lift their heads and gaze out over the sea […. A]s long as he stayed, he had everyone's undivided attention. No one did anything, no one looked at anything but Eriksson. They would hang on his every word, and when he was gone and nothing had actually been said, their thoughts would dwell gravely on what he had left unspoken.
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"This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia's grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland." -- Publisher's description.

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