Knowing PAST

The sequel to Knowing PLACE has come! More adventures of Beatrice and her friends as they save Gustav from a terrible fate.

Read the first three chapters on the page “Knowing Past Sample.” Click on the link.

So far only available in paper, from and In Sweden, it’s available through adlibris and bokus.

Working on getting it available on Kindle, but, as they say, “it’s complicated.”

Hope you enjoy the sequel.

Wishing all my readers a joyful holiday season!


1 Comment

Posted by on December 8, 2016 in Uncategorized


Summer reading

If you’re wondering what to read this summer, here are some suggestions.

Nowegian by Night by Derek Miller

This is my top recommendation. Perhaps one reason I like it is because he deals with several themes that I deal with in Knowing Place: being a foreigner, aging, and how history haunts the present. Knowing Place is a “cozy” compared to Miller’s action-packed tale of an eighty-something Jewish man from New York City relocated to Oslo by his granddaughter who thinks he’s becoming demented. A brutal murder hurls him into a wild chase through the Norwegian countryside, accompanied by a little boy who speaks no Norwegian or English. The author kept me enthralled as he wove in events from the past, cultural commentary, and a good dose of humor.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

With a daughter working for Microsoft and living in Seattle, I was compelled to read this. But even if you don’t have any connection to MS or Seattle, this is a great summer read. The narrator is a teenage girl, her father a big wig at MS, and her mother once an award winning architect, now a recluse. They live in what was once a home for unwed mothers where blackberry bushes grow up through the floor and the Seattle rain pours in through the roof. Most of the text is made up of e-mails, reports and school notices. This might have dissuaded me from reading it had I known, but don’t let it dissuade you. It works. It’s easy to follow the plot, and you see the action from different perspectives. The book is social satire, that is, humorous but (for me) not laugh-out-loud humor, too close to the sad truth.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

This book, on the other hand, had me laughing out loud. I read it in the original language, Swedish, so I hope the translation is as entertaining. Alan Karlsson lives in a nursing home. He’s pissed because he is about turn one hundred but they won’t let him celebrate with vodka. He escapes out the window and is chased around the countryside by police and gangsters (any similarity to Norwegian by Night ends here). He finds a suitcase full of money and an odd assortment of fellow fugitives including an elephant. Picture a Forest Gump who is very intelligent and an explosive expert. Flashbacks describe his meetings with Truman at Los Alamos, Franco during the Spanish revolution and Mao during the People’s Revolution. Of course, he plays a decisive role in every encounter.

Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

If the summer gets hot, you might get relief from this story of a farm in Palmer, Alaska during the 1920s. I love to meet a book that crushes my prejudices about genre. My eyes glaze over as soon as an author delves into myths or dreams. But not here! Mabel and Jack are childless when they come to Alaska to eke out a living on the land. They encounter a child of the wilderness, who wafts in and out of their homestead like a fairy. It’s a beautifully written tale of the physical and emotional struggles of life on the frontier. I won’t reveal more. If you love myths, you’ll love this book. If not, let this book change your mind.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Anyone who has talked books with me has heard me rave about Louise Penny. Her mysteries are set south of Montreal and feature Inspector Gamache, a French Canadian with an Anglo education. Still Life is the first book in the series. Read them in order. Unlike some authors of mystery series, Penny does not lose steam. Each book is better, and deeper, than the last. Her characters are complex and develop from book to book. Plots range from relationships in a small, isolated village, to corruption at the national level in the police force. I would give anything to be able to write like this author.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

I read copious amounts of non-fiction in my work as a researcher, so I usually turn to fiction on “my” time. But Gladwell is a storyteller, as well as a researcher and I found this book both informative and inspiring. It’s about power, obstacles, and how disadvantages can be transformed to advantage. He takes case stories and weaves them with research to explain how the Davids of life have turned their “weakness” into power. He starts with the biblical tale of David and Goliath and continues to current day schools, Mississippi and Northern Ireland of the sixties, and a village in France that harbored Jews during WW2.

On my own reading list this summer is Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead and Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway by Sara Gran. Astonish Me deals with the world of ballet, a foreign country I’m curious to explore. Gran’s first novel about Claire DeWitt was one of those genre-prejudice-crushing books. DeWitt is a hardnosed, hard-drinking, hard-talking private detective who works with some sordid elements of society. I lean toward the cozies (with the exception of Penny!). But Gran writes with humor and a large dose of humanity in a sometimes inhumane situation.

1 Comment

Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


Stockholm Writers Group

The Stockholm Writers Group (aka SWG) has been going strong for nearly 20 years. We just launched a terrific website about, of course, US. A fantastic photographer, Tymon Pigon, was roped in to take our photos, and if you click on the photo, you can read a short blurb about each writer, with links to their blogs or books. We’re still developing the site. So if you have any suggestions about what you would like to see on the site, let us know, either on the ‘contact us’ at the bottom of the site, or to this blog.

Here’s the link:



Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


What’s in a name?

This week I’m a guest blogger on Emily Breunig’s great blog, Notes from a Writing Life, The Loyalty of Water.

“To my surprise, the most common question I got after publishing my first novel, Knowing Place, was not “how did you get the idea?” or “is it autobiographical?” It was “why did you use a pseudonym?”

You can read it here.


Leave a comment

Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


Happy 2014!

A year since my last post?! Hard to believe.

I am recently back from a month in Hawaii, escaping some of the Swedish winter. The manuscript for the sequel to Knowing Place lay dormant in my suitcase as I walked barefoot on beaches, ate fusion food from around the world and spent time with family.

The first draft of the sequel is almost done. In author language this means there’s still a mountain of work ahead of me. But as my jet lag fades, I am determined to get it underway. At this point I don’t want to tell you too much, other than that it focuses on Gustav’s life story. You’ll find out why he stays away from cops. And doctors.

Warmest wishes for a joyful, peaceful and healthy 2014!

Hawaiian hibiscus

Hawaiian hibiscus

1 Comment

Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


Happy 2013!!

In an effort to reach more readers (i.e., sell more books) the price of the e-book version of Knowing Place has been lowered to $3.99. Kindle has already lowered the price and other e-books should follow. Tell your friends with e-books!

Have you ever written a book review? If you enjoyed reading Knowing Place, please write a review on Amazon or other online site. Helpful reviews (helpful to authors and potential readers) are short and specific. Just say what you liked about the book.

There are three book groups that have Knowing Place on their schedule for the spring, one in the U.S. and two in Sweden. Wishing I could be a fly on the wall when they meet!

Question to my non-Swedish readers: what would you like to know about life in Stockholm, during the seventies or now? Was there anything in Knowing Place that made you curious to know more about Swedish culture, traditions or social norms?

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized



The English Bookshop in Stockholm will host a reading of Knowing Place on Wednesday, October 24th at 7 p.m.

This charming bookshop is located at Lilla Nygatan 11 on Gamla Stan. They will have copies for sale.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Uncategorized