Midsummer’s review round-up

It’s Midsummer: we Finns are preparing for the celebration of the longest day of the year. Bonfires are lit, feasts are prepared and of course, sauna is a staple part of Midsummer.

In addition to The Finnish Sauna Book by Carita Harju, you can read more about the health benefits of a hot sauna in Finding Sisu. Katja Pantzar’s book about finding courage, wellness, and happiness through the power of sisu has been recently published in UK and Germany, and in many other countries the printers are already running hot.

The US publication of Finding Sisu is due next week, and Vogue reviewed the book very favorably: read the piece yourself to see how you can practice your sisu anywhere in the world, even in NYC.

Another nonfiction highlight of the spring is The Peace Machine by Professor Timo Honkela, who is now visiting Japan and the Finnish Institute in Japan to discuss his “Peace Machine Concept” of designing artificial intelligence and machine learning to serve humanity, in practice to help people to live in peace with each other.

On the fiction side, The Bystander by Saara Turunen has stirred conversation in Finland about writing as a profession and the role of literary criticism. Readers and reviewers have enjoyed the book:

“The novel is harrowing, emotional, fresh, original, fun and thought-provoking. Oh boy it’s good!” – Ilta-Sanomat newspaper, Finland

Katja Törmänen’s prize-winning fantasy novel The Bear’s Bride has also been well received: ”Myth and history mix in Katja Törmänen’s unique narrative art”, wrote Kalevanewspaper.

The Angry Widow by Minna Lindgren – now sold to German, Italian, Czech and Slovak – keeps getting great reviews: “Lindgren finds comic details in our lives and tells them quickly and amusingly,” said Suomen kuvalehti magazine.

Get in touch with us for reading materials – and have a happy Midsummer!

About author


Carita Harju

Carita Harju has always enjoyed saunas and goes to sauna with her family nearly every day. In 2010, she founded Sauna from Finland, because she felt that there was simply not enough discussion of saunas - especially from the perspective of health and wellness. The organization’s mission is to create the world’s best sauna experiences, and Harju loves her work, because it allows her to advance an idea that she is personally so passionate about.

Carita Harju is a Finnish Sauna Experience Expert and a versatile marketing professional. Her passion is to bring the knowledge on the large positive health and wellness impacts of the Finnish sauna to a wider global awareness. Carita is the Executive Director of her company Sauna from Finland that represents the network of over 200 sauna industry companies.

About author


Katja Pantzar

Helsinki-based writer, editor and broadcast journalist Katja Pantzar was raised in Canada with stints in New Zealand and the UK. Pantzar’s The Finnish Way has been translated into 20 languages. She is the author of three guides to the Finnish capital city Helsinki: The Hip Guide to Helsinki, Helsinki by Light and 100 Things to Do in Helsinki. Pantzar’s writing has appeared in a wide range of media, from The Globe and Mail to Elle. Her work has been widely covered around the world, including in Le Figaro, Le Monde, El País, Vogue, Real Simple, and more.

About author


Katja Törmänen

KATJA TÖRMÄNEN is a history teacher by training and a writer by profession. She has also studied and taught creative writing. She lives in Oulu, Northern Finland.

About author


Minna Lindgren

Minna Lindgren (b. 1963) is a freelance journalist and columnist known for her whimsical writing style and fearless approach to topics as strange as opera and death. In addition to novels, she has authored nonfiction books on classical music. In 2009 Lindgren won the Bonnier Journalism Prize for her article entitled “Father’s Death” (“Isän kuolema”).

Lindgren is best known for the Sunset Grove trilogy, which has been sold to 17 territories, and the final part, The End of Sunset Grove, was nominated for the International Dublin Literature Award in 2019. She has also written three standalones: Angry Widow (2018), A Far Far Love (2019) and Hope Never Dies (2020).

Minna Lindgren’s books have been critical and commercial successes, in Finland and internationally.

About author


Saara Turunen

Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed award-winning author, playwright and director. Much of her work examines the themes of art, identity and social norms. Turunen is known for her three highly acclaimed novels - Irrational Things (2021), The Bystander (2018) and Love/Monster (2015), but also for her work in theatre. Her plays have been translated into 15 languages and performed all around the world. Turunen was awarded with the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2015, with the Finland Prize in 2016, with the City of Helsinki’s The Artist of the Year Award in 2018 and with the Lea-Prize in 2020, all high-profile awards given in Finland.

Her latest novel Irrational Things (2021) became an immediate bestseller and a critical darling. It has already sold over 18,000 copies in Finland.

About author


Timo Honkela

Timo Honkela researched artificial intelligence and machine learning for over 30 years, and served as a professor in three universities, including his post as Professor of Digital Information Research in Helsinki University. The Peace Machine is his testament, in which he talks about his life work in hopes of inspiring other people to continue the important work.