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!

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.

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 published in 22 countries. She is the author of the three Helsinki guides: 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, and she is a Helsinki correspondent for Monocle 24. Her work has been widely covered around the world, including in Le Figaro, Le Monde, El País, Vogue, Real Simple, and more.

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.

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 11 territories, and the final part The End of Sunset Grow 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.

Saara Turunen


Saara Turunen is an internationally acclaimed award-winning author, playwright and director. She is known for her bold and direct style and much of her work examines the themes of identity and social norms. Her latest novel Irrational Things (Spring 2021) is a story of love, death and life between two countries. It has sold already over 15.000 copies.

Turunen has previously authored two highly acclaimed novels, Love/Monster 2015 and The Bystander 2018. Her debut novel Love/Monster won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2015. In addition to her work as a novelist, Turunen is also known for her plays. They have been translated into 13 languages and performed all around the world. Turunen was awarded with the Finland Prize in 2016, with the City of Helsinki’s The Artist of the Year Award in 2018 and with Lea-Award in 2020, all high profile awards given in Finland.

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.

Our fiction highlights for London Book Fair

London Book Fair begins tomorrow – and we’ll be there, pitching the best Finnish books of the season to international publishers! Here’s a little overview of the recent reviews of our highlights:

The Angry Widow by Minna Lindgren
“Minna Lindgren writes about aging more hilariously, more sensitively and more sharply than any other contemporary writer.” **** Aamulehti newspaper, Finland

The Bystander by Saara Turunen
The Bystander deserves praise. It’s a frank, funny and unconventionally laconically told story about a year in the life of its protagonist, a debut author.” – Me Naiset magazine, Finland

The Russia Account by Anniina Tarasova
”The author’s language is fluent and narration gripping. The story has a good rhythm, the scenes change interestingly and the setting is enjoyable.” – Länsi-Savo newspaper, Finland

The Bear’s Bride by Katja Törmänen
”All in all, The Bear’s Bride is one of the most rewarding Finnish fantasy novels I’ve read. It weaves a dense and smooth story of recognizable human issues and successfully uses Northern history in the world-building.” – Muissa maailmoissa literary blog

The Guardian Angel by Arto Halonen & Kevin Frazier
“The questions the work evokes fit perfectly in the year 2018. To which lengths can we be manipulated on a personal or a national level? The book, which is based on a true story, captivates the reader… The novel is so gripping it’s difficult to stop reading it.” – ET magazine, Finland

Request reading materials by clicking here!

Anniina Tarasova


Anniina Tarasova is a Helsinki-based storyteller who has worked in the leadership of a startup. Her family comes from Finland, Karelia, and St. Petersburg—her grandfather and his parents emigrated soon after the Russian Revolution. As an adult, Anniina Tarasova reconnected with Russia, and especially St. Petersburg, which is the setting for the two thrillers.

In addition to workplace issues, Tarasova’s interests include startups, coding, and new business ideas. Even the cheesiest self-help books can inspire her, but her real literary influences and favorite books are to be found in other genres: Sujata Massey (Rei Shimura), Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones), Ljudmila Ulitskaja, and Charles Bukowski.