FILI Book Picks 2023


Ann-Christin Antell: Rival to the Cotton Mill

Cotton Mill #3

Helsinki Literary Agency, Puuvillatehtaan kilpailija, Gummerus 2023

FILI Reads The historical fiction Cotton Mill trilogy, set in Turku, Finland’s oldest city, takes the reader from the industrializing society of the late 19th century, through the repressive Russian rule of the early 20th century, to the jazz and Prohibition era of the 1920s. The books offer an interesting and authentic portrayal of the period’s social changes, the status of women and class society – with no lack of romance. “I want to write about love, but the story has a large social framework”, the author has said in an interview. Warmly recommended to all lovers of quality entertainment.

Elina Backman: Before the Polar Night Falls

Saana Havas series

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Ennen kuin tulee pimeää, Otava 2022

Ulla Donner: The Natural Comedy

Helsinki Literary Agency, Den Naturliga Komedin, Schildts & Söderströms 2023

FILI Reads A surprising, refreshing and humorous comic book for adults that invites readers to follow a quite comical duo on a journey into the depths of the forest. At the centre of the story are a birch leaf, Birch, who is practising self-love and acceptance, and a mushroom, Candy, who is suffering from heartache. Donner’s multifaceted new work, which won the Sarjakuva-Finlandia Prize for comics, shines a light on the self-centredness of modern society and the clichés of individual self-development, and reflects on humanity’s relationships with nature, complex ecosystems and the irreversible changes in our environment. The comic’s colours are enchanting, and both the visuals and language are high-quality, apt and surprising, combining colloquial language, slang and even references to Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Donner’s The Natural Comedy reflects unflinchingly the current state of the world, but also leaves room for hope: even small actions can have a significant impact.

Eva Frantz: You Will Not Take My Child

Helsinki Literary Agency, Ungen min får ni aldrig, Schildts & Söderströms 2023

FILI Reads A drainage well next to the children's playground floods and the cause will soon be discovered. Detective Inspector Anna Glad is balancing the pressures of home and work, and the new don't make things any easier. You Will Not Take My Child effectively combines the secrets of the past with the pressures of modern life, successfully portraying the state of child protection and offering a close-up view of life in a small town and its inhabitants.

Susanna Hast: Body of Evidence

Helsinki Literary Agency, Ruumis/huoneet, S&S 2022

Guest Read Body of Evidence by Susanna Hast is an interesting novel that deals with the author’s own personal history. She studies herself, trying to learn the truth of what happened to her as a teenager when she was a victim of sexual violence. She tried to cope and thought she was doing fine, but later noticed that things were not so straightforward. She courageously seeks out her forgotten past and examines this void in her history through the memories of her body. It is a bold novel and very impressive. Recommended reading! – Claire Saint-Germain, translator

Elina Hirvonen: The Logbook of Love

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Rakkauksien lokikirja, WSOY 2023

FILI Reads In the end, it’s all about connecting with others. That’s the message of Elina Hirvonen’s wonderful novel, which moves in completely new stylistic waters. The book starts with a depression test when the narrator fears she is succumbing to the depression that has hounded her since she was young. She starts writing down her conversations about love with friends who live in different parts of the world. In a world profoundly affected by a pandemic, the climate crisis and war, we are returned again and again to the possibilities offered by connection: friendship, falling in love, relationships, parenting, searching for one’s inner self and the hope for dialogue.

Helena Immonen: Operation Arctic Fox

Bonnier Rights Finland, Operaatio Napakettu, Docendo 2023

Risto Isomäki: The Last Wilderness

Viimeinen erämaa, Into 2023

Olli Jalonen: Stalker Years

Rights & Brands, Stalker-vuodet, Otava 2022

Riitta Jalonen: Brightness

Rights & Brands, Kirkkaus, Tammi 2016

Pekka Juntti: Wild Dog

Rights & Brands, Villikoira, Otava 2022

Anu Kaaja: The Bow

Helsinki Literary Agency, Rusetti, S&S 2023

FILI Reads How does it feel to have a conversation with a spoon in a fancy European café? What sensual pleasures can be created by the "hottest renaissance boys" of artworks in art museums around the world or the beautiful bodies dancing to the beat of techno clubs? The perspectives in Anu Kaaja's novel The Bow lead us to reflect on the symbolic values found in objects and works of art or anyone's body, as well as our way of defining beauty. It makes the reader look at individual objects as well as the loves of life, objectification and beauty, especially its structure, in a slightly different way. The award-winning author's fourth prose work is a brilliant, sensual and at the same time socially critical statement on the power of images and the power of looking. In the midst of it all, it evokes the desire to indulge, like the novel's self, in the sensual depths of art and beauty in abundance!

Katja Kettu : The Investigations of A Certain Cat

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Erään kissan tutkimuksia, Otava 2023

FILI Reads A mysterious Detective, a Cat, drops into the author's life from the heavens at the darkest moment of her life: she has lost the child she was expecting – again – and with it everything, her ability to write. With no light in the future, the Author begins to look to the past for a solution, by peering into the life of her great-grandmother Eeva during the turbulent years of the country's independence. A magnificent, captivating novel about life's greatest dreams, which you are forced to learn to replace with new ones, again and again. The Investigations of One Cat also shows that words have power, that stories can create justice and new truths in the world.

Aura Koivisto: Chimera

Harhamat, Into 2023

J. P. Koskinen: Firewing

Rights & Brands, Tulisiipi, Like 2019

Marja Kyllönen: The Undeparted

Helsinki Literary Agency, Vainajaiset, Teos 2022

Sirpa Kähkönen: 36 Urns: A History of Being Wrong

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, 36 uurnaa. Väärässä olemisen historia, Siltala 2023

FILI Reads Kähkönen’s strongly autobiographical novel is beautiful and moving. It is a direct, unadorned speech from a daughter to a dead mother. After her mother’s death, the daughter discovers that their small family grave plot can hold thirty-six urns. So the daughter supplies her mother with thirty-six grave offerings – objects and stories – through which she makes an inventory of her mother’s life and youth as well as of transgenerational traumas, including her own childhood in the shadow of a violent and unpredictable mother. The most important thing, however, is the desire to understand – and loving memories.

Tiina Laitila Kälvemark: The Shadow Sonata

Bonnier Rights Finland, Valon ja pimeän sonaatit, WSOY 2023

Laura Lindstedt & Sinikka Vuola: 101 Ways to Kill Your Husband

Helsinki Literary Agency, 101 tapaa tappaa aviomies, Siltala 2022

Guest Read Laura Lindstedt's and Sinikka Vuola's 101 Ways to Kill Your Husband is a stunning novel in its own right. The text is playful and funny, and it is a very “literary” book. It presents 101 variations of the same theme which makes it fit very well with French literature, and with the Oulipo group in particular. Oulipo is a group of experimental authors, who seek to construct stories by using various constrained writing techniques, and writing within those rules. It is a very productive method! – Claire Saint-Germain

Miki Liukkonen: Guest Mode

Bonnier Rights Finland, Vierastila, WSOY 2023

Tuire Malmstedt: Snow Grave

Metso & Vauramo series #2

Rights & Brands, Lumihauta, Aula & Co 2022

Merja Mäki: Before the Birds

Helsinki Literary Agency, Ennen lintuja, Gummerus 2022

FILI Reads A deeply touching war evacuee story that depicts loss and longing for home. The book’s events take place in the 1940s, when Finns in the east were forced to flee war. The main character, Alli, dreams of following in his father’s footsteps as a fisherman on Lake Ladoga, but his evacuation journey leads him to the expansive plains of Ostrobothnia. It’s a challenge to adapt to the new conditions and to live in the home of complete strangers, but Alli’s tenacity and sisu help him make it through the difficult times. The story is unfortunately true in all times and all cultures.

Leena Parkkinen: Miss Stein's Cook

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Neiti Steinin keittäjätär, Otava 2022

FILI Reads In the 1920s, Margit, fleeing tragic conditions in Finland, is hired as a cook in the household of world-famous avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris. The roles of cook and servant define both the Finnish Margit and Alice, Stein's beloved, editor, muse and typist. An extraordinary trust develops between the servants from two different cultures. The award-winning author's sensuous narrative brings to life 1930s Paris, the daring lifestyle of two women cultural influencers, the fate of the Finnish servant sisters and the masterful cooking that sustains everyday life as much as the feast. This magnificent historical novel is a wonderful story of the love that drives one person to serve another unconditionally.

Maria Peura: Firstborn

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Esikoinen, Otava 2023

FILI Reads “My child, telling this will not be easy", Maria Peura says in the first lines of this autobiographical novel, as she begins to write the story of how her firstborn got into trouble and was finally placed in an institution. Firstborn is a startlingly direct, brutal description of how the effects of violence can pass from one generation to the next. The narrator’s own childhood was filled with trauma and her love relationships have been violent, but gradually she learns to set boundaries for herself. Peura’s way of seeing and describing the world is so lyrically multilayered that even among the spirals of trauma, the reading experience is beautiful. And at the end, there is light: it is possible to get through it all.

Emma Puikkonen: The Black Mirror

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Musta peili, WSOY 2021

FILI Reads This novel follows the story of three women and the role of oil in society. Each of the women has a special relationship with oil, which is the fourth voice in the novel. Journalist Ida Tarbell writes about the millions earned by Rockefeller’s oil business in the early twentieth century, Lotte Teer is a little girl in the Netherlands during the oil crisis of the 1970s and works in PR for the oil industry as an adult, and Astrid Fuglesang is an environmental activist whose field of action is the oil rigs of the future. Puikkonen’s skilful writing tells the intertwined story of women and the oil industry sensitively and without pointing fingers. Though dystopian tones can be found in the book, there is luckily room for optimism as well!

Riikka Pulkkinen: The Enchantment

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Lumo, Otava 2022

FILI Reads 17-year-old Philippa is found dead in her front yard. Story by story, the young girl of many roles comes to the fore as her relationship with Philippa is revealed by her mother, her best friend Saga, her ex-boyfriend Oliver, her neighbour Alex, who is over 80 years old, Alina, who is roasting in the rush hour, the "dating guyes" and the videos found on the protagonist's phone. As Philippa's life begins to take shape, it becomes apparent how the same person can be nice and manipulative, wise young and cruel, foolish and playful; there is no sure, complete portrait. The Enchantment is also an autopsy of girlishness and a deep dive into the vulnerability, brokenness and growth of people of different ages. Riikka Pulkkinen's seventh novel is a masterpiece of the power of forging.

Iida Rauma: Destruction

Helsinki Literary Agency, Hävitys: Tapauskertomus, Siltala 2022

FILI Reads Iida Rauma's third novel, Destruction, winner of the 2022 Finlandia Prize, is a fiercely written depiction of school violence and the most destructive of human beings. With a masterly touch, Rauma draws a gripping picture of a person who was almost destroyed at school, a city that has been destroyed many times over and a planet that is being destroyed right now. Destruction is a powerful fictional account of society's inability to address the plight of the individual, from school violence to the ecological crisis of the planet. It wraps its reader in a tight grip that lasts to the end and stays with you.

Matias Riikonen: Matara

Helsinki Literary Agency, Matara, Teos 2021

FILI Reads Matias Riikonen’s widely recognised, award-winning novel is a story about the serious fantasy games of childhood. Boys at a summer camp spend their days in a realm of their own invention, the Republic of Matara, with its own laws and social structure, plots and alliances. Riikonen’s fourth novel takes children seriously in a way few other works do. In Riikonen’s hands, the birdsong-filled woods of early summer and the violence and tenderness of the boys meld into superb, startling literature. This is a book about war games and brotherhood, about building a society and then destroying it, about believing in your dreams and then finding new dreams to believe in. It’s a book about becoming one’s own self – it’s about us.

Satu Rämö: Rósa and Björk

Hildur series

Bonnier Rights Finland, Rósa and Björk, WSOY 2023

FILI Reads These detective novels by a popular social media influencer and non-fiction author broke Finnish sales records. Set on Iceland, the novels draw you in with fascinating depictions of the setting and a dramatic arc that will continue to haunt you for a long time. The books’ multidimensional protagonists are also spot-on: the introverted Icelandic detective Hildur and her Finnish intern Jakob, who likes to knit. Both are weighed down by family tragedies, which we follow in flashbacks alongside the murder investigations. Five-star “Nordic Blue”.

Pirkko Saisio: The Helsinki Trilogy

Helsinki Literary Agency, Pienin yhteinen jaettava (1998), Vastavalo (2000), Punainen erokirja (2003), WSOY

FILI Reads Pirkko Saisio’s autofictional trilogy carries the reader through the childhood, adolescence and adulthood of a girl who wanted to be a boy and started calling herself “her” when she was eight years of age. The strong themes of the trilogy – the relationship between an individual and the society, sexuality and being queer, and finding your voice – are told in a fragmentary, lyrical style, descriptive of Saisio. As the background, there is Helsinki, changing as the decades go by. Saisio is a seven-time Finlandia Prize nominee. Each of the three novels was nominated for the prize, The Red Letter of Farewells finally gaining it.

Riikka Sandberg: Ørja

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Ørja, Otava 2023

FILI Reads It’s the 1970s. Tine and Runar, who travel the country showing films, arrive in the distant islands of Ørja, where Runar spent his summers as a child. Tine finds an old wire recorder in a shed, along with recordings in which a young woman named Isa recounts her life to her dead mother, starting with how, after a series of dramatic events, she ended up in Ørja with her father during the German occupation of Norway. Little by little, Isa’s story begins to intertwine with Tine’s own life. Nature provides a fabulous background to the dramatic human destinies of the story.

Max Seeck: Ghost Island

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Loukko, Tammi 2022

Pauliina Susi: Private Property

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Yksityisalue, Tammi 2023

Petri Tamminen: Sport Stories

Rights & Brands, Urheilijaelämäkerta, Otava 2023

Sami Tissari: Krysa

Rights & Brands, Krysa, Aula & Co 2022

Sofia Torvalds: The Café

Rights & Brands, Kaféet, Förlaget 2023

Kaisu Tuokko: Revenge

The Kristinestad Murders #1

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Kosto, Otava 2023

FILI Reads In her debut novel Revenge Kaisu Tuokko introduces the reader to the idyllic town of Kristinestad on the Finnish coast. Eevi Manner, who has moved back to her hometown with her artist husband, has started working as a journalist for the local newspaper. The sleepy atmosphere is shattered when the body of a young man is found in the sea. The death shocks the small-town residents and raises questions about the present and the past. When visiting the crime scene, Eevi bumps into her ex-boyfriend, now detective Mats Bergholm and it is clear that their story is not over yet.

Antti Tuomainen: The Burning Stones

Salomonssons Agency, Palavat kivet, Otava 2023

Arttu Tuominen: The Liberator

River Delta Series

Bonnier Rights Finland, Vapahtaja, WSOY 2023

FILI Reads The fifth part of the Delta series takes us to the roots of yet another social ill. Surveillance cameras witness as more outcasts set themselves on fire as a silent figure watches on from the sidelines. Paloviita and partners investigate the arson murders while at the same time Delta Team Inspector Susanna Manner fights for her son, who has become entangled in a dangerous drug organisation. Tuominen has written another fine detective story, driven by a genuinely human interest in the characters and their lives.

Iida Turpeinen: Beasts of the Sea

Helsinki Literary Agency, Elolliset, S&S 2023

FILI Reads In the eighteenth century, German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller sails to the edge of the New World on Vitus Bering’s expedition. After being shipwrecked on an island, the expedition discovers a mythical sea cow. In the nineteenth century, Hampus Furuhjelm, serving as governor of Alaska, a Russian territory, sends the skeleton of a Steller’s sea cow to the professor of zoology at the Imperial Alexander University in Helsinki, as had been promised. The huge skeleton ends up in a museum and is dismantled and reassembled in the 1950s. This debut novel skilfully combines natural science and fiction over a span of three centuries, describing the destruction caused by humans in the name of progress and civilization: the Steller’s sea cow was hunted to extinction only a few decades after its discovery. Iida Turpeinen’s debut is also a complete masterpiece in terms of language and story, which she uses to masterfully intertwine the thought-worlds and characters of each era.

Maria Turtschaninoff: Inherited Land

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Arvejord, Förlaget 2022

FILI Reads This story – or rather, these stories – pull you in right away. Without a doubt, Turtschaninoff is one of the best storytellers in Finnish literature, someone you want to listen to and who has something to say. Inherited Land is a multigenerational story about the interaction between humans and nature. It’s also a story about how people and places are connected to each other, about how the memory of a place fades over generations and about what responsibility we ultimately have for places. A wise, beautiful and occasionally even titillating book.

Meri Valkama: Yours, Margot

Bonnier Rights Finland, Sinun, Margot, WSOY 2021

Ville Verkkapuro: Pete

Bonnier Rights Finland, Pete, Kosmos 2022

Kjell Westö: Dusk 41

Copenhagen Literary Agency, Skymning 41, Förlaget 2023

FILI Reads The story of Molly, an actress, and Henry, a war reporter, takes place during the brief period of peace after the end of the Winter War, with the threat of a new war hanging menacingly in the air. The point of view alternates between Molly and Henry, and their story speaks to love, the incompleteness of people, the search for one’s own identity and finding it in the shadow of deep, traumatic experiences of war. One of the book’s main characters is wartime Helsinki, with Westö creating a detailed and vivid picture of everyday life and the mood of the city. Storytelling at its best!

Children's & Young Adult Books

Jukka Behm: Wonder Boy

Bonnier Rights Finland, Ihmepoika Leon, Tammi 2023

FILI Reads 13-year-old Leon Brown's online stunt videos lead him from Weston's all-time team to the junior academy of a real football club in London. Leon is a true golden boot with a magical eye and amazing skills. As his reputation grows, so does the fuss as everyone wants a piece of the boy wonder. Off the pitch, Leon's mind is troubled by his parents, or rather the fact that they don't exist - or do they? Wonder Boy is a fast-paced and funny book not only for football fans but also for those who just like good books.

Sofia Chanfreau & Amanda Chanfreau: A Giraffe’s Heart Is Unbelievably Large

Helsinki Literary Agency, Giraffens hjärta är ovanligt stort, Schildts & Söderströms 2022

FILI Reads Ten-year-old Vega doesn’t have a mother. Instead, she has something that no one else has – she sees the most wonderful imaginary animals, who bring her joy, help and companionship. One day, the lonely girl gets a pen pal, who helps her embark on a great adventure. She sets out to find her mother, about whom no one will say a word. This children’s novel, which won the Finlandia Prize for Children’s and YA Literature, is a dazzlingly beautifully written and illustrated story about longing and a devout wish to belong to a family and to find one’s own place in the world. A memorable reading experience for children and for the whole family, with just the right mix of excitement, wisdom and magical realism.

Laura Ertimo & Mari Ahokoivu: We Are Powerful!

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Mikä Mahti!, Into 2023

Ted Forsström & Åsa Lucander: Stella

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Snälla Stella, sluta skälla!, Förlaget 2023

Lena Frölander-Ulf: Rafsa Wildfur

The Fight for Stonefield Trilogy

Rights & Brands, Rafsa Vildpäls, Förlaget 2023

FILI Reads Rafsa Wildfur is a top-notch adventure story. The brave and headstrong marmot Rafsa, her best friend, the slightly more cautious and thoughtful Kotten, and the snake Ziczac, who escaped from the enemy camp and no longer wants to live the ruthless life of a snake, go on a life-and-death journey together. Their objective is nothing less than saving their world!

Kaisa Happonen & Anne Vasko: The Woodland Night

Bonnier Rights Finland, Mur ja metsän ilta, Tammi 2021

Aino Havukainen & Sami Toivonen: Tatu and Patu’s Fantasy Adventure

Tatu and Patu Series

Rights & Brands, Tatun ja Patun fantasiaseikkailu, Otava 2023

Anu Holopainen: Ghost Phone

Eek Series #1

Kumma Agency, Kauhukännykkä, Myllylahti 2019

Maija Hurme: Last & Found

Rights & Brands, Kaikki löytämäni viimeiset, Etana Editions 2022

FILI Reads Have you ever thought about just how many last things there are? Like the last piece of chocolate – who ate it, by the way? The long-awaited last day when you still have to wear a hat before spring arrives. Or the last day of school before summer vacation. Very last things can also be wistful or sad, and some last things might not be the last ones after all! Written and illustrated by the multiple award–winning Maija Hurme, Last and Found (also published in Swedish as Alla mina sista) is a wonderful picture book that encourages people of all ages to discuss the last things that are important to them.

Anna Elina Isoaro & Mira Mallius: Two Aunts Named Vera

Bonnier Rights Finland, Kaksi tätiä nimeltä Veera, WSOY 2023

Malin Klingenberg & Maria Sanna: The Skeleton

Helsinki Literary Agency, Skelettet, Schildts & Söderströms 2023

Siri Kolu: The Slippery Heart

Rights & Brands, Tämä liukasteleva sydän, Otava 2023

Mari Kujanpää: My Ugly Diary

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Rumuuspäiväkirja, Otava 2023

FILI Reads How concretely and touchingly Mari Kujanpää depicts a young victim of school bullying who hates her own body. Fortunately, even a single kind person can be enough to change one’s view. And in the best case, they can change everything. The world of young Malva and the realistic, beautiful narrative are so vividly written that we had to read the entire story in one sitting. A book about body shame for the young people and parents of today.

Mauri Kunnas: Going to the Doctor with Pawchester Pups

Rights & Brands, Tassulan lasten lääkärikirja, Otava 2023

Hannele Lampela & Pasi Pitkänen: Benjamin Bateman and The Curse of the Mind-popping Pranks

Benjamin Bateman series #2

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Paavali Pattinen ja järisyttävä jäynäkirous, Otava 2023

Pete Leppänen: Rock the Rabbit and Rolla the Owl: The Phantom of the Studio

Rock the Rabbit and Rolla the Owl Series #3

Rights & Brands, Rokki-Pupu ja Rolli-Pöllö – Studion kummitus, Lasten Keskus 2023

Marika Maijala: The Magic Flower

Rights & Brands, Taikurinkukka, Etana Editions 2022

Anniina Mikama: The Daughters of Fire and Ash

Bonnier Rights Finland, Tulen ja tuhkan tyttäret, WSOY 2023

Reetta Niemelä & Katri Kirkkopelto : Black Moon Inn

Black Moon Inn Series #1

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Mustan Kuun majatalo, Lasten Keskus 2022 & Mustan Kuun majakka (2023)

FILI Reads Saimi and her father establish a hospital for wild animals in the city of Bluehill. Just buying the building was a strange experience, but only a pale shadow of what was to come! The building turns out to be home to an assortment of strange creatures, temperamental goblins and mythical nature spirits. Saimi gets to know these secret folk, who face many threats, not the least of which is extinction. The themes of environmental conservation and protecting biodiversity run strongly through this exciting and imagination-tickling book.

Kaija Pannula & Netta Lehtola: Trading Tails

Bonnier Rights Finland, Ketun kauppa ja muita kettujuttuja, WSOY 2023

Timo Parvela & Mari Luoma: Mission Nearly Impossible 1. The Marked Child

Mission Nearly Impossible Series

Bonnier Rights Finland, Melkein mahdoton tehtävä 1. Merkitty lapsi, WSOY 2022

FILI Reads Elias lives a reasonably miserable life with his strict Aunt Paula, who found him as a baby in a bag at a rubbish dump. One day, Elias finds an old-fashioned mobile phone in the bin and an adventure begins. Who is sending strange messages and tasks to the phone? Who blew up the Albert Institute? Why does he have a star tattooed on his ankle? And above all: who is he really? Together with his friend Mino (who knows everything because he reads books) and Jopo, a parkour wizard, Elias embarks on a mission nearly impossible.

Tuula Pere & Roksolana Panchyshyn: A Butterfly’s Song

Perhosen laulu, Wickwick 2023

Tuula Pere & Stefan Turk: Mother's Bread Dough

Äidin leipätaikina, Wickwick 2023

Elina Pitkäkangas: Sang

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Sang, WSOY 2022

FILI Reads Sang is a fascinating fantasy novel for young adults and other discerning readers. In the book, Pitkäkangas creates a stunning and at times bleak story set in the future in a world that is almost destroyed. In the totalitarian Fusang, set in East Asia, the state monitors its inhabitants through a wrist-mounted device. The gap between the population classes is staggering and young Kong Dawei is forced to fight against an overwhelming opponent to preserve his own morals and values.

Anja Portin: The Book of Misty Trees

Helsinki Literary Agency, Sumupuiden kirja, S&S 2023

Julia Pöyhönen & Heidi Livingston, ill. Linnea Bellamine: Fanni’s Big Feelings

Fanni Emotions, Fanni ja suuri tunnemöykky, Kumma Kustannus 2019

Ninka Reittu: Tully and Roly’s Night in the Treehouse

Rights & Brands, Pulla Vehnänen ja yö puumajassa, Otava 2023

Laura Ruohonen & Linda Bondestam: The Whole Caboodle

Rights & Brands, Konkarongen, Förlaget 2023

Henna Ryynänen: Forrest Moves Away

Bonnier Rights Finland, Metsä muuttaa, Tammi 2023

Annika Sandelin & Linda Bondestam: Yoko's Diary: Secretive and Very Normal

Yoko Series #4

Rights & Brands, Hemligt och himla normalt – Yokos Nattbok 4, Förlaget 2023

Salla Savolainen: Junk!

Rights & Brands, Romua!, WSOY 2023

Cristal Snow & Kati Vuorento: Penny Peanutheart: Tales from the Windnest Woods

Penny Peanutheart series #4

Bonnier Rights Finland, Penni Pähkinäsydän. Tarinoita Tuulenpesän metsästä, Tammi 2023

Ellen Strömberg: We'll Just Ride Past

Helsinki Literary Agency, Vi ska ju bara cykla förbi, Schildts & Söderströms 2022

Nadja Sumanen: A Rare Bird

Rights & Brands, Outo lintu ystäväksi, Otava 2023

FILI Reads Hilla befriends a new and exciting student in her class, birdwatcher Bubo Ukulele, who claims that his father is a tawny owl. The friendship starts with a cough, but deepens as the book progresses, and the two soon become involved in keeping tabs on Hilla's divorced parents, as she soon has to decide who she will live with. Or could she stay with Grandma, even though she's acting a bit strange? In Sumanen's book, humour softens the sometimes very touching and topical subjects, as well as the drama of the ending. The book ends with a letter written by Hilla to her parents that every adult should read.

Arttu Unkari & Kai Vaalio: Dad Man and the Impossible Time Warp

The Dad Man Series

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Isämies ja mahdoton aikasolmu, Otava 2023

Leena Virtanen & Sanna Pelliccioni: Tove! - Tove Jansson’s journey to freedom and the edge of the world

Rights & Brands, Suomen supernaisia: Tove! Tove Janssonin matka vapauteen ja maailman ääriin, Teos 2023

Sanna Sofia Vuori & Cara Knuutinen: Toddler Days: Where’s the Cat

Bonnier Rights Finland, Omppu osaa. Missä on kissa?, Otava 2023


Karin Erlandsson: The Blue Yarn. What I Know About Knitting

Helsinki Literary Agency, Det blå garnet, Schildts & Söderströms, 2022

Jenni Haukio: Serving a Greater Purpose: My Years as First Lady of Finland

Bonnier Rights Finland, Sinun tähtesi täällä. Vuodet tasavallan presidentin puolisona, WSOY 2023

FILI Reads An appealing book that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Finland's first lady Jenni Haukio. Haukio describes her role as the spouse of the President of the Republic of Finland as both an honour and a privilege, and uniquely weaves together her societal visions and the issues closest to her heart. For the first time, she opens up about both the visible and invisible service she has engaged in over the past ten years, and in this memoir she manages to maintain an excellent balance between the personal and public spheres of her persona. Whilst not a political memoir, Haukio’s sensitively attuned and honest narrative will appeal to those interested in gaining deep insights in to the social and political values and traditions that have shaped Finland into a highly successful Nordic democratic republic on the borderline of the West and the East.

Mira Hulkkonen: Climate Epiphanies. Harnessing the Superpowers of the Human Mind for the Good of the Planet

Ilmasto-oivalluksia. Kuinka ihmismielen supervoimat valjastetaan planeetan parhaaksi, Gaudeamus 2023

FILI Reads The climate is changing; now it's our turn to change. This hope-inspiring handbook for human change was born from a desire to understand why knowledge alone often fails to motivate change. Our minds can set many traps on our journey towards change. Our minds can make change difficult, but they also have superpowers like imagination and language that can help us prevent climate problems and make positive changes. Written with a gentle and personal touch, the book draws from climate research, as well as psychology, behavioral science, and communication research. Mira Hulkkonen, PhD, is a climate researcher and expert in science communication.

Maria Katajavuori: Whale in a Glass Bowl

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Valas lasimaljassa, Atena/Otava 2022

Juha Kauppinen: The Essential Biodiversity

Helsinki Literary Agency, Monimuotoisuus. Lyhyt oppimäärä, Siltala 2022

Aura Koivisto: A Man and a Sea Cow

Mies ja merilehmä, Into 2019

Mauno Koivisto: The Russian Idea

Bonnier Rights Finland, Venäjän idea, Tammi 2001/2022

FILI Reads New edition of the 2001 publication. Mauno Koivisto (1923-2017) was President of the Republic of Finland from 1982 to 1994. He began studying Russian early in the 1950s, and his interest in Russian studies remained a lifelong passion. "The Russian Idea" offers an excellent and concise overview of country's political history and Russian thinking, with reflections on Mauno Koivisto's travels and meetings during his years as both Prime Minister and President. Koivisto asserts that nations have their own legends, and according to Russian thinking, once a country has been conquered, it becomes a part of Russia. The message of Koivisto's book is more relevant now than ever.

Julia Korkman: Memory Dependent

Helsinki Literary Agency, Minnets makt, Schildts & Söderströms 2022

FILI Reads Julia Korkman´s fascinating book deals with human memory and its unreliability, especially from the point of view of witness accounts, eyewitnesses and interrogations related to the legal process. Korkman analyses crimes and legal cases, from witch hunts to the Manhattan hammer attack, and the book makes even a general reader think about what they really remember, what they imagine they remember and what they have already blissfully forgotten. Korkman also unpacks the cultural specificity of remembering: whether a culture is individualistic or collectivist affects how we remember experiences and how we talk about them.

Jukka Korpela: The Myth of Ancient Russia

Muinais-Venäjän myytti, Gaudeamus 2023

FILI Reads In Russia’s official rhetoric, the prevailing narrative has been a vision of Ancient Russia extending in the west all the way to Poland, the Baltics and Finland. In February 2022, this vision of history was used to justify the invasion of Ukraine In The Myth of Ancient Russia, award-winning historian Jukka Korpela explores the history of Eastern Europe, from the time of the Vikings to Peter the Great's reign. He updates many outdated notions regarding Russia, Ukraine and how they took shape. Was there ever even such a thing as Ancient Russia?

Pirkko Kotirinta: In Search of Hilma af Klint

An Artist of Spiritualism, Science; and the Natural World

Bonnier Rights Finland, Hilma af Klintin arvoitus, Tammi 2021

FILI Reads Pirkko Kotiranta’s book about the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint is a fascinating combination of biography and travelogue. Kotiranta’s study of archival sources provides a solid background. Then the reader gets to come along as the author travels to interview people who are related to af Klint’s life in different ways. The story unfolds like a detective novel. Hilma af Klint’s works will be on display at Tate Modern in London in the spring of 2023, so she continues to be a very relevant artist.

Taika Mannila & Inka Valima: Bimbofication

Bimbofikaatio, Into 2023

FILI Reads This amusing and entertaining book delves deep into the history of women who were thought to be fools and explores the history of being a bimbo. How does one earn the label? Who can afford to be stupid and beautiful? What kind of femininity is allowed? The book is also a tribute to those who have made the bimbo look a way of life and a never-ending project.

Henrik Meinander: Mannerheim, Marshal Of Finland: Life In Geopolitics

Helsinki Literary Agency, Gustaf Mannerheim – aristokrat i vadmal, Otava 2017

Jyrki Nissi: Death in the Middle Ages. How to Have a Good Death in Europe at the Time of the Black Death

Kuolema keskiajalla. Hyvä kuolema mustan surman ajan Euroopassa, Gaudeamus 2023

FILI Reads In the Middle Ages, death was a process that had to be carefully prepared for during life and the community actively took part in the process of death. The book is a fascinating account of the importance of the afterlife for medieval people and the significance of striving for a good death, which was ensured through rituals. The worst fate was to face sudden death or to die alone. The coronavirus pandemic has brought the grief and concern for loved ones dying in solitude into the public debate. Emotionally, we are not very different from medieval people in our attitude toward death. Jyrki Nissi is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tampere.

Lauri Nummenmaa: Evil

Bonnier Rights Finland, Pahuus, Tammi 2022

FILI Reads Brain researcher Lauri Nummenmaa writes about aggression, violent crime, racism, everyday sadism, lying and the desire for revenge – in other words, about human evil. Genes have a strong influence on violent behaviour, but the better we understand the functioning of the brain, the more effectively we can tackle violence. An interesting book, written for a general audience, about the dark side of the human mind, but also about how evil can be controlled. Awareness and education are the most effective tools for fighting evil!

Sofi Oksanen : Same River Twice - Putin's War Against Women

Salomonsson Agency, Samaan virtaan – Putinin sota naisia vastaan, Like 2023

Tiina Raevaara: Me, My Dog and Humanity

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Minä, koira ja ihmiskunta, Like 2022

FILI Reads Tiina Raevaara’s book deals with the history of the coexistence of species. A strong animal connection has been vital for the survival of mankind, and through the process of evolution, humans have become more and more gentle and cooperative at the same time as the species’ aggressiveness has receded. Like dogs, modern humans are also domesticated animals. The book has a strong personal perspective that pet owners will easily identify with: an animal can be the greatest comfort when the company of other people feels like a burden. The author also openly discusses her own burnout, social sensitivity and excessive empathy, and seeks out an explanation for them from research and from an evolutionary perspective.

Reeta Ranta: Timeless Nordic Rituals: Bringing Purpose and Joy to Modern Life

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Rituaalikirja — Etsijän opas, SKS Kirjat 2023

FILI Reads Ancient cultures and indigenous peoples understood the power of nature and its influence on our lives. Songs, poems and spells have helped us transition from one stage of life to another. This book of rituals invites you to revive forgotten traditions and start new ones. The book includes themes focusing on different seasons, various times of the day, and different stages of human life, inviting you to create your own rituals to strengthen your connection with nature and your inner self.

Anni Reuter: Persecution of Finns During The Stalin’s Era

Suomalaiset Stalinin puhdistuksissa, SKS Kirjat 2023

FILI Reads This unique book tells the shocking story of the persecution, ethnic mass deportations and forced labour of Finns in Stalin's Soviet Union. It skillfully combines the latest scientific knowledge with family histories, emotion, and firsthand experiences. The book is based on letters, memoirs, archival documents, photographs and interviews, describing Anni Reuter's own family history as well – her grandfather escaped persecution to Finland barely before the border was closed, but his family was deported to Siberia. Later many of them were imprisoned and killed during Stalin’s time in the Soviet Union. The crimes of the Stalin era are hidden and downplayed in Russia, which is why research and memory work conducted elsewhere are becoming increasingly important," writes Reuter. The book is partly based on the doctoral thesis (2023) of Anni Reuter, a PhD researcher at the University of Helsinki, on the deportations of Ingrian Finns in the Soviet Union.

Marika Riikonen: Alone – Yes, Please!

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, Yksin, kiitos, Hertta Kustannus 2023

FILI Reads Written with a light-hearted approach, this personal book is about an important subject, living alone and the need for solitude, a phenomenon that is more complex than one might suddenly imagine. Everyone experiences the need for solitude from time to time, but living alone brings up many prejudices that the book unpacks in a fun way. Loneliness is discussed from the perspective of housing, relationships, travel and finances. It's easy to be labelled a loner, an introvert or an old maid, and the situation must be fixed immediately – at least in the eyes of others!

Kati Saonegin & Niina Kiivilä: Everything Is Different in The Cloudberry Mire

Hillasuolla kaikki on toisin, Into 2023

FILI Reads The book is a conversation between two friends, presented in the form of an essay-book. It draws inspiration from the Lapland wilderness, where the authors retreat annually for a week to pick berries and engage in discussions on sensitive topics, including the challenges of childlessness, mental health issues, and questions of identity. The authors also explore how old stories and superstitions still matter in our lives today, especially when logic and reason can't solve everything.

Riina Tanskanen: Grumpy Girls

Tympeät tytöt, Into 2021

FILI Reads A bright and outspoken comic book that challenges the normative image of women and approaches issues and problems related to femininity and the role of women in society. Tanskanen highlights the deep-rooted power structures of our culture and uncovers unconsciously internalised stereotypes, norms and simplifications that trap girls and women in narrow confines from which it is difficult to break free. Riina Tanskanen's book introduces the reader to the subject in an interesting and engaging way: the graphic novel is enriched by references to Western culture, from ancient Greek mythology and the Bible to Britney Spears, and the book's colourful character gallery includes such figures as Patriarchy, History, Neoliberalism and others. Grumpy Girls could definitely appeal to teenagers and adults alike, and could serve as an excellent starting point for anyone interested in feminist ideas and a critical examination of the different attitudes and norms that prevail in our society.

Pasi Tuunainen: Geography of War. Effects of Terrain and Conditions on Warfare from the 1850s to Today

Sodan maantiede. Maaston ja olosuhteiden vaikutus sodankäyntiin 1850-luvulta nykypäivään, Gaudeamus 2023