FILI Book Picks – Non-Fiction

Katariina_Vuori©Ville_Juurikkala

©Ville Juurikkala

Katariina Vuori: Across the Sea, Towards the Past – How I Fell in Love with a Dead Sea Captain

A fascinating narrative non-fiction work about love, memory and two sea journeys.

In the era of the dreaded great famine at the end of the 19th century, sea captain Fridolf Höök leads a group of Finns across the waters, and over into the backlands of Siberia. The life story of this charismatic adventurer clearly enraptures the author. Through studying the captain’s exploits, Katariina Vuori is cast into the currents of her own past, a youthful sea journey when the open water was her only home.

Original title: Merireittejä menneisyyteen – Kun rakastuin kuolleeseen merikapteeniin. Like 2022, 397 pp.
Foreign rights: Like Publishing, like.fi,

Open this presentation in a new window : Katariina Vuori: Across the Sea, Towards the Past – How I Fell in Love with a Dead Sea Captain
Tiina Raevaara. Kuva Toni Härkönen 2020

©Toni Härkönen

Book Cover

Tiina Raevaara: Me, My Dog and Humanity: A History of Coexistence Between Species

What does the human-animal connection mean from the perspective of evolution and humanity?

Tiina Raevaara, writer, science journalist and biologist with a PhD in genetics, begins with her own burnout symptoms and how she preferred the company of animals over that of people. From this starting point, the story broadens into a description of the cohabitation of dogs and humans, its history and psychology, expanding to include the significance of living with other animals as well from an evolutionary point of view. The current ascendancy of mankind is, according to her, not a result of humanity’s innate superiority, but a result of its connections and relationships to other species.

Original title: Minä, koira ja ihmiskunta: lajien välisen yhteiselon historia. Like 2022, 317 pp.
Foreign rights: Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, ahlbackagency.com

Open this presentation in a new window : Tiina Raevaara: Me, My Dog and Humanity: A History of Coexistence Between Species
Ulla Tuomainen

©Helena Hiltunen

Ulla Tuomainen: Sexual Nature – Mate Choice, Sex and Family Life in the World of Animals

Feathers fly, scales dance and horns clash, there is interior decorating of fine nests, gifts exchanged, matrimonies tied and severed. When what is at stake is the passing on of a creature’s genes, all is fair in nature and the array of behaviors is dazzlingly broad. The information in this book by evolutionary biologist Ulla Tuomainen has been peer reviewed, but above all it is a sensible and enjoyable work of science literacy. You’ll never look the same way at the little birds jumping around in your yard or even a barnacle on the bottom of a boat.

Original title: Eläimellistä parinvalintaa – Seksi ja perhe-elämä eläinten maailmassa.
Gaudeamus 2022, 325 pp.
Foreign rights: Gaudeamus, gaudeamus.fi,

Open this presentation in a new window : Ulla Tuomainen: Sexual Nature – Mate Choice, Sex and Family Life in the World of Animals
Osmo Tapio Räihälä

©Atena

Book Cover

Osmo Tapio Räihälä: Why Is Contemporary Music So Difficult?

Winner of the Non-Fiction Finlandia Prize 2021.

Composer Osmo Tapio Räihälä describes – not without humour – music composing and listening both from a historical and a personal point of view. He guides the reader playfully, expertly and comprehensively into the world of contemporary music. He writes about both pop music and more traditional classical works, discusses the connections between rock art music and visual art while contemplating on the meaning of art itself.

Original title: Miksi nykymusiikki on niin vaikeaa.
Atena 2021, 250 pp.
Foreign rights: Sebes & Bisseling, sebesbisseling.se,

Open this presentation in a new window : Osmo Tapio Räihälä: Why Is Contemporary Music So Difficult?
Book Cover

J. Sakari Salonen: Five Apocalypses

Lauri Jäntti Non-Fiction Prize 2022.

In Five Apocalypses, geoscientist and palaeoclimatologist J. Sakari Salonen focuses on those dark moments in pre-history when life on planet earth has been wiped out almost entirely and what we think caused them, but also gazes into the possible threats for the future. Can a comet or gamma radiation be the next apocalypse? Is a new ice age waiting for us? Salonen also reminds us that, if human beings can have a big impact on the planet, it also means that the keys to a better future are in our own hands.

Original title: Viisi maailmanloppua.
Gaudeamus 2021, 285 pp.
Foreign rights: Gaudeamus, gaudeamus.fi,

Open this presentation in a new window : J. Sakari Salonen: Five Apocalypses
Heikki Aalto-Alanen

©Niclas Mäkelä

The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto

Heikki Aalto-Alanen: The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto

Heikki Aalto-Alanen tells the intimate story of his world-famous grandparents whose unique partnership, relationship, and joint life work resulted in achievements that are known everywhere.
Aino and Alvar Aalto are internationally celebrated for their architecture, furniture, glassware and other interior design, but their personal lives have been relatively unknown – until now.

Original title: Rakastan sinussa ihmistä – Aino ja Alvar Aallon tarina. Otava 2021, 207 pp.
Foreign rights: Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, ahlbackagency.com

Open this presentation in a new window : Heikki Aalto-Alanen: The Story of Aino and Alvar Aalto
Pirkko Kotirinta

©Otto Virtanen

In Search of Hilma af Klint

Pirkko Kotirinta: In Search of Hilma af Klint. An Artist of Spiritualism, Science, and the Natural World

Why are Hilma af Klint’s over hundred-year-old paintings touching people so deeply today and spreading all over social media? Leading culture journalist Pirkko Kotirinta follows in the footsteps of the secretive artist in this ground-breaking and comprehensive biography, which reminds of a travelogue.

Original title: Hilma af Klintin arvoitus. Taitelija henkien, tieteen ja luonnon maailmassa.
Tammi 2021, 322 pp.
Foreign rights: Bonnier Rights Finland, bonnierrights.fi

Open this presentation in a new window : Pirkko Kotirinta: In Search of Hilma af Klint. An Artist of Spiritualism, Science, and the Natural World
Anton Monti

©Miikka Pirinen/S&S

’Ndrangheta

Anton Monti: ’Ndrangheta – the World’s Most Dangerous Crime Organization

A chilling and compelling true story about the deadliest crime organization in Europe.

Italian crime organization ’Ndrangheta is Europe’s topmost importer and seller of cocaine but it’s designed to attract as little attention as possible. In this book Anton Monti finds out how the organization has embedded itself to the day-to-day life of large parts of southern Italy and why ordinary people trust them more than their local government, the police, or Italy as a nation.

Original title: Maailman vaarallisin rikosjärjestö ’Ndrangheta. Kustantamo S&S 2021, 256 pp.
Foreign rights: Helsinki Literary Agency, helsinkiagency.fi

Open this presentation in a new window : Anton Monti: ’Ndrangheta – the World’s Most Dangerous Crime Organization
Juha-Pekka Raeste & Hannu Sokala

©Jonne Räsänen

The 50 Most Dangerous Companies in the World

Juha-Pekka Raeste & Hannu Sokala: The 50 Most Dangerous Companies in the World

Who holds the power in our globalizing world?

The world’s largest multinational corporations will largely determine the future of global warming, democracy and various institutions around the globe. Some of these companies benefit from our everyday needs, some from our vanity and some from our greed. Which are the most important and dangerous companies in the world?

Original title: Maailman 50 vaarallisinta yhtiötä. Otava 2021, 528 pp.
Foreign rights: Elina Ahlbäck Literary Agency, ahlbackagency.com

Open this presentation in a new window : Juha-Pekka Raeste & Hannu Sokala: The 50 Most Dangerous Companies in the World
Ilona Suojanen

©Gaudeamus

Under Pressure to Be Happy

Ilona Suojanen: Under Pressure to be Happy. How happiness became a requirement

Has happiness become a measure for success?

PhD Ilona Suojanen explores how young professionals perceive happiness at work and in other areas of life. Based on her research and interviews in the UK, the Netherlands and Finland she shares the experience of her own and others, and challenges the view that we make our own happiness.

Original title: Onnellisuuspaineen alla. Kun onnesta tuli pakko.
Gaudeamus 2020, 256 pp.
Foreign rights: Gaudeamus,

Open this presentation in a new window : Ilona Suojanen: Under Pressure to be Happy. How happiness became a requirement