The best books about Finland

1 authors have picked their favorite books about Finland and why they recommend each book.

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Finland at War

By Vesa Nenye, Peter Munter, Toni Wirtanen

Book cover of Finland at War: The Winter War 1939-40

The story of the Winter War between Finland and Soviet Russia is a dramatic David versus Goliath encounter. When close to half a million Soviet troops poured into Finland in 1939, Stalin expected Finnish defenses to collapse or surrender. But they held firm. The Finns not only survived the initial attacks but succeeded in inflicting devastating casualties before superior Russian numbers eventually forced a peace settlement. This is a detailed and compelling guide to Finland's vital, but almost forgotten role in World War II. It reveals the untold story of determination and mastery of winter warfare that characterized Finland's fight for survival on the Easternn Front.

Finland at War

By Vesa Nenye, Peter Munter, Toni Wirtanen

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finland at War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of the 'Winter War' between Finland and Soviet Russia is a dramatic David versus Goliath encounter. When close to half a million Soviet troops poured into Finland in 1939 it was expected that Finnish defences would collapse in a matter of weeks. But they held firm. The Finns not only survived the initial attacks but succeeded in inflicting devastating casualties before superior Russian numbers eventually forced a peace settlement. This is a rigorously detailed and utterly compelling guide to Finland's vital, but almost forgotten role in the cataclysmic World War II. It reveals the untold story of iron…

Who am I?

As the author of four novels based on Finnish culture and history, I admire and respect the Finns for many qualities, including their intelligence, their strength and endurance, and their understated sense of humor. But the quality that impresses me most is what the Finns call sisu, which roughly translates to an ability to show stoic courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. The Finnish resistance to Stalin during the 105 days of the Winter War was a classic demonstration of that national trait. While researching this book, I had the privilege of interviewing five Finnish veterans, all of whom exemplified sisu while serving during the Winter War.


I wrote...

The Winter War: A Novel

By William Durbin,

Book cover of The Winter War: A Novel

What is my book about?

When the Soviet Union invades its tiny neighbor Finland in November 1939, Marko volunteers for the army. Even though his leg was weakened by polio, he can ski well, and he becomes a messenger on the front lines, skiing in white camouflage through forests at night in temperatures that drop to -40 and -50. The odds are against the Finns: The Russians have four times as many soldiers and one hundred times as many tanks. But the Russians don’t know winter the way the Finns do, or what tough guerrilla warriors the Finns are. To this day, Finland’s brilliant defensive strategy is studied in every military academy in the world.

A Frozen Hell

By William Trotter,

Book cover of A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940

When Russia invaded in November of 1939, Stalin predicted the war would last a week or perhaps ten days. However, the genius of Field Marshal Mannerheim and the courage of the Finnish soldiers, allowed them to resist for 105 days through one of the coldest winters in Finnish history. Soldiers used cross-country skis to move quickly. And they often employed “motti” tactics, cutting the Russian columns into smaller units that they could isolate and attack. Also, having few anti-tank guns, they used Molotov cocktails with deadly effect on Russian tanks. These clever battle strategies, combined with the incredible endurance of the Finnish soldiers, make for a heroic tale.

A Frozen Hell

By William Trotter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Frozen Hell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

As the author of four novels based on Finnish culture and history, I admire and respect the Finns for many qualities, including their intelligence, their strength and endurance, and their understated sense of humor. But the quality that impresses me most is what the Finns call sisu, which roughly translates to an ability to show stoic courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. The Finnish resistance to Stalin during the 105 days of the Winter War was a classic demonstration of that national trait. While researching this book, I had the privilege of interviewing five Finnish veterans, all of whom exemplified sisu while serving during the Winter War.


I wrote...

The Winter War: A Novel

By William Durbin,

Book cover of The Winter War: A Novel

What is my book about?

When the Soviet Union invades its tiny neighbor Finland in November 1939, Marko volunteers for the army. Even though his leg was weakened by polio, he can ski well, and he becomes a messenger on the front lines, skiing in white camouflage through forests at night in temperatures that drop to -40 and -50. The odds are against the Finns: The Russians have four times as many soldiers and one hundred times as many tanks. But the Russians don’t know winter the way the Finns do, or what tough guerrilla warriors the Finns are. To this day, Finland’s brilliant defensive strategy is studied in every military academy in the world.

The Winter War

By Eloise Engle, Lauri Paananen,

Book cover of The Winter War: The Soviet Attack on Finland, 1939-1940

The Soviet invasion of Finland remains one of the lesser-known but critically important events in the lead up to World War II. This book, co-authored by two Finns who have an intimate knowledge of both the Finnish people and the war, recounts all of the major battles in vivid detail. And it shows, how against all odds, the skills and the fortitude of the Finns allowed them to resist the Russian advances through an incredibly cold winter. While Russia lost close to 500,000 soldiers (Nikita Khrushchev, former Premier of the USSR, claims it was a million) there were only 25,000 casualties on the Finnish side.

The Winter War

By Eloise Engle, Lauri Paananen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Winter War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is a brief but very interesting illustration of the Winter War between Russia and Finland. The heroic stand of the Finns against the Russian juggernaut provided a timely moral and psychological lift to those in the West willing to defend freedom.

Who am I?

As the author of four novels based on Finnish culture and history, I admire and respect the Finns for many qualities, including their intelligence, their strength and endurance, and their understated sense of humor. But the quality that impresses me most is what the Finns call sisu, which roughly translates to an ability to show stoic courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. The Finnish resistance to Stalin during the 105 days of the Winter War was a classic demonstration of that national trait. While researching this book, I had the privilege of interviewing five Finnish veterans, all of whom exemplified sisu while serving during the Winter War.


I wrote...

The Winter War: A Novel

By William Durbin,

Book cover of The Winter War: A Novel

What is my book about?

When the Soviet Union invades its tiny neighbor Finland in November 1939, Marko volunteers for the army. Even though his leg was weakened by polio, he can ski well, and he becomes a messenger on the front lines, skiing in white camouflage through forests at night in temperatures that drop to -40 and -50. The odds are against the Finns: The Russians have four times as many soldiers and one hundred times as many tanks. But the Russians don’t know winter the way the Finns do, or what tough guerrilla warriors the Finns are. To this day, Finland’s brilliant defensive strategy is studied in every military academy in the world.

The Finnish-Soviet Winter War 1939-40

By David P. Murphy, Johnny Shumate (illustrator),

Book cover of The Finnish-Soviet Winter War 1939-40: Stalin's Hollow Victory

This definitive study explores the Soviet invasion of Finland and details the major events of the Winter War of November 1939 to March 1940. The Russian attack, which was expected to be swift and decisive, was blunted by the extraordinary fighting qualities of the Finnish Army and high number of casualties they inflicted on the Russians. The challenges caused by the weather, the wilderness terrain, the Mannerheim Line defenses, and the superbly executed Finnish military tactics resulted in a fascinating David vs Goliath struggle.

The Finnish-Soviet Winter War 1939-40

By David P. Murphy, Johnny Shumate (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Finnish-Soviet Winter War 1939-40 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This informative study explores the Soviet invasion of Finland, detailing the events of the Winter War of November 1939 to March 1940. The invasion was expected to be swift and decisive, however, the fighting qualities of the Finnish Army blunted the Soviet advance and inflicted high numbers of casualties. A combination of difficulties caused by the weather, the terrain, the Mannerheim Line defences and Finnish tactics resulted in a fascinating David vs Goliath type struggle.

On 23 August 1939, a secret protocol was appended to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact; as part of this, Finland was assigned to the Soviet sphere…

Who am I?

As the author of four novels based on Finnish culture and history, I admire and respect the Finns for many qualities, including their intelligence, their strength and endurance, and their understated sense of humor. But the quality that impresses me most is what the Finns call sisu, which roughly translates to an ability to show stoic courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. The Finnish resistance to Stalin during the 105 days of the Winter War was a classic demonstration of that national trait. While researching this book, I had the privilege of interviewing five Finnish veterans, all of whom exemplified sisu while serving during the Winter War.


I wrote...

The Winter War: A Novel

By William Durbin,

Book cover of The Winter War: A Novel

What is my book about?

When the Soviet Union invades its tiny neighbor Finland in November 1939, Marko volunteers for the army. Even though his leg was weakened by polio, he can ski well, and he becomes a messenger on the front lines, skiing in white camouflage through forests at night in temperatures that drop to -40 and -50. The odds are against the Finns: The Russians have four times as many soldiers and one hundred times as many tanks. But the Russians don’t know winter the way the Finns do, or what tough guerrilla warriors the Finns are. To this day, Finland’s brilliant defensive strategy is studied in every military academy in the world.

Book cover of European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History

This provocative book covers 250 years of European history. I find something to argue with on pretty much every page but I have to admire Offen’s ambition in this sweeping narrative extending across the nations of Europe from Finland to Greece, from Portugal to Poland.

I so admired this book that I wrote to Karen Offen asking her if she would read some of the chapters of my book, which she did, making helpful suggestions which improved it no end.

European Feminisms, 1700-1950

By Karen Offen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked European Feminisms, 1700-1950 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This ambitious book explores challenges to male hegemony throughout continental Europe. It focuses especially on France, but it also offers comparative material on developments in the German-speaking countries and in the smaller European nations and aspiring nation-states. Spanning 250 years, the sweeping coverage extends from Portugal to Poland, Greece to Finland, Ireland to Ukraine, and Spain to Scandinavia-as well as international and transnational feminist organizations.
The study has several objectives. For general readers and those interested primarily in the historical record, it provides a comprehensive, comparative account of feminist developments in European societies, as well as a rereading of European…

Who am I?

I have specialised in writing about radicals and non-conformists who seem to me to be the most interesting people in the world. I like books about people doing challenging things and making a difference. I love travelling to obscure archives in other countries and finding the riches of personal papers in dusty old rooms curated by eccentric archivists who greet me like an old friend.


I wrote...

Women and the Vote: A World History

By Jad Adams,

Book cover of Women and the Vote: A World History

What is my book about?

In 1893 women had the vote in only one nation, New Zealand. By the 1960s women had the vote in almost all countries and it was an indication of backwardness in the ones where they didn’t. In this book I trace the history of this revolution in world politics in relation to woman, not just in continents where the story is well known but in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In every place there were radical pioneers whose stories are told here, often for the first time in the West.

The Summer Book

By Tove Jansson, Thomas Teal (translator),

Book cover of The Summer Book

This little book is a gem that I just read for the first time recently. It’s the kind of book I would read with a pencil nearby for there are gems here, of descriptive prowess and of wisdom. It is the story of a grandmother and her young granddaughter alone on a remote Finnish island spending the summer at their little cottage as they always do. The days are long, sleepy, and lush with swims in the sea, berry collecting, and conversations between an inquisitive seven-year-old and her grandmother. The grandmother has a way of guiding the child in and out of life’s daily progress that is soft and wry. But odd and intrusive things happen as well. The landscape begins to change. The rocky island has boundaries, the sea makes itself known. You could read this book to a seven-year-old, or read it to yourself, and when you are…

The Summer Book

By Tove Jansson, Thomas Teal (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Summer Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I’m a poet more than anything else, and perhaps that is why I'm drawn to books with well-developed landscape and subterranean lines of thought more than plot or human characters. The natural world and the magical universe are intertwined in my writing as a way to convey the importance of our place, or responsibility in the world. I'm always aware of how much work an author has done to know his landscape. When I lived overseas in Iran, I spent the hot summer days reading through my mother’s library. She had been an English teacher and so I had available all of the classics which I read–often at an earlier age than I should have.


I wrote...

The Navigator's Wife

By Jane Galer,

Book cover of The Navigator's Wife

What is my book about?

In 1810, the Russian fur trade expedition ship Sv. Nikolai wrecked off the Northwest Olympic Peninsula coast en route from Sitka, Alaska to California. On board with the crew and officers were several indigenous natives of Hawaii and Alaska, and the wife of the incompetent captain, Anna Petrovna. This story is the telling of the tale from a woman’s point of view. The skeletal facts available to us from historical records provide an intriguing and exciting canvas from which to imagine what became of Anna Petrovna, and why.

Deep Time Reckoning

By Vincent Ialenti,

Book cover of Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now

Pro-nuclear advocates often dodge the nuclear waste problem, claiming that the fuel waste is small in volume and easy to store underground. Unfortunately, nuclear waste remains radioactive for millions of years, causing a long-term toxic liability for generations to come. For perspective, homo sapiens have been around for 300,000 years and agriculture for 12,000 years. How will we communicate with future earthlings to protect them from accessing this harmful radioactive waste?

I like this book because it broadened my sense of time. In this book, the author interviews Finland’s nuclear waste team who are tasked with predicting geological events over tens of thousands of years. These are data-driven experts constructing models of possible futures and the challenges of storing nuclear waste just get more interesting the deeper you go.

Deep Time Reckoning

By Vincent Ialenti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deep Time Reckoning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I’ve dedicated my career to renewable energy, because I think it really will save us from climate change disaster. Solar, wind, and advanced energy storage will usher us into the 21st century. I’ve seen many innovative people and companies use technology to create a better future. We still have a long uphill battle to reverse climate change, but we now have the technology that can help save our planet. It is time to implement it. These five books (in very different ways) give us the tools and understanding of how renewable energy will shape the future.


I wrote...

Off Grid Solar: A handbook for Photovoltaics with Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion batteries

By Joseph P. O'Connor,

Book cover of Off Grid Solar: A handbook for Photovoltaics with Lead-Acid or Lithium-Ion batteries

What is my book about?

Off Grid Solar is a reference guide for builders of solar and battery projects. Written with a DIY mindset, this book establishes a familiarity with off grid equipment, such as solar panels, charge controllers, inverters, and battery systems. This book will help the reader make better decisions using a step-by-step process to build the right energy system for their needs. Design and build your own solar and battery system without the need to hire a solar installation company. 

The White Sniper

By Tapio Saarelainen,

Book cover of The White Sniper: Simo Häyhä

Simo Häyhä (1905 – 2002), an unassuming and quiet man, is the most famous sniper in the history of warfare. During the Winter War he achieved a remarkable 542 confirmed kills while using his own rifle, a m/28-30 with iron sights and no scope. His record still stands today, and he has become a role model for snipers all over the world, both in terms of the techniques he employed and by demonstrating the significance that a lone sniper can have on the battlefield.

The White Sniper

By Tapio Saarelainen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The White Sniper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Simo Hayha (1905 - 2002) is the most famous sniper in the world. During the Winter War fought between Russia and Finland in 1939 - 1940 he had 542 confirmed kills with iron sights, a record that still stands today. He has been a role model for snipers all over the world and paved the way for them by demonstrating their significance on the battlefield.

Simo Hayha was a man of action who spoke very little, but he was hugely respected by his men and his superiors and given many difficult missions, including taking out specific targets. Able to move…

Who am I?

As the author of four novels based on Finnish culture and history, I admire and respect the Finns for many qualities, including their intelligence, their strength and endurance, and their understated sense of humor. But the quality that impresses me most is what the Finns call sisu, which roughly translates to an ability to show stoic courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. The Finnish resistance to Stalin during the 105 days of the Winter War was a classic demonstration of that national trait. While researching this book, I had the privilege of interviewing five Finnish veterans, all of whom exemplified sisu while serving during the Winter War.


I wrote...

The Winter War: A Novel

By William Durbin,

Book cover of The Winter War: A Novel

What is my book about?

When the Soviet Union invades its tiny neighbor Finland in November 1939, Marko volunteers for the army. Even though his leg was weakened by polio, he can ski well, and he becomes a messenger on the front lines, skiing in white camouflage through forests at night in temperatures that drop to -40 and -50. The odds are against the Finns: The Russians have four times as many soldiers and one hundred times as many tanks. But the Russians don’t know winter the way the Finns do, or what tough guerrilla warriors the Finns are. To this day, Finland’s brilliant defensive strategy is studied in every military academy in the world.

The Bun Field

By Amanda Vahamaki,

Book cover of The Bun Field

The Bun Field is a dream journey of a genderless child. It has a strange and nightmarish feel to it; the protagonist is being so vulnerable and kind of hurt, but it is not without a constant dark sense of humor. Dark as the country Finland in wintertime. It has a delicious pencil-smudged style as the school of Feuchtenberger has influenced many northern artists, myself included. 

The Bun Field

By Amanda Vahamaki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bun Field as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I have been a surrealist since I discovered Salvador Dali and David Lynch at the age of 14. I have been on a path to combine the art world’s depth in style; symbols and metaphors with storytelling. Becoming a comic artist was a natural path and the media is great for expressing the many complex questions in life; what it is to be human and a woman in this world. I have become an artist who revolves around feminism and surrealism, eros and doubt. 


I wrote...

The Clitoris

By Rikke Villadsen,

Book cover of The Clitoris

What is my book about?

A woman has an encounter with a tattooist that leads to a quick and very different pregnancy. This unexpected event leads her on a journey of self-discovery; deep in the flickering world of her subconscious, she discovers many potent symbols, poetic wonders, spiritual guides, and strange visions.

Book cover of Christmas at Frozen Falls

I read this book after going through the hardest year of my life. I’d celebrated a milestone birthday followed shortly thereafter by the death of my dad. I was trying to cope with my grief and figure out how to be me again. This was the first book I picked up that year that I was able to read. It made me smile again and it filled my heart with joy. It was so well-written. The unusual setting of Finnish Lapland was a real treat. It just made me so happy that it’ll always be a special book to me. 

Christmas at Frozen Falls

By Kiley Dunbar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Christmas at Frozen Falls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Wow!!...This is a must read, heartwarming Christmas story. I would easily give this book hundreds of stars' Little Miss Book Lover 87

Sylvie Magnusson is going to be lonely this Christmas. Instead of jetting off for her honeymoon, she's freezing at home in Cheshire. Guess that's what happens when your fiance dumps you a week before your wedding...

Sylvie's best friend, Nari, plans a trip to see the Northern Lights and get Sylvie's mojo back. But as their Lapland getaway approaches, Sylvie realises that Frozen Falls is the hometown of Stellan Virtanen, her dreamy Finnish ex-boyfriend, the one that got…


Who am I?

I like to tell people that I found my passion in life and it's books. I write them, read them, review them and I’ve been a librarian for 17 years. (I’ve worked in libraries for longer than that. Over 25 years!) It’s been dark times recently and romance has become my happy place. I’m a sucker for romances with pretty covers, quirky characters, and not so much of the on-page spice. If there’s some travel involved, even better!


I wrote...

Scotsman in the Stacks

By Alana Oxford,

Book cover of Scotsman in the Stacks

What is my book about?

Paige wants two things: to land a full-time librarian job and find the man of her dreams. On the cusp of thirty, she finds herself suddenly single and working part-time in a Michigan library. A handsome patron with a delicious accent appears at the reference desk, inadvertently sparking an idea that might help her land the promotion she so desperately needs. But that's not the only thing he sparks.

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