I’d never before gotten any books from Iceland but today a package arrived from Reykjavik containing a set of The Complete Sagas Of Icelanders — the first more or less complete English translation of all the Icelandic Sagas along with forty-nine related short stories.


There are five volumes in this set, bound in leather dark-blue like the sea, stamped in dragon-hoarded gold and smythe-sewn.

I only ordered them about a week ago, which just goes to show that those longships can still make time.

Click on the images to enlarge.



A drummer, selling books on the fringes of civilization, stumbles upon a cabin in a fierce snowstorm, occupied by a lone woman with insatiable appetites — one of the tales in Fourteen Western Stories, available on Amazon for the Kindle and for free Kindle reading apps, which work on almost all computers and portable devices.  Free to borrow for Kindle owners enrolled in Amazon Prime.

Also available in a toasty-warm paperback edition:

14 WS Cover

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Thanks to a friend’s recommendation and some excerpts he posted online, I decided to take a look at Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. It turned out to be astonishing — I couldn’t put it down. The narrative skills of the original (anonymous) poet and Heaney’s dynamic modern-English verse combine to make for a thrilling read. The work is well over a thousand years old and it’s still a page-turner.


Paleo Retiree nominates the clip above as one of the high points of Western civilization, and its hard to disagree with the assessment. The Gazzarri Dancers are performing behind the Bobby Fuller Four, and the tallest of them is blond De De Mollner. PR interviews her at Uncouth Reflections here — Shakin.