Happy Birthday to The Local Sweden’s Book Club

One year ago, we started a book club for people who want to read about Sweden. Whether you've been with us from the start or are just finding out about it now, we'd like to say thank you.

Happy Birthday to The Local Sweden's Book Club
Taking time to read about things that aren't 'news' is always important, perhaps now more than ever. Photo: Clay Banks/Unsplash

Over the first year, we've read 12 books, ranging from crime fiction to classic novels to historic non-fiction. We've discussed them in-person at events in Stockholm, and online in our Facebook group and by email.

For me, this has been an opportunity to read books and genres I might not have done otherwise, and to learn little nuggets of information about Sweden. I've loved hearing from you when you've shared your own thoughts on the books and reflected on the questions they've raised for you.

Here are just three of the comments we received from members at the end of last year:

  • “I enjoyed being part of this community. It made a real difference in my life.”
  • “Thank you so much for doing this. Makes me feel in touch with Sweden even when I am not there.”
  • “I learn so many things about today’s Sweden from The Local. I love that the book club has introduced me to authors I might not find on my own.”

You are always welcome to get in touch with us with suggestions for what we should read, or feedback about the book club — or about the rest of our work at The Local, for that matter. 

We started this club because we know that sometimes keeping up with the news can feel like a chore. Given the events of the past few months, that's more true than ever, and rolling news updates make many of us anxious and upset. More and more of us are taking digital detoxes or otherwise simply switching off from news that feels depressing, hopeless, and overwhelming.

As journalists, we try to deal with this by responsible and balanced reporting, including taking time to highlight where things are going well in the world. But we can also respond by sometimes focusing on things which aren't 'news'. 

Taking time to get lost in a book and learn about Sweden this way has been valuable to me over the past year, and I hope you feel you've got something out of the book club too.

If you're new here or would just like a reminder, here's a full list of the books we've read: 

You can find all our Book Club articles, including reader reviews and interviews with authors and translators, in our dedicated section HERE

And if you would like to support The Local in our mission to tell the story of Sweden, please consider joining us as a member.

Membership gives you access to all our articles, including in depth coverage of the issues that affect your life in Sweden, guides to navigating life here, and features about the quirks of Swedish society.

It allows us to remain editorially independent and you'll also get added benefits such as no banner advertising and the ability to comment on stories, plus unlimited access to our app. Click here to find out more about joining, or get in touch if you have any questions.

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The Local’s Confronting Coronavirus series nominated for major European media award

A series of solutions-focused articles in which The Local’s journalists took an in-depth look at responses to the coronavirus pandemic has been shortlisted for the European Digital Media Awards 2021.

The Local's Confronting Coronavirus series nominated for major European media award
People register to get vaccinated against Covid-19 at a pop-up vaccination station in Berlin on July 16th, 2021. Photo: Stefanie Loos/AFP

The Local’s Confronting Coronavirus series is competing in the European Digital Media Awards’s Best Project for News Literacy category, against AFP’s fact check training videos and The Guardian Foundation: Education Centre and NewsWise.

The category recognises “projects aimed at enhancing news literacy skills, promote critical thinking and further the smart consumption of news”.

The winner is set to be announced by WAN-IFRA – World Association of News Publishers – on July 22nd.

The Local’s nine European news sites have together published nearly 8,000 articles about the pandemic to date. In our Confronting Coronavirus series, our journalists took an in-depth look at our countries’ pandemic responses through a Solutions Journalism lens.

Solutions Journalism is evidence-based journalism that moves from reporting only on the problem to looking at what possible solutions exist, things people are doing to try to make things better and how these solutions are working – and what’s not working.

The series was supported by a $5,000 grant from the Solutions Journalism Network, a non-profit organisation dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems. Thanks to this grant, articles in the series were free for other media outlets to republish under a Creative Commons licence.

The Confronting Coronavirus was published in the summer of 2020. You can read all articles in the series here, as well as a couple of articles published after the grant period ended.

As well as the Solutions Journalism Network, we are grateful for our community of paying members. If you would like to support The Local in our goal to provide essential and responsible English-language reporting from across Europe, find out more here.

Here are all the finalists in the European Digital Media Awards 2021:

Best News Website or Mobile Service

Best Paid Content Strategy

Best in Audience Engagement

Best Project for News Literacy

Best Digital Marketing Campaign for a News Brand

Best Use of Online Video

Best Data Visualisation

Best Special Project for Covid-19

Best Digital Audio Project