As they say in Iceland, “You do not really know your friends from your enemies until the ice breaks.” And in Sweden: “When it rains soup, the poor man has no spoon.”
Those are just two of the timeless proverbs collected in Scandinavian Wit & Wisdom: Proverbs and Quotations Through the Ages.
The book offers an overview of the wit and wisdom from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Among the quotations is this one from Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie: “Jewelry takes people’s minds off your wrinkles.” And an observation from Danish physicist Niels Bohr: “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”
The proverbs and quotations were gathered by David W. Wright, a Decorah writer, editor, historian, and consultant, and Julie Jensen McDonald, a former teacher and the author of sixteen novels, including a trilogy about Danish Americans. Excerpts from those novels can be found in McDonald’s Forever Danish
Scandinavian Wit & Wisdom also contains striking black-and-white pictures of Norwegian inspired stoneware created by Gene and Lucy Tokheim in their Dawson, Minnesota, studio.
The book’s cover features Norwegian Rogaland rosemaling by Norma Wangsness of Decorah, Iowa.