Finnish Nightmares 2: an even more different kind of social guide to Finland

“This is Matti. If you didn’t know him already.
Matti is just a regular Finn. He does things the way a regular Finn would do: in silence and trying his best not to stand out or bother anyone.”
– Finnish Nightmares, Karoliina Korhonen.

Finnish Nightmares 2 – An Even More Different Kind of Social Guide to Finland by Karoliina Korhonen is a series of comic strips. It’s a continuation to Finnish Nightmares.  I was happy that there is a continuation to Finnish Nightmares because the first part was very entertaining and it perfectly described many funny thoughts we Finns have about things. Finnish Nightmares 2 continues to explore many nightmarish topics like summer, traveling, shopping,  about how nightmarish can it be to be Finnish… Seriously there was own chapter for that one.

I liked how the book started describing Finnish summer (I remember last year when it was snowing in May) and I liked reading strips that went on for a page or two because I felt like they explained the situation much better that one strip in many cases would. Traveling part was my favorite one. If you see people who don’t rush after their luggage after the flight even if they want to…that’s just us Finns.

I have a bit mixed feelings about this second part.. I don’t know whether it was the hype of the first book or what. Even if I liked ‘Summer’, I think it dived too deep into Finnishness. And I wonder if anyone else than a Finn would get these summery nightmare scenarios. Other than that, I really couldn’t relate to some of the strips, for example about wearing or not wearing the graduation cap on Vappu. Moreover, I see that there’s more potential for FN. Maybe it could expand to describe Finnish history, different cities, maybe there could be more characters…

All in all, I liked the book so
3/5 stars

How-To Read Finnish Nightmares 2
1. Read the first part before this one, it will make more sense. And buy these two together too.
2. It’s very light read, just under 100 pages.  If you have a Finn friend, this will help you to understand him /her.
3. Pre-Order the book (it will be out in June in English) like Finnish Nightmares on Facebook & read the blog to get your regular update on us Finns & about what makes us feel awkward.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher (Thank you!) in exchange for my honest review.

The National Library of Finland

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
― Mark Twain

Yesterday I visited Kansalliskirjasto, The Nationa Library of Finland for the first time in my life. There I sat for many hours absorbing the wisdom of these gorgeous books. I just love libraries, don’t you?

Finnish Nightmares – A Different Kind of Social Guide To Finland

“Meet Matti, a stereotypical Finn who appreciates peace, quiet and personal space. Matti tries his best to do unto others as he wishes to be done unto him: to give space, be polite and not bother with unnecessary chit chat. As you might’ve guessed, it can’t always go that way”
– Finnish Nightmares, Karoliina Korhonen.

Finnish Nightmares – A Different Kind of Social Guide to Finland by Karoliina Korhonen is series of comic strips. They describe situations in which Finns feel awkward. Usually it involves human interaction. Originally, creator of Finnish Nightmares Karoliina Korhonen thought it would be fun to present the most awkward social situations a stereotypical Finn can encounter. Korhonen thought that it would be boring to explain these situations just through plain text and so she decided to doodle them out. She made a joke to her friends that she should make it a Facebook page. Her Facebook page went viral. Now it has more than 125 000 likes.

This book begins with a chapter “Being a Finn” and continues to deal with many common issues such as food, public transport, neighbors and social relations. For example, if we are waiting for the bus to arrive in pouring rain, we can’t seek cover under bus stop’s shelter if there is someone already there. Because we respect personal space of that person. As a result, we will be soaking wet because of it. Or when stranger looks us in the eye and smiles. Or when someone tries to greet us by hugging!

FinnishNightmares1

matti1Source of the 2 comic strips:  Finnish Nightmares – A Different Kind of Social Guide To Finland by Karoliina Korhonen. Published by Atena Kustannus.

In Finland, we reserve the physical touch only to people we care a lot for. Personally, for me it’s weird when people or even friends I don’t know that well try to hug me, not to mention shoulder tap or if someone stands too close to me. As a Finn, I find these comics very truthful and usually they describe very well how I react under those circumstances

This is a book on what it’s like to be Finn. I love these comic strips! They’re hilarious! I think you will enjoy these strips a lot if you are curious about different cultures and if you would like to learn more about Finland. And if you love good humor.

5/5 stars.

Tips

  1. It was published simultaneously in English and Finnish (Suomalaisten painajaiset – Vähäsanaista vertaistukea) last month.
    2. It’s HILARIOUS!! If you’re wondering how true this all is, as Finn I can confirm that all the situations that are described awkward, really are.
    3. About 100 pages, it won’t take you long to read this book but you should savor it.
    4. Surprise your friend who lives in Finland by getting them this book, also this is the perfect souvenir if you’re traveling or just for someone who loves Finland.
    5. Order the book, like Finnish Nightmares on Facebook & read the blog to get your regular update on us Finns & about what makes us feel awkward.Do you have a little bit of Matti living in you?

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher (Thank you!) in exchange for my honest review.

Helsinki Book Fair 2015 – Day 1 & 2

Helsinki Book Fair (Helsingin Kirjamessut) is an annual trade fair for books held since 2001. It is held in Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre. This year event is held 22-25 October.

Day 1 – Thursday

Russia is the theme country this year at Helsinki Book Fair and it has  influenced the program highly.  On Thursday, there was a lovely event where hosts read poems of Korney Chukovsky. Chukovsky is known for his poems for children, he is basically Dr.Seuss of Russia. Hosts of the event also explained the history and meaning of his poems and they also told more about Chukovsky himself. There was also a lot of discussion all around the book fair on freedom of speech in Russia and both Finnish and Russian authors discussed what kind of challenges literature faces in Russia.

This was my first book fair so I think I was overly excited about the program, my original plan had way too many seminars and author interviews.  In the end, my first day at Helsinki Book Fair consisted pretty much of shopping… I bought many second hand books (there was a second hand book fair at same time yay) some new books and lovely bookish bags and notebooks. Kind of wrecked my budget in the process.

Day 2 – Friday

On second day, I did plenty of book shopping, however I managed to visit many different events as well.

10.30 – 11.oo  Finnish hockey player Jarkko Ruutu talked about his biography Jumalainen näytelmä (written by Tuomas Nyholm). It was fascinating to hear about Jarkko’s life in US and in NHL. I was surprised to learn how hockey player who is practically worshipped in Finland was once hated in US.

16.30- 17.00 Sofi Oksanen discussed her newest book ‘Norma’. Sofi Oksanen is a wonderful author. Her books Puhdistus (Eng.Purge) and Kun kyyhkyset katosivat (Eng. When the Doves Disappeared) explore Estonia’s terrible wartime through fictional stories. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to read Norma yet.

17.00-17.30 Luke Harding: The Snowden Files (Finnish translation: Snowden – maailman halutuin mies). I have read Harding’s previous book ‘Mafia State: how one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia’ and it was stunning. For a while it seemed like no one would dare to write about Russia truthfully anymore and most authors seem to discuss same old topics over and over again. And then Harding did it, something new and something amazing. I haven’t read The Snowden Files yet but based on his interview, it sounded very worth of reading.

I´ll continue this post on Sundaywith day 3. Stay tooned

To what book fairs have you been to? Have you read books written by Finnish authors?

Top 3 Books on Open Innovation

I recently  attended Open Innovation 2.0 Conference in Espoo, Finland (on June 8-9). It was organised by the European Commission DG CONNECT, Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group (OISPG), Intel Labs Europe, Aalto University and the City of Espoo and supported by Dublin City Council. This conference inspired me to write a blog post about open innovation and books you could read on this topic. Below I have listed three books on open innovation I think everyone should read.
Open Innovation 2.0 Conference. Photo: Kim Ekman
Open Innovation 2.0 Conference. Photo: Kim Ekman
The Crowdfunding Revolution: How to Raise Venture Capital Using Social Media
The Crowdfunding Revolution. Published in 2012. Image: Goodreads
The Crowdfunding Revolution by Dan Marom and Kevin Lawton
The Crowdfunding Revolution is a guide on crowdfunding and how it can be used to tap into a “collective intelligence”. Moreover,  it shows how to get to the forefront of  the new world of venture financing. Book was divided in three parts: The Road here, The Crowdfunding Campaign and The Road Ahead. I was not too familiar with crowdfunding  before so it was good to have thorough explanation of it in the first part and I enjoyed the insights on the future of crowdfunding and social media. I had an opportunity to talk with the authors, Dan Marom, shortly during the OI2 Conference in Espoo.  He said that his third book Crowdfunding: The Corporate Era will be published soon. I’m looking forward to reading it!

 

Democratizing Innovation
Democratizing Innovation. Published in 2006. Image: Goodreads.
Democratizing Innovation by Eric von Hippel

Innovation is rapidly becoming democratized. Users, aided by improvements in computer and communications technology, increasingly can develop their own new products and services. Eric von Hippel looks closely at this emerging system of user-centred innovation.” Professor Eric von Hippel was awarded during the Innovation Luminary Awards Ceremony (centerpiece of Open Innovation 2.0 Conference) for Democratizing Innovation. Von Hippel has graduated from distinguished Harvard University, he is innovation professor at MIT Sloan and he has developed numerous crucial theories in innovation. You can read ‘Democratizing Innovation’ here: http://evhippel.mit.edu/books/

Orchestrating Regional Innovation EcosystemsOrchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems. Espoo Innovation Garden. Editors: Pia Lappalainen, Markku Markkula and Hank Kune
This book tells about innovation ecosystem and it describes area called Espoo Innovation Garden in Finland. This region ( Helsinki-Uusimaa) is among the most prosperous metropolitan areas in Northern Europe. It’s the centre of Finland’s economic activity. There is a high concentration of large companies and small- and medium-sized enterprises in the area—both Finnish and international ones. Also, the headquarters of companies like Kone (elevators) Fortum (energy), Neste Oil (oil refining and marketing), Rovio (Angry Birds) and Nixu (cybersecurity), among many others are located in Espoo Innovation Garden. If you’d like to read ‘Orchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems’ click here: http://bit.ly/1FyZyJW

Would you be interested to read these books? Have you read good books about open innovation?