7 Books To Read With Your Cinnamon Bun On Kanelbullens Dag

Happy Kanelbullens Dag (or Cinnamon Bun Day for the uninitiated)! One of my favourite snacks, the swedish cinnamon bun, has its own national day in Sweden on the 4th October since 1999.

I love everything with cinnamon, be it cinnamon flavoured coffee, tea, cake, biscuit, or even candle, but the Swedish pastry is my number one go-to naughty bite. Unlike the cinnamon swirls that are quite often covered in sugary frosting for some unknown reason, cinnamon buns are sprinkled with pearl sugar for that extra crunch. The cardamom in the dough gives it a warm and truly wonderful flavour that goes perfectly with coffee.

What’s a better way to celebrate this day, than picking up a book set in Sweden, while munching on some kanelbullar? I don’t know if it happens to you guys, but I always find Swedish books mention food in a kind of offhand way, but nevertheless making everything sound so appetizing! After I finished reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I spent a whole week eating rye bread with liver pate and pickles, toast with lingonberry jam, and bloody crisp bread because of all the food talk.

I haven’t read all these books, so not sure what to expect in terms of the munchies, but be prepared!

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Just so we are keeping up with spooky season too! Also a must read for fans of vampire stuff.

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….


Still Waters (Sandhamn #1) by Viveca Sten

On cold evenings you might fancy reading something that brings back the memories of summer.

On a hot July morning on Sweden’s idyllic vacation island of Sandhamn, a man takes his dog for a walk and makes a gruesome discovery: a body, tangled in fishing net, has washed ashore.
Police detective Thomas Andreasson is the first to arrive on the scene. Before long, he has identified the deceased as Krister Berggren, a bachelor from the mainland who has been missing for months. All signs point to an accident—until another brutalized corpse is found at the local bed-and-breakfast. But this time it is Berggren’s cousin, whom Thomas interviewed in Stockholm just days before.
As the island’s residents reel from the news, Thomas turns to his childhood friend, local lawyer Nora Linde. Together, they attempt to unravel the riddles left behind by these two mysterious outsiders—while trying to make sense of the difficult twists their own lives have taken since the shared summer days of their youth.


The Circle (Engelsfors #1) by Sara Bergmark Elfgren

Because it’s witch season!

On a night after the apparent suicide of high school student Elias Malmgren, a blood-red moon fills the night sky. Minoo wakes up outside her house, still in her pajamas, and is drawn by an invisible force to an abandoned theme park on the outskirts of town. Soon five of her classmates–Vanessa, Linnea, Anna-Karin, Rebecka and Ida–arrive, compelled the same force. A mystical being takes over Ida’s body and tells them they are fated to fight an ancient evil that is hunting them. The park is a safe haven; the school, a place of danger. The six are wildly different and definitely not friends…but they are the Chosen Ones.
As the weeks pass, each girl discovers she has a unique magical ability. They begin exploring their powers, but they are not all firmly committed to their mission–to discover the truth about Elias’s death. Then a horrible tragedy strikes within the circle. Newly determined to fight the evil forces, they begin to learn magic from The Book of Patterns, an ancient work with a will of its own that reveals different things to different witches.


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Because not everything is all doom and gloom!

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson

A cinnamon bun is best served with coffee and a thrilling murder mystery blended with decade old family secrets. Delicious!

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.
It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.


The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Let’s face it. Hypnotism might not be a real thing, but it’s kind of scary to think about that someone can just take a look into your deepest, darkest thoughts.

In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes.
It’s the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.


Beartown (Beartown #1) by Fredrik Backman

Obviously, I’m going to sneak in some Beartown whenever I can!

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.


Do you have any favourite books set in Sweden?

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84 comments

  1. Your description of those cinnamon buns is so amazing and makes me want one with coffee so badly! Although I have to admit I love the frosting-covered ones too…a product of my American donut-eating upbringing, I guess. Such a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t really encountered frosting on pastries and stuff until i moved to the UK when i was 23.
      Back home the most popular donuts have powdered sugar on them, and the pastries are either bare, or with a bit of powdered sugar 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • We went to Ikea yesterday (the ambassador of all things Swedish abroad, I know) and I had one of the cinnamon buns with pearl sugar thinking of your celebration of them. Even the Ikea version was so good, I see why you love them 🙂 are you from Sweden originally?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, no I’m from Hungary 🙂 (Another country that doesn’t believe in frosting, haha)
          I got really into swedish food after i read a lot of books set there and now in the UK i have access to all these foods. Where i get my groceries from, they have a massive Swedish section ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh wow, I didn’t realize! I’ve been a few times to Budapest, it was a really fun city to explore 🙂 And I also didn’t realize Swedish cuisine had such a presence anywhere outside of Sweden, I think aside from the famous meatballs I don’t even know what else it includes (I can’t even remember what I ate while visiting Stockholm). You’re making me curious, must investigate! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the idea for this post and I love obscure celebratory days! I’ve not read any of the books on the list sadly 😦

    I want to read Let the Right One In but I’m a big wuss, I’ve heard of A Man Called Ove and I’ve read that it’s similar to Eleanor Oliphant in terms of theme. I like the sound of Bear Town and The Circle!

    I’ve watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but I found it really intense so I may not read the book!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You definitely made me hungry, Norrie! Our cinnamon buns usually are slathered in frosting here. Sometimes a cream cheese frosting, which I like. Now I need to try the Swedish cinnamon bun for the crunch! What a fun list of reads to go with this day! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm, cream cheese frosting sounds interesting! I tried it only once, when i made carrot cake and had to top it with something. Didn’t turn out very good tho 😀 But the concept is nice, if it’s done well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha 😀

      I still haven’t read Ove – i kinda thought i wouldn’t like it, cuz it’s not thriller, nothing horrible happens in it, but now i kinda feel like trying it 😀

      Like

  4. Ugh cinnamon buns sound so good right now! Love your selection, I’ve never heard of The Circle before, it sounds absolutely thrilling. I’m definitely not tired of seeing you recommend Beartown as well, cause I still have yet to read it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG! Are you kidding me? I love me some cinnamon and in a bun? You bet. We get great pastries here (being a French province and all) and I always get myself an escargot – yes, I know, nearly as silly as Kanelbullens Dag. 😉

    Oh, and love the list, some new authors here for me … guess whose wish list just swelled by a handful of books?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I saw the title I thought you meant like significant other or something! This is so much better 🙂
    I’ve only read Let The Right One In on your list but its one that definitely gets under your skin in ways you don’t even think about until you realize it’s happening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww!!! ❤ That is so cute actually, calling someone cinnamon bun!

      In Let the Right One In i think i was more affected by the poor kid being bullied than the neighbour being a vampire 😀

      Like

  7. Ooh I want to read Stieg Larsson and Fredrik Backckman so much! The only book set in Sweden I’ve read (I think) is The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, and I want to read that whole series but never enough time and too many books.. Those cinnamon buns sound delicious btw, I’ll devour any cake with cinnamon in it. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  8. emmareadstoomuch

    oh, man, now i want a cinnamon bun. curse you. (but this post is so fun, even if i’m now very distracted by thinking about how i can locate a cinnamon bun)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you named pretty much all the swedish books I know! Though I haven’t heard of The Circle before and it sounds deliciously creepy. And I’m guessing Kanelbullens Dag is different from those buns they sell at ikea? 😛 Also, it’s nearly 1 AM here and you’re making me bring out the flour and sugar!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ugh, I’m ashamed to say I have never read a book written by a Swedish author or set in Sweden before… But hey, I now have a whole list of them and some are Halloween worthy so what more could I want? 😀

    Thanks so much for sharing, Norrie, and I hope you had a lovely Kanelbullens Dag 😉 I love cinnamon in everything too, especially because it intensifies the flavour of absolutely any sweet. Great trick if you’re trying not to die from diabetes xD

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. There is a cinnamon bun day? Ah, it must be glorious and now I want to celebrate it too – although I never baked cinnamon buns because I am a bit of a mess in the kitchen.

    I have not read any of those books and I cannot remember any book set in Sweden. I should definitely travel more in my reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one those books I have been meaning to get around to for centuries!!! Loved Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the American movie adaptation, but man… I’m ashamed I haven’t read the book yet after so many years! 😛 Great list, Norrie!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ahh that’s so cool !! I love everything with cinnamon myself too ❤

    A man called Ove was already on my tbr, but ive added still waters and let the right one on ; you have awesome taste in thrillers ! heheh

    Liked by 1 person

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