Books Corner | Books to keep you Company!

We start out on the home front this month with a beautiful new publication from Thames & Hudson on Danish art. In Another Light: Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century by Patricia Berman is a wonderfully illustrated book that surveys all the icons of the Danish Golden Age including works by Jens Juel, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Christen Købke, PS Krøyer and Vilhelm Hammershøi.

Moving forward in time but remaining in the neighbourhood, the smaller and more eclectic German publisher Gestalten brings us Northern Delights. Another representation of what has put Denmark and Scandinavia on the map, the book includes great examples of Scandinavian design, including the attention to detail and the quality of craftsmanship that contribute to the uniqueness of, in this case, Scandinavian homes.

From beautiful art at the coffee table to new and interesting fiction from Cambridge, Massachusetts and Claire Messud’s new novel, The Woman Upstairs. Nora lives a quiet, almost invisible life with thwarted dreams and ambition until she meets the Shahids – an encounter that will turn all she knows upside down. As one reviewer commented: “Rarely has the mundane been so dazzling.” Better known in the United States than in Europe, perhaps this is the novel that will bolt Messud across the Atlantic.

Browse a bookshop and you will quickly realise that most of the books are serious, sad, thrilling, thoughtful or all of the above – but few are funny. One writer who is sure to amuse in an edgy, satirical, humorous way, however, is David Sedaris. He has a new round up of personal essays called Let’s explore Diabetes with Owls. From the perils of French dentistry to the squat-style toilets of Beijing and the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveller’s experiences and if any of his earlier books – Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim or Me Talk Pretty One Day – are anything to go by, this latest instalment will be worth a few serious laughs.

And finally, there is no way we can skirt around the blockbusters this month.

First, of course, is Dan Brown’s latest novel, Inferno. As always, the reviews are mixed, the hype as intense as ever (translators in secret locations etc) and the sales will most likely top the charts. If you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, this promises to be another exciting summer read.

For fans of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, the wait is also over. The Afghan-born author Khaled Hosseini, has published his third novel, And the Mountains Echoed. Starting out in Afghanistan in the 1950s, the novel spans several generations, primarily following the fate of Abdullah and his beloved sister Pari. Once again Hosseini has succeeded in telling a great story with all the essential ingredients: love, family, loss, destruction and redemption. What more could you ask for on a beautiful day in May?

Happy reading!

Isabella Mousavizadeh Smith is the owner of Books & Company, an English language book shop in Hellerup that prides itself on providing an interesting and diverse range of books, an excellent cup of coffee, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. For more about Books & Company, please visit or the shop at Sofievej 1.

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