Map Monday #13

Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…

This week I’ve picked ‘The Girl Who Died’ by Ragnar Jónasson which is set in Iceland, somewhere I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit.

Book Synopsis:


Una knows she is struggling to deal with her father’s sudden, tragic suicide. She spends her nights drinking alone in Reykjavik, stricken with thoughts that she might one day follow in his footsteps.

So when she sees an advert seeking a teacher for two girls in the tiny village of Skálar – population of ten – on the storm-battered north coast of the island, she sees it as a chance to escape.

But once she arrives, Una quickly realises nothing in city life has prepared her for this. The villagers are unfriendly. The weather is bleak. And, from the creaky attic bedroom of the old house where she’s living, she’s convinced she hears the ghostly sound of singing.

Una worries that she’s losing her mind.

And then, just before midwinter, a young girl from the village is found dead. Now there are only nine villagers left – and Una fears that one of them has blood on their hands . . .

Interesting Facts about Iceland:

  • More than 60% of the Icelandic population live in the capital city, Reykjavik
  • Iceland is known as one of the youngest landmasses on the planet and was one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans. Surprisingly, over 1,100 years ago Vikings from Norway discovered Iceland by accident.
  • Iceland was recently ranked one of the eco-friendliest countries in the world and since almost all of the electricity in Iceland is produced using renewable energy sources, it’s easy to see why! 
  • O average, Icelanders work 45 hours a week – longer than any other country in Europe!
  • Iceland went through a prohibition of beer which began in 1915 and ended in 1989 (74 YEARS)
  • Studies show that 11% of the country of Iceland is covered by glaciers – one of the main attractions to the country
  • The tradition of reading in Iceland dates back to the 13th century – with one out of ten Icelanders publishing a book in their lifetime!!
  • Red, White, Blue – The three national colours of Iceland that appear on the country’s flag represent the elements that the land is made up of. Iceland’s volcanic fires are represented by the colour red, white for the snow and ice and blue for the ocean
  • You can see the Northern Lights from Iceland – September to March is the best time but it’s never guaranteed!
  •  Iceland’s entire population is smaller than Arlington in Texas
  • There are no family names in Iceland. A patronymic ramming system is used which means that a person’s name is based on the name of their parents. This why an Icelander’s name will almost always end in -son (son of) or -dóttir (daughter of).
  • Iceland has more than 100 volcanoes – several of which are still active
  • Reykjavík is actually the only capital city in western Europe without a McDonald’s franchise
  • Iceland marks a physical boundary between America and Europe with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which can be clearly seen!
  • The country has it’s own current – Icelandic króna.
  • Iceland is the only NATO country not to have a standing army, air force or navy.
  • There are no other capitals north of Reykjavik – making it the Northernmost Capital Of The World


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