In advance of Saturday’s municipal elections, the Reykjavík City Library has asked the chairpeople of all the political parties standing for election what their favorite books are, and why, RÚV reports.
“We happily have books on the brain here at the library, but we also have all sorts of other projects going on,” the library wrote in a post on its Facebook page on Wednesday. “Did you know, for instance, that one of the City Library’s main objectives is to promote democracy and equality, as well as the agency and welfare of our citizens?”
“We think it’s important to be well-informed and to exercise your right to vote!” the post continued. “We therefore encourage all our friends to visit the polls this weekend and make an effort to get to know the candidates better. Maybe they have the same favorite books as you?”
Some of the candidates’ favorite books were as follows:
Ingvar Mar Jónsson (Progressive Party): In Order to Live – Yeonmi Park
“...This book teaches you a lot about life – for example, how transient it can be. It also shows how strong the fighting spirit and will to live can be inside all of us.”
Sanna Magdalena Mörtudóttir (The Socialist Party of Iceland): Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom – Catherine Clinton
“...Harriet said something that really stuck with me: ‘If you are tired, keep going; if you are scared, keep going; if you are hungry, keep going; if you want to taste freedom, keep going.’ Which could loosely be translated to mean that you always have to continue through the struggle in the direction of freedom, no matter what opposition you face.”
Eyþór Arnalds (Independence Party): World Light – Halldór Laxness
“World Light for Icelandic Literature. Sapiens [by Yuval Noah Harari] for contemporary literature.”
Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir (Our City): The Zahir – Paulo Coelho
“A book that gets the reader to think outside of the box and consider various facts, societal values that we take as a given without paying attention to the truth, or even want to avoid the truth because we it isn’t convenient to face or own up to and because it’s more convenient to tow the line.”
See all of the chairpeople’s recommendations here.