Overview

In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. ...
See more details below
The Summer Book

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$14.00 List Price

Overview

In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer—its sunlight and storms—into twenty-two crystalline vignettes. This brief novel tells the story of Sophia, a six-year-old girl awakening to existence, and Sophia’s grandmother, nearing the end of hers, as they spend the summer on a tiny unspoiled island in the Gulf of Finland. The grandmother is unsentimental and wise, if a little cranky; Sophia is impetuous and volatile, but she tends to her grandmother with the care of a new parent. Together they amble over coastline and forest in easy companionship, build boats from bark, create a miniature Venice, write a fanciful study of local bugs. They discuss things that matter to young and old alike: life, death, the nature of God and of love. “On an island,” thinks the grandmother, “everything is complete.” In The Summer Book, Jansson creates her own complete world, full of the varied joys and sorrows of life.

Tove Jansson, whose Moomintroll comic strip and books brought her international acclaim, lived for much of her life on an island like the one described in The Summer Book, and the work can be enjoyed as her closely observed journal of the sounds, sights, and feel of a summer spent in intimate contact with the natural world.

This lovely, fresh book is about a summer of discovery shared by a girl and her grandmother on an island in the Gulf of Finland.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It's deceptively simple, refreshingly unembellished, distilled, grounded in sensory experience, and absolutely direct. It's comforting for precisely the same reasons it's unsettling, like standing on the shore looking across a dark sea at a horizon you swear you could almost touch. " —Rain Taxi

"Poetic understatement, dry humor and a deep love for nature are obvious throughout her oeuvre.... The book is as lovely, as evocative as a film by Hayao Miyazaki." —Time Out New York

“Tove Jansson was a genius. This is a marvelous, beautiful, wise novel, which is also very funny.” –Philip Pullman

“A wise, joyous book...it unfolds the knowledge and the beauty of the two lives it embraces–old wisdom and young discover, intertwining like vines.” –Rex Reed

The Summer Book manages to make you feel good as well as wise, without having to make too much effort...[it] says so much that we want to hear in such an accessible form, without ever really saying anything at all.” –The Independent (London)

"Few books since Robinson Crusoe have evoked the joys of island living so powerfully as this Finnish novella." –The Observer, PAPERBACK OF THE WEEK

"The Summer Book is a marvellously uplifting read, full of gentle humour and wisdom." –Daily Telegraph (London)

"A marvellous book...The prose is sublime: plain, but not oppressively so." –Independent on Sunday (London)

"A...beautiful novel which blends humour and poetry with detailed observation of tiny things." –Daily Mail (London)

"It's hard to describe the astonishing achievement of Jansson's artistry...a perfection of the small, quiet read." –The Guardian, (London) BOOK OF THE WEEK

"A wonderful novel to devour in the sunshine...full of charm and character." –The Independent, 50 BEST BOOKS FOR SUMMER

"Every so often, a book is published that captures something in us...The Summer Book is one of those." –Daily Telegraph

“Responses, conversations, and observations yield quietly reflective and funny ruminations on life and death.” –The Age (Australia)

“Thomas Teal, a luminous translator of Jansson’s twin talent for surface and depth, simplicity and reverberation in language, and someone who knows exactly how to convey her gift for sensing the meaning embedded in the most mundane act or turn of phrase.” –Ali Smith

“This is a wonderful, life-affirming, spirited book. Reading it was a tonic.” –Chris Stewart (author, Driving Over Lemons)

“Eccentric, funny, wise, full of joys and small adventures. This is a book for life.” –Esther Freud

"The Summer Book is beautiful and warm, with the kind of wisdom we can adapt to our everyday lives." -Liv Ullmann

"Take a book in which there is no plot but bucketloads of positive feelings presented simply, and it will become a cult. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Jonathan Livingston Seagull were both bestsellers; no one could say what either was really about, but everyone could quote a meaningful truism from them. The Summer Book is in this mould: it manages to make you feel good as well as wise..." -Independent

The Barnes & Noble Review
Tove Jansson's novel is bewitchingly simple: Sophia and her grandmother spend summers on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland. the elements of their story are as simple as the beginning of the world: rock and rosebud, cesspool and juniper, the colors of water and sky. And as melancholy; there is loss here -- Sophia's mother, dead of illness, and the grandmother's own waning health -- though grief goes largely unspoken. In place of eulogy and complaint, Sophia and her grandmother practice the balm of attention. Their focus holds on the ephemera -- cloud and down, root and weather -- they attend to their changes, husband their possibilities. The vignettes that serve Jansson as chapters here are contiguous, not continuous, suffused with the serial disconnectedness of days of sun and rain. Migratory waterbirds come, and one dies of love; a storm rises in answer to a deliciously wicked prayer; crates of liquor bob in the ocean on midsummer's eve. Jansson, who lived on an island like Sophia's, became famous for her "Moomintroll" comic strip and books for children. Like the small forest creatures in those works, Sophia and her grandmother infuse their acts and days with a mythopoetic intensity. Disregarded and unnoticed by the wider world, they make stories to sustain themselves. And yet they learn that the worthwhile things are found alone and in quiet, as a cat pounces on a bright bird amid the flowers. Jansson's small masterpiece is a summer book, to be savored with summer's end. --Matthew Battles
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590176825
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 8/8/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 120,817
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Tove Jansson (1914–2001) was born in Helsinki into Finland’s Swedish-speaking minority. Her father was a sculptor and her mother a graphic designer and illustrator. Winters were spent in the family’s art-filled studio and summers in a fisherman’s cottage on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, a setting that would later figure in Jansson’s writing for adults and children. Jansson loved books as a child and set out from an early age to be an artist. Her first illustration was published when she was fifteen years old; four years later a picture book appeared under a pseudonym. After attending art schools in both Stockholm and Paris, she returned to Helsinki, where in the 1940s and ’50s she won acclaim for her paintings and murals. From 1929 until 1953 Jansson drew humorous illustrations and political cartoons for the left-leaning anti-Fascist Finnish-Swedish magazine Garm, and it was there that what was to become Jansson’s most famous creation, Moomintroll, a hippopotamus-like character with a dreamy disposition, made his first appearance. Jansson went on to write about the adventures of Moomintroll, the Moomin family, and their curious friends in a long-running comic strip and in a series of books for children that have been translated throughout the world, inspiring films, several television series, an opera, and theme parks in Finland and Japan. Jansson also wrote eleven novels and short story collections for adults, including The Summer Book and The True Deceiver (both available as NYRB Classics). In 1994 she was awarded the Prize of the Swedish Academy. Jansson and her companion, the artist Tuulikki Pietilä, continued to live part-time in a cottage on the remote outer edge of the Finnish archipelago until 1991.

Kathryn Davis has received the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the author of many novels, including Labrador, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, Hell, The Walking Tour, The Thin Place, andVersailles. In 2006 she received the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis and lives in Vermont.

Thomas Teal has translated Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book,Sun City, and Fair Play, for which he was awarded the Bernard Shaw Prize for translation from the Swedish for the years 2007–2009.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    The summer book The summer book

    I have not read the book excactly yet but i read the overview and the book sounded great cant wait to actually read it will be awesome idk hahaha

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)