Books & Movies

Secrets of the sprakkar – Eliza Reid

A modern book of stories that shows why Iceland is the best place in the world for being a women.

In this book, Eliza tells us stories from extraordinary woman in Iceland, using the old icelandic word “sprakkar”. After an introduction about herself, how she came to Iceland and what her role and projects are today, she explaines what Iceland is doing differently regarding gender equality than other countries. In the following chapters, Eliza gives insight in almost every topic you can think of, combining facts and figures with the conversations she had with Icelands women, from politicians to rappers, from sex workers to environmentalists, from immigrants to farmers. Extensive footnotes, further reading recommendations and a reading group guide conclude the book.

I learned a lot about the backgrounds and consequences of social or political events that happened in Iceland and which roles women played in them. The book covers all aspects of society and I love how effortlessly the stories of the portrayed women are woven together. It never feels forced and gives the ladies room to shine in a very natural, icelandic way.

One of my favorite story about Eliza herself is when she tells us that after wearing a green dress at an event, a randon woman (!) sent her a comment that “green was absolutely not her color and she shouldn’t wear it” – and Eliza makes a point in wearing green even more often! I noticed that myself and I adore Eliza for it!

This book is full of female empowerment and I wish that everyone, regardless of gender identity, would read it. Eventhough Eliza sees herself not as a role model, she definitely is incredibly inspiring. Already one of the best books of 2022 for me!

Eliza Reid is originally from Canada but moved to Iceland in 2003. She is a journalist and editor and very active in promoting gender equality, entrepreneurship, sustainability and literature. Eliza is married to Gudni Th. Jóhannessson, who became president of Iceland in 2016. “Secrets of the sprakkar” is her first book (and I hope more will follow).

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