Hot Best Seller

Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icela This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander’s success. Spurred by this favorable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world. Join him on his roaring adventures!


Compare

This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icela This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander’s success. Spurred by this favorable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world. Join him on his roaring adventures!

30 review for Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Frank Parker

    If you are seeking proof of the old adage that travel broadens the mind, look no further than this informative memoir. Sverrir Sigurdsson is an Icelander. For him and his fellow countrymen travel is in their DNA, from their Viking ancestors who colonised most of Northern Europe and parts of North America long before Columbus. Sigurdsson begins his story with the history of each of his parents. Like most of their generation of Icelanders in the early ears of the twentieth century, they were self s If you are seeking proof of the old adage that travel broadens the mind, look no further than this informative memoir. Sverrir Sigurdsson is an Icelander. For him and his fellow countrymen travel is in their DNA, from their Viking ancestors who colonised most of Northern Europe and parts of North America long before Columbus. Sigurdsson begins his story with the history of each of his parents. Like most of their generation of Icelanders in the early ears of the twentieth century, they were self sufficient, dependent upon farming and/or fishing for their livelihoods. Both are of course subject to the vagaries of climate, especially so for a small country close to the Arctic Circle where winter can last for half of each year. Having thus provided a brief but comprehensive overview of the history and geography of Iceland, he describes the two educational institutions he attended in the 1940s. Like many of his fellow countrymen he completed his education in a neighbouring country. In this case Finland. Once again we are given an insight into the history of that nation and its relationship with Russia. Sigurdsson studied architecture. He began his career as an architectural draughtsman, designing details of windows, staircases and doors for apartment blocks whilst studying in the Finish capital, Helsinki. After graduation he received an offer of a job in Kuwait. I won't spoil the story for readers by continuing with the details of his career and travels. Suffice to say that he secured a number of roles within the World Bank, overseeing the construction and provisioning of schools and colleges in several developing countries. Each gave him the opportunity to explore his surroundings and absorb local history and culture. And it brought him to his ultimate destination, the USA - specifically Washington DC, location of the Bank's headquarters. Following retirement he designed and built his own house on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. The writing style makes this book easy to read. No doubt this is down to his co-author, his second wife, the journalist and novelist Veronica Li (there is a chapter devoted to a frank account of the breakdown of his first marriage). At the end of the book is a handy guide to pronunciation of the Icelandic language. There is a great deal of difference between travel, as exemplified here, in which the traveller gains new insights and knowledge about the places he or she visits, and tourism. All too often the latter involves returning repeatedly to a familiar place in order to luxuriate in pleasant surroundings. In Sigurdsson's case, the former is a by-product of a life dedicated to improving the opportunities of others. On television Michael Palin, Joanna Lumley, and others share their travels with us. In this book Sigurdsson and Li have done the same. Until we are once again able to travel as freely as we did before the advent of Covid 19, we have the joy of books like Viking Voyager to entertain and inform us.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Lloyd

    From a childhood in wartime Iceland to retirement in Chesapeake Bay, Sverrir Sigurdsson followed the life of a modern-day Viking. Working and travelling widely in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa through turbulent times he has given us a life story full of fascinating encounters and observations. The development of Iceland from its simple, traditional lifestyle to the modern successful country of today is shown in the lives of Sverrir’s family and friends and you can’t help but admire From a childhood in wartime Iceland to retirement in Chesapeake Bay, Sverrir Sigurdsson followed the life of a modern-day Viking. Working and travelling widely in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa through turbulent times he has given us a life story full of fascinating encounters and observations. The development of Iceland from its simple, traditional lifestyle to the modern successful country of today is shown in the lives of Sverrir’s family and friends and you can’t help but admire his personal adaptability and skills. The range of languages he has acquired have enabled him, as a trained architect and later project manager of educational developments all over the world, to gain satisfaction in his achievements. There have been problems along the way in his personal life, but he has two successful children and happiness with his second wife Veronica Li who co-wrote this biography. I learnt a great deal about world history in the second half of the twentieth century from this informative book and the extraordinary escapades Sverrir experienced driving his family through remote parts of Asia and southern Africa are amazing to read. The inclusion of maps and photographs enhance the content. I would certainly enjoy sitting next to this energetic Viking at a dinner party, as I suspect he has many more tales to tell.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Billy Buttons

    Title: Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir Author: Sverrir Sigurdsson with Veronica Li Star Rating: 4 Stars Number of Readers: 16 Stats Editing: 8/10 Writing Style: 7/10 Content: 8/10 Cover: 5/10 Of the 16 readers: 12 would read another book by this author. 8 thought the cover was good or excellent. 16 felt it was easy to follow. 13 would recommend this story to another reader to try. Of all the readers, 10 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘subject knowledge’. Of all the readers, 3 felt the author’s stro Title: Viking Voyager: An Icelandic Memoir Author: Sverrir Sigurdsson with Veronica Li Star Rating: 4 Stars Number of Readers: 16 Stats Editing: 8/10 Writing Style: 7/10 Content: 8/10 Cover: 5/10 Of the 16 readers: 12 would read another book by this author. 8 thought the cover was good or excellent. 16 felt it was easy to follow. 13 would recommend this story to another reader to try. Of all the readers, 10 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘subject knowledge’. Of all the readers, 3 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘writing style’. Of all the readers, 2 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘clarity of the message’. 13 felt the pacing was good or excellent. 12 thought the author understood the readership and what they wanted. Readers’ Comments “Iceland is not a country I know much about, but after reading this book it's a country I now very much want to visit. I thought the author had a lively, fun style of writing, and he was able to express his love of the island and of traveling throughout the book.” Male reader, age 52 “I last went to Iceland about 20 years ago on my way between the US and Sweden. I stopped off for three days with my wife and we visited Gullfoss and a number of very hot springs. This author delights in describing the recent history of the island and how it's progressed so much since World War Two. He's also a traveler, and that was almost as interesting. I'd recommend this book to anyone thinking of visiting the island or simply interested in how it's developed so much in such a short time.” Male reader, age 64 “There's a lot of detail in this text, so it's little hard going in parts. But it's also an enthralling read and I think it will be of great interest to travelers to the country.’ Female reader, aged 62 “As it's a memoir and very much written from the author’s perspective, there is a slant to it. But that is why it’s interesting. I know the cover is a little bland and uninspiring, but the book is not.” Female reader, age 38 To Sum It Up: ‘Not only a well written memoir, but an interesting take on Icelandic history from post-World War Two until present day. A RED RIBBON WINNER and highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melissa LaRiviere

    A tale of the history of a family history that pulls you in for a fully immersive experience. This is not a genre I typically read, but I can honestly say how this accounting of family history was fascinating and kept me reading on, fully engrossed in the story. Beautiful pictures help tell the story and are well placed, adding to the visualization of what is being described. I really enjoyed this beautifully written memoir and highly recommend it. It was fascinating to learn about this family a A tale of the history of a family history that pulls you in for a fully immersive experience. This is not a genre I typically read, but I can honestly say how this accounting of family history was fascinating and kept me reading on, fully engrossed in the story. Beautiful pictures help tell the story and are well placed, adding to the visualization of what is being described. I really enjoyed this beautifully written memoir and highly recommend it. It was fascinating to learn about this family and the author’s journey. I appreciate being given the opportunity to review this remarkable memoir for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne Nassau

    Engrossing, entertaining, and educational Sverrir tells the story of his personal journey from an Icelandic farm boy to a poverty warrior in far-flung lands. Along the way, we learn a lot about Icelandic history and traditions, as well as the difficulties of building stuff in counties with few roads and expertise. His account is honest, colorful and wry, and the book is fun to read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christina Jong

    A most entertaining and fun read about a man who was born in Iceland right before World War II, his life growing up there, and his adventures after becoming an architect, traveling the world and engaging in all sorts of projects for the UN and the World Bank. An extraordinary life for a seemingly ordinary man. An important read for anyone interested in Icelandic history and culture, or just want a delightful personal story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Candy

    Viking Voyager: An Iceland Memoir by Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li (5 Stars) Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads for giving me this book, which was a giveaway contest. What a spectacular life Sverrir has lived so far!. First, I chose this book because the name contained the word Viking. We have been on two enjoyable Viking cruises, and had scheduled a third. Then the pandemic led to a cancellation, a reschedule and then a second cancellation. I think I just want to dream about a return t Viking Voyager: An Iceland Memoir by Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li (5 Stars) Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads for giving me this book, which was a giveaway contest. What a spectacular life Sverrir has lived so far!. First, I chose this book because the name contained the word Viking. We have been on two enjoyable Viking cruises, and had scheduled a third. Then the pandemic led to a cancellation, a reschedule and then a second cancellation. I think I just want to dream about a return to normalcy and being on vacation, and the title caught my eye. Second, Iceland has always captivated me. The Northern Lights are something I would love to see, if the climate weren’t too inhospitable. This book is Sverrir’s autobiography, and what a spectacular life so far! He tells us tales of his growing up in Iceland, going to school in Finland, and then embarking on his international career as an architect. His assignments and travels took him through Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and ended with his settling down in the United States. Along the way, he treats us to stories of his family, his work and all the different cultures he encountered along the way. The writing is excellent (his wife is his co-author), conversational and a great book to escape with. If you have any interest in Iceland, this will pique your interest further and divert your attention to learning more about this fascinating country. https://candysplanet.wordpress.com/

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    I had the pleasure of receiving this book in exchange for a review. However, the opinions expressed are my own. There is already plenty of information on what the book is about so I will just touch on my personal observations. I appreciated that the book was written with such involving details. It flowed from one part of the author's life to the next. It stayed fairly consistent with chronological order. I have not seen too many books about Iceland so I was intrigued to learn some of the history o I had the pleasure of receiving this book in exchange for a review. However, the opinions expressed are my own. There is already plenty of information on what the book is about so I will just touch on my personal observations. I appreciated that the book was written with such involving details. It flowed from one part of the author's life to the next. It stayed fairly consistent with chronological order. I have not seen too many books about Iceland so I was intrigued to learn some of the history of their unique country. It was nice to see a personal perspective. Even though it is an average size book it felt meatier due to the brief uses of field terminology, multi-lingual words, and geographical details. I learned briefly about how some of the different governments and their leaders of those countries function (at least the way they used to). You may not always agree with their beliefs and the way they did some things, but it makes for interesting tidbits. I especially enjoyed all of the historical aspects of this book. It takes you on a journey with descriptions of many various locations unique to their respective country. It was fun seeing the view of a world traveler and hearing their experience of it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Agnes Wang

    What an amazing journey the Viking voyager takes the reader into the life of Sverrir Sigurdsson, who was born in the period of Iceland's transformation into an independent nation, and who developed from his reserved, thoughtful and intellectually curious nature into a professional architect and educator. True to his Viking ancestry he ventured far and wide through the continents, bringing technology, education and training to elevate the quality the lives of people in developing countries. Throu What an amazing journey the Viking voyager takes the reader into the life of Sverrir Sigurdsson, who was born in the period of Iceland's transformation into an independent nation, and who developed from his reserved, thoughtful and intellectually curious nature into a professional architect and educator. True to his Viking ancestry he ventured far and wide through the continents, bringing technology, education and training to elevate the quality the lives of people in developing countries. Through personal encounters he shared stories on his adventures in many challenging situations, portraying the dramatic social, cultural and political changes that took place in the various societies he worked in. All this was told with vivacity and detail where the reader feels a participant in his discoveries and insights. In a time where our world has become a global community, Mr. Sigurdsson's life's work truly demonstrates a model of a genuine world citizen.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nwanganga Shields

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I normally do not read autobiographies because I think those who write them often whitewash their lives or try to give a good spin on events that they have participated in. I began reading this beautifully edited book with this mindset. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised. Sverrir's book is not only an autobiography but a history of Iceland from his perspective. It took me from Iceland to the middle East to Africa and it did not disappoint. The author's description of life among the Bri I normally do not read autobiographies because I think those who write them often whitewash their lives or try to give a good spin on events that they have participated in. I began reading this beautifully edited book with this mindset. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised. Sverrir's book is not only an autobiography but a history of Iceland from his perspective. It took me from Iceland to the middle East to Africa and it did not disappoint. The author's description of life among the British Colonials in Malawi resonated with me . I thoroughly recommend this book to those interested in Icelandic History.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Denis Broun

    A remarkable life journey from Iceland at the time of World War II to Washington, with twists and turns all around Europe, the Middle East, Africa and other places. Sverrir Sigurdsson writes well, is never boring or too long, and describes a most astonishing career, from studying architecture in Finland without speaking the language to reforming financing of school text books for the World Bank. In addition, he communicates rather well his pleasure in working with his hands - repairing, creating A remarkable life journey from Iceland at the time of World War II to Washington, with twists and turns all around Europe, the Middle East, Africa and other places. Sverrir Sigurdsson writes well, is never boring or too long, and describes a most astonishing career, from studying architecture in Finland without speaking the language to reforming financing of school text books for the World Bank. In addition, he communicates rather well his pleasure in working with his hands - repairing, creating and even building his house from blueprints to finishings. A truly amazing life experience, well written. Do not hesitate to read the memoirs of the Viking Voyager. You will love it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    A Thorsson

    A delightful and inspirational memoir. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this memoir! The voice of the author clearly cuts through, as though he's chatting with you about his life story. And what a life! From a young lad in Iceland, to a successful and well travelled architect, he has experienced and lived through many adventures. As a Brit who settled in Iceland some twenty years ago, I can empathise with the bravery of settling in a different country, learning a new language and culture, while at t A delightful and inspirational memoir. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this memoir! The voice of the author clearly cuts through, as though he's chatting with you about his life story. And what a life! From a young lad in Iceland, to a successful and well travelled architect, he has experienced and lived through many adventures. As a Brit who settled in Iceland some twenty years ago, I can empathise with the bravery of settling in a different country, learning a new language and culture, while at the same time forging a new life on unknown shores. A book that is well worth reading!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sammy Iam

    Viking Voyager uncovers a history that most of us don't know about--the beautiful history of Iceland through the perspective of a man who travels the world through his work at the World Bank, Unesco, and other organizations. A fast-paced, riveting, and compelling narrative. An immersion into Nordic culture and work ethic fused with the insight of a broader global perspective. Loved it and recommending it to all my friends and family. Never thought I could learn so much about the world from the s Viking Voyager uncovers a history that most of us don't know about--the beautiful history of Iceland through the perspective of a man who travels the world through his work at the World Bank, Unesco, and other organizations. A fast-paced, riveting, and compelling narrative. An immersion into Nordic culture and work ethic fused with the insight of a broader global perspective. Loved it and recommending it to all my friends and family. Never thought I could learn so much about the world from the story of a modern Viking great.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liliyana Shadowlyn

    An absolutely captivating family saga that will pull you in from the start. I must admit biographies and memoirs are very hit-and-miss for me, and this was a huge hit! The prose flows well, and the pacing is perfect. A tale spanning the globe and many decades, the reader is introduced to new experiences and cultures along the way. An inspiring and heartwarming story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill Smith

    This is a fascinating memoir and spans an amazing career and life. From Iceland the boy grows from a hands on wood crafter to train to be an architect. Who knew this would take him all around the world? I admire anyone who can learn a second language and this author is a multi linguist. I’ll have a full review shortly.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Necochino

    A wonderfully written, candidly told story of an extraordinary Viking ! Engrossing and difficult to put down. It should be a must read for teenagers (but also adults, because... there’s always time to fulfill dreams so long as one is alive). I wish I had read something like this in my younger age. It is easy to close your eyes and travel the world with Sverrir. Do it !

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ho-yin Li

    Magnificent read. This is a good example of the connection between biography and history. Through Sverrir's story, we can see the development of his country, Iceland, and the evolution of the world he traveled in. Magnificent read. This is a good example of the connection between biography and history. Through Sverrir's story, we can see the development of his country, Iceland, and the evolution of the world he traveled in.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Y

    Very impressive reading, with a lot of history on Iceland, interesting stories of the author and his family, and a good writing style. Recommended to all who are keen on things international.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Judy Thomas

    An amazing adventure! A very enjoyable and well written book. It had me wanting to travel to Iceland .The historical facts were very interesting. I loved it reading this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike He

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gloria Henschel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tora Estep

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elisabet Norris

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard A. Cambridge

  25. 4 out of 5

    Abby

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Parker Fairchild

  28. 5 out of 5

    Yongjing Jin

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Giffen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jerri Dell

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

hi
Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.