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Unforgettable Finland

Finland is a unique and beautiful country with a great deal to offer the visitor.

Finland's war of choice : the troubled German-Finnish coalition in WWII
Henrik O. Lunde.
Havertown, Pa. ; Newbury [U.K.] : Casemate, c2011.
  1. Includes bibliographical references (p. 390-396) and index.
  2. From flirtation to coalition -- Plans, preparations, and deployments -- Operation Platinfuchs -- Operations in Central Finland -- The Finnish offensives -- Coalition problems and Soviet counteroffensives -- Aborted plans and dashed hopes, 1941-42 -- Front without combat activity--January 1943-June 1944 -- Soviet summer offensive--June 9-21, 1944 -- Soviet offensive ends--Finland leaves the war -- From friction to fighting -- The 20th Mountain Army's katabasis.
     
Lucifer's tears
James Thompson.
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2011.
Inspector Kari Vaara returns, more haunted than ever, in the follow-up to "Snow Angels." Kari is pushed into investigating a 90-year-old national hero for war crimes committed during World War II. Soon, the past and present collide in ways no one could have anticipated.
     
The year of the hare : a novel
Arto Paasilinna ; [translated from the Finnish by Herbert Lomas] ; foreword by Pico Iyer.
New York : Penguin Books, 2010.
Suddenly realizing what's important in life (with the help of a bunny), a man quits his job and heads to the countryside in this internationally bestselling comic novel. "Which of us has not had that wonderfully seditious idea: to play hooky for a while from life as we know it?" With these words from his foreword, Pico Iyer puts his finger on the exhilaratingly anarchic appeal of The Year of the Hare . While out on assignment, a journalist hits a hare with his car. This small incident becomes life-changing: he decides to quit his job, leave his wife, sell his possessions, and spend a year wandering the wilds of Finland-with the bunny as his boon companion.
     
The year of the hare
Arto Paasilinna ; [translated from the Finnish by Herbert Lomas ; foreword by Pico Iyer].
Ashland, OR : Blackstone Audio, Inc., p2010.
Vatanen, a burned-out journalist, sets out on a country drive and hits a young hare. He saves the injured creature and the grateful animal adopts him. Leaving his old life, Vatanen and his new friend scamper through the Finnish wilds on farcical adventures
     

It's the seventh-largest country in Europe, but has a small population, so much of the country is untouched nature, with large pine forests and over 180,000 lakes. 

Part of Finland lies above the Arctic Circle and winter provides unlimited opportunities for skiing, snowmobiling, and even reindeer trekking. Northern Finland is also an ideal spot to see the midnight sun in summer, or the Aurora Borealis in winter.

The south has its own attractions, including medieval castles and a beautiful capital, Helsinki.

Finland is known for other things, from Finlandia vodka and Nokia cell phones, to being the official home of Santa Claus' Main Post Office, which receives almost a million letters a year from children around the world.

Finland has produced artists in many fields, including the composer Jean Sibelius, and the architect Eero Saarinen, who designed the Gateway Arch.

But Finland may be best known for the sauna, which has existed since prehistoric times. So popular are saunas that a Finnish proverb says, "First you build the sauna and then the house." America may have adopted the sauna, but in Finland you can still have the real experience, which includes rubbing your skin with birch twigs to increase circulation, and then cooling off in a nearby lake.

With nature, culture, and a range of unique experiences, Finland is a wonderful spot for tourists wanting to explore something new. It is a place you will not soon forget.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff