Top 5 Norwegian Books Containing the Word “Struggle”

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5. My Struggle: Book 3 by Karl Ove Knausgaard

This is the worst book of the My Struggle series, which means it’s still better than 99.4% of all books ever written. It’s the worst because it’s about Karl Ove’s childhood, which essentially means it’s less about girls, one of KOK’s best subjects. Also, since it’s about his youth, it seems more obviously novelized, which might detract from the reading experience. That said, it’s one of the few My Struggle books I’ve only read once, so maybe it’ll be more impactful the second time around.

4. My Struggle: Book 2: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

For awhile this was my favorite KOK book, but as I slip deeper into my love for the My Struggle series, this book has floated to the surface. For its shallowness? No. The thing is, Book 1 remains strong because of Karl Ove’s descriptions of his father. And Book 4 seems great because I just read it. And Book 5 is obviously the best. So that leaves nowhere else for Book 4 but here.

3. My Struggle: Book 4 by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Like I said, I just finished (re) reading Book 4, in which Karl Ove spends a year teaching in northern Norway, just north of the Lofoten Islands (pictured above). In 2012, after finishing a Masters Program at the University of Washington, I went to the Lofoten Islands (and nothern Norway). I spent $1,000 dollars in four days. I ate whale tacos with a girl named Madeleine. And on my last night I had some kind of bizarre fever where I spent the whole night shivering and waiting for the ferry to the mainland.

But Book 4. It’s good.

2. My Struggle: Book 1 by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I still remember my first brushes with Book 1 and thus my first brushes with Karl Ove Knausgaard. I was in Elliott Bay Books in Seattle and had read about a series by a Norwegian author that was apparently incredible. So I picked it up, started reading, and then after 15 minutes put it down again. I didn’t touch the book for awhile, and forgot about it. Then one day I picked it up again, and this time made it to about page 30. The rest is history.

1. My Struggle: Book 5: Some Rain Must Fall by Karl Ove Knausgaard

I’ve read this book three times. The reason I’ve read if three times is because it has a beautiful narrative arc and in the end hits you in the sternum like a bag of unmixed cement. Your soul feels like it’s simultaneously crying and on fire. And you think, “My God, give me Book 6, and give it to me now!” But Book 6 doesn’t come out till Fall of 2018. Unless you want to read it in German.

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