Bookish winter delights 
Outdoor blog: by Ute Koninx -

Bookish winter delights 

Winter has now definitely descended on Stavanger and surroundings. Let yourself be delighted by the wonderful landscapes and enjoy the myriad reflections of light. It truly can give the short days of winter a magic glow.
30.January 2024 Ute Koninx

But once tobogganing, (cross country) skiing, building snowmen or simply getting home from work has been adventure enough, you might be ready to warm up inside. A great time to take out a book and spend a few hours curled up in a comfortable chair or on the sofa. 


Here a small selection of books around the theme of hiking and exploring nature and Norwegian cultural heritage. Some of them my own or family favourites. They are in no particular order.


The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. 

This is a memoir and life-affirming story of the power of walking and living in nature. After receiving some devastating news about her husband’s health, while at the same time losing their beloved home due to a financial dispute, Raynor and her husband Moth find the guts to embark on a hiking journey. They set out to conquer the long distance path around the English South coast. Miracles do happen and as the months pass a new way of life emerges for them. A heart-wrenching, honest and inspiring story. 


The Cloudspotter’s Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney.

Where do clouds come from? Why do they look the way they do? This guide will have you look up at the clouds as it uncovers the science behind these ephemeral structures. It doesn’t stop there though. It unpacks the history and culture behind our timeless fascination with the sometimes poetic, sometimes dramatic, but always interesting cloudscapes. Gavin Pretor-Pinney writes in a witty and smart way as he describes cumulus, nimbostratus and morning glory to just name a few of the cloudy encounters you will have while reading this book.


Norwegian Folk Tales by Peter Christen Asbjornsen and Jorgen Moe

As in many other countries, in Norway too writers set out into the country side in the late nineteenth century to collect the fairy and folk tales. For Norway this was a particularly important time historically. The country was developing a sense of national identity and many artists went out to capture the countries, music, landscapes as well as its culture and fairy tales. The authors have gathered 35 folk tales here. Meet the witches, trolls and ogres of the Norwegian mountains and fjords as unlikely heroes come to the rescue in sly and sometimes cunning ways. 


The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley

This book will help you use outdoor clues and signs to find your way, predict the weather, locate a water source or know which animals might be in the area. With the help of this book you could turn every hike into a detective story, a great way to get children involved in understanding the natural world and discover it together. Tristan Gooley shares hundreds of tips, based on decades spent walking the landscape around his home and around the world. His insights will guide you whether you’re walking in the country or city, along a coastline, or by night, this is the ultimate resource on what the land, sun, moon, stars, plants and animals can reveal―he will tell you how to look for it. 


No better time than now to sit down with a hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate or (as Norwegians do outdoors) a hot ‘saft’ and immerse yourself in some armchair hiking and tales of discovery. 


And if you would rather dream of hikes in better weather without ice and snow you can of course find ideas and inspiration in our book ‘Hiking Lysefjord and Beyond: day trips in the Stavanger Region’ on

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