Hallgrímur Helgason, in my opinion, wrote the Icelandic Book of the Year; Konan við 1000°.
Other books I liked were Bernskubók by Sigurður Pálsson and Jarðnæði by Oddný Eir Ævarsdóttir.
And Mannvist by Birna Lárusdóttir: a big book about archeology.
Íslenskir Fuglar, or Icelandic Birds, with more than one hundred hundred-year-old drawings and a century-old manuscript about Icelandic birds, by naturalist Benedikt Gröndal. Beautiful.
The best film: Á annan veg (Either Way), by young director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson.
A great little movie.
I have not seen Eldfjall (Volcano), by Rúnar Rúnarsson.
Some say it’s the freshest movie made in the republic in a long time.
So, my next agenda is to see that movie. That’s a promise.
Last year was perhaps the best year for Icelandic music ever; so many great artists with new albums.
And I am not talking about GusGus or Björk.
I am talking about Of Monsters and Men, LayLow, Mugison, and Sóley Stefánsdóttir.
Last year was not only good for Icelandic music.
I liked the new albums from Veronica Maggio (Sweden), Robbie Robertson (Canada), Florence and The Machine (UK), First Aid Kit (Sweden), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali) and Bon Iver (US)
According to my playlist, Perth by Bon Iver was my most played song in 2011, followed by When The Night Was Young, by Robbie Robertson, and Stingum af by Mugison. A fantastic song.
The best foreign movie last year, that’s tough.
Drive was pretty good, as was The Skin I Live In, by Almodóvar.
The politician of the year in Iceland... must be Vigdís Hauksdóttir.
Smart, intelligent, bright, fresh, and fantastic—she brings a bright light to Icelandic politics. The best parliamentarian in Alþingi ever.
She should run for President.
I would use my vote.
Páll Stefánsson – [email protected]