Four Icelandic Books that Address UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Skip to content
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Four Icelandic Books that Address UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

In a fun and edifying take on end-of-year ‘Best Of’ lists, UNESCO’s Cites of Literature launched a social media campaign naming their recommended reads for books that reflect the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to a recent article on the World Economic Forum website, the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature took part in the initiative. It nominated four Icelandic books to reflect four different SDGs.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals include Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Reduced Inequalities, and more. Per The Creative Cities Network, the #17Booksfor17SDGs campaign, held from December 2 – 18, highlighted a different goal every day, and asked the various UNESCO Cities of Literature to name their recommended reads.

Here are the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature’s four SDG nominations:

Goal 1: No Poverty
Tomorrow is Never a New Day, a collection of stories authored by 24 young people from across the Nordic region who grew up in poverty. The book includes a forward by Icelandic author Einar Már Guðmundsson.

Goal 2: No Hunger
Independent People, by Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness and translated by J.A. Thompson. “A free man can live on fish. Independence is better than meat.”

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
A Fist or a Heart by Kristín Eiríksdóttir and translated by Larissa Kyzer. Per the World Economic Forum, the book “explores themes such as trauma and personal connection,” and speaks to the goal of “ensur[ing] healthy lives and promot[ing] well-being for all at all ages.”

Goal 4: Quality Education
The Story of a Blue Planet by Andri Snær Magnason and translated by Julian Meldon D’Arcy “shows us how we grown-ups can learn from children.”

Other UNESCO Cities of Literature recommended titles such as The Condition of the Working Class in England by Friedrich Engels (Goal: No Poverty), Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye & Ore Ogunbiyi (Goal: Quality Education), Admissions by Mira Harrison (Goal: Decent Work and Economic Growth), Scavengers by Darren Simpson (Goal: Sustainable Cities and Communities), and The Tresspassers by Meg Mundell (Goal: Life Under Water).

Search the hashtag #17booksfor17sdgs on Twitter or Facebook to see all the Cities of Literature’s recommended reads.


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