bookcover Beyond the Cold: An American's Warm Portrait of Norway by Michael Kleiner“Great Book to Give and Get,” Norwegian American Weekly


Now available as an eBook

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Cover of The Authors Show 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, which includes Michael Kleiner for Beyond the Cold: An American's Warm Portrait of Norway The Authors Show
50 Great Writers You Should
Be Reading
(September 2010)

First Place
Biography Category
2009 Beach Book Festival

Honorable Mention:
2009 Nashville, New England,
London, Los Angeles,
Do It Yourself Book Festivals

Dan Poynter Global eBook Awards Logo
Finalist 2011 Dan Poynter Global eBook Awards, Autobiography/ Memoir Category

Eco-Libris celebrated the 41st Earth Day, April 22, 2011, with a campaign- 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book. Eco-Libris logo

Michael Kleiner was asked to participate in the campaign and is proud to participate in Eco-Libris’ “Balance the Books” project, for each sticker/book sold, a tree is planted in an area of the world hurt by deforestation.

Nov. 1-7, 2010: Danielle Hampson
The Internet Authors TV Show
Interviews Michael Kleiner. The interview
is from

Michael Kleiner Statement on Bombing and Shooting in Norway, July 22, 2011

July 24, 2011: Michael Kleiner Interviewed on KYW News Radio Philadelphia about Bombing and Shooting in Norway

July 20, 2011: Michael Kleiner Interviewed on Global Talk Radio In the News (Internet)

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“Kleiner’s experience in Norway as a child and his later returns as an adult shape a warm, sensitive and caring look at how Norway and its people have influenced the man he has become.”
Norwegian-American Weekly, “Great Book to Give and Get,”

“It is always enjoyable to read a foreignerís experiences visiting Norway. It is, however, not often that such new books are published. Beyond the Cold tells about the authorís many encounters with Norway from when he was here the first time and went to a Norwegian school in 1969. Since, he has visited many parts of the country at different times of the year. He tells with warmth and enjoyment about his encounters with Norwegians, our customs and Norwegian nature. This is not a guidebook, but a personal portrait of a country.”
Per Roger Lauritzen, Fjell og Vidde (Mountains and Plateaus), August, 2007
largest read outdoor magazine in Norway,
published by Norwegian Mountain Hiking Tourist Association

There are many books about people “adopting” another country not their own. The authors all made their initial visits as an adult and we don’t always

All prepared, Michael Kleiner in Norwegian sweater, with camera in the Lofoten Islands above the Arctic Circle.


“I truly loved this book. My father left home (Bruvik, Norway) in 1937 and brought his family back for three marvelous summers during my youth. As I read “Beyond the Cold”, I found myself traveling back in time, reliving the countless memories that I wasn’t even aware I had. My only regret is that I haven’t been able to take a similar trip with my boys back to their Grandfather’s homeland. At least I’ve been able to share this book with them. Well done Michael, you’re a gifted writer. ”

Peter Bruvik
Norwegian American Chamber
of Commerce, Philadelphia Chapter

“Like the author, I am not of Norwegian heritage but through fortuitous circumstances I have developed strong bonds with the country and people. I have traveled extensively in Norway and while so much of this book was familiar to me - which I enjoyed - there was also much that I learned from it such as details about Norway and World War II. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about Norway and for any Norway fans who want to reaffirm their love of this country.”

Name withheld upon request. Her family hosted a Norwegian foreign exchange student and their son then reciprocated. He now works and lives in Norway.

“While we may know Norway to be a frigid country, Michael Kleiner brings out the warmth and gracious hospitality of the Norwegian people in his book, Beyond the Cold -- a perfect title... inside the covers, so to speak, is a delightful memoir of an eleven-year-old boy and his family moving to Norway for a year, 1969-70. His description of the school he attends, his teachers, and the children he meets are experiences that any child would encounter in a foreign country. The author also describes in detail the Norwegian educational system, their sports, their mode of transportation during the long winter months, the many museums, parks, and the homes of numerous new friends he and his family meet. His description of the Norwegian scenery is spectacular and tempts you to visit this beautiful country...Sixteen years later in 1986, the author, now an adult, returns to Norway and reminisces with the people he met and the places he visited. If you were thinking of visiting Norway and Sweden, this is an ideal book to read. It is well written, well documented, and a fun book to read, especially when sitting by a warm fire on a cold wintery night...”

Pauline Hager, Author
Memoirs of an American Housewife
in Japan

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“Kleiner spent only a year in Norway as a 10-year-old, but its culture and people drew him back again and again. In this memoir, Kleiner, a Norwegian expert and sportswriter, recalls memories of a reindeer sleigh ride and a snow-covered schoolyard in 1970, the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994, and more.”

The National Geographic Traveler
48 Hours in Oslo blog, ‘Books about Norway,’ right there with Sigrid Undset and Henrik Ibsen

Michael Kleiner’s book is an interesting combination of a diary, travelogue and autobiography, regarding the country and people of Norway from the perspective of a young boy to a grown man. During seven visits to Norway, he develops the theme of his warm, intimate experiences in Norway. With each visit, he dispels the myth of the reserved, somewhat cold and hard to get to know persona of Norwegians to one of friendliness, warmth, integrity, and generosity of the north people...In these early years his love for Freia Chocolate and Maarud Potato Chips began a lifetime of indulgence...The last trip was in August of 1997 with his wife Lisa on their honeymoon, when he returned to beloved places and explored north of Oslo, Geiranger, West Cape, Selje and Bergen. Visiting old friends, with whom the reader becomes familiar, he describes their generosity to him and his wife. Certainly, Michael Kleiner shares many beautiful trips, everyday foods, and many humorous stories of the kind people called Norwegians... He has created a refreshing story of a beautiful country filled with uniquely kind people. It is well worth reading!

Jean Peyer, Sons of Norway,
Long Island, NY

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The author clearly loves Norway. His enthusiasm and affection for and his breadth of knowledge of the people, history, culture and contemporary political environment of Norway pour out of every page. I am sure anyone who reads this will come away thinking that he or she too need to visit Norway at some point in his or her life. His writing style was conversational and well done. There were few (if any typos) or editorial errors that marred the enjoyment or reading of the text. Well done.”

Writer’s Digest

“Michael Kleiner is an American with no Norwegian roots, whose first visit to Norway occurred when he was 11 years old. That was the beginning of a fascination with Norway that resulted in many additional visits. Michael moved to Norway with his parents for a while and he attended school in Oslo and, as an adult, he attended the International Summer School. The book is based on Kleiner’s visits and personal experiences. That the book is highly personal is reinforced by the introduction, written by the author’s father, who was also the person who introduced Michael to Norway.”
The Norseman, September, 2007
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“Beyond the Cold is not the usual sort of travel guide. Instead it is a reconstruction of his seven trips to Norway, beginning with his immersion as a boy of 10. In each journey, he reveals different facets of his beloved Norway, from the Norwegian schoolyard and winter wonder he experienced as a child to the political climate he saw as an adult. Kleiner’s childhood memoirs are particularly fascinating...Written in a straightforward style, Beyond the Cold contains some fascinating asides about Norwegian history and culture...his affection for his second home shines through on every page...”
BookWire, May 11, 2006
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“...Kleiner sees his book as more than just a travel book, its audience more than just Norwegian-Americans. It’s for people who want to know more about the country. It’s for people who want to see the long-term effects of living abroad as a child. It’s for people who have little more knowledge of Norway than cold weather. One day, Kleiner hopes to take his entire family there and instill in them the love he has for the land and its people. For now, they, and everyone else, can experience it between the pages of his book, finding the warmth that resides beneath a frigid exterior.”
Chestnut Hill Local, July 6, 2006
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“Beyond the Cold" was a good and interesting book on several levels. One, it gave a good sense of Norway and the Norwegian people, their interpersonal relationships, and world view. The second was the autobiographical aspect of seeing a young man’s experiences that helped shape him as I have come to know him over these last few years... ”
Sol Levy, Ph.D., Philadelphia
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“If I had known this book was so realistic, I would have wore my parka, snow boots, ear muffs and put in for a two-week vacation from work. I anticipated picking this book up again and again. Getting a nice hot cup of tea and letting Michael take me along with him to Norway, the Arctic Circle, through the mountains and on his train rides brought a whole new meaning to "Beyond the Cold" as just being the title of the book...”
Tina Harris, Philadelphia
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“ Beyond the Cold by Michael Kleiner will enthrall you with its warm insights into Norwegian culture and his introductions to the many friends that he has made during his travels around Norway. Kleiner insightfully describes attractions that you will surely want to visit on your travels to Norway...”
Carl E. Jaske,
Upper Arlington, OH

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“I am no stranger to fine travel books, memoirs, or books that define other cultures. But Michael Kleiner’s Beyond the Cold gives us all three in one. Beginning at age 11, when he and his family spent a full year in Norway, continuing through his seven return trips, this author lived and learned amongst Norwegians. He traveled the country with the refreshing eye of a native exploring his homeland for the first time, as he visited and revisited places of particular interest over a course of twenty-some years. We are treated to an insiderís view of the sites, hearts and minds of these people and the emotional tug these elements evoked for him as a growing boy and at various stages in his adult life.”
Lois W. Stern, Author,
Sex, Lies & Cosmetic Surgery
Huntington, NY

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“A Warm Portrait of Norway
and A Man

I usually read a book to be inspired, educated, or entertained. BEYOND THE COLD managed to do all three. Being a Nature lover, the cover alone was alluring. Once on the journey inside, I was introduced to a country, a culture, and the sensitivity of a man and a family that took me there. I was left with a desire to feel the Norway ‘cold’ on my own face and the ‘warmth’ of these people in my own heart...”
Susan C. Haley, Author
Rainy Day People
(book, audio book)
Sarasota, FL

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know what influenced those feelings. But what was it like for a child to spend a year in another country, thousands of miles away from relatives and friends, familiar activities, and suddenly be in a school and environment where there was a different language, culture, sports and customs? Does that one year become just a blip in the memory or do the experiences stay with him throughout his life? What’s it like to return to that country as an adult and then have accumularing experiences?

In Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway, we find out. As an 11-year old, Michael Kleiner spent 1969-70 in Norway with his family, attended a Norwegian school, learned Norwegian, the country’s culture, new sports and enjoyed unique experiences. He would not return to Norway until 1986 as an adult. During that and subsequent trips, Michael’s affection, passion and appreciation for the country, its social system, and a culture not his own grew. The book is written with warmth, sensitivity, humor, caring, and insight, showing how Norway and the people’s characteristics influenced him. Michael discovered the value of multicultural experience, and a “second home” in Norway -- a country that is more than cold weather. It also impacted his life and work back in the United States.

norway mapFollow the story from a young Michael’s first trip to Europe
(all written from memory)

• the ups and downs of attending a Norwegian school

• meeting new people

• learning the language and customs


• spending a week in the mountains with other foreign families working in Norway paid for by the Royal Norwegian Council

• “gate-crashing” the world speed skating championships,

• learning to skate in the magnificent Frogner Vigeland Park

• walking with thousands of Norwegians to the Holmenkollen Ski Jumping championships

• his reindeer sled ride with the indigenous Sami people

• meeting Jewish and non-Jewish survivors of World War II and hearing heroic stories of rescue and resistance to the Nazis

and his returns to Norway as an adult

• his spontaneous two-day trek with his cousin from Norway to Denmark to Sweden and back to Norway

• spending Christmas and Chanukah in Norway, seeing children celebrate Christmas in a small mountain village

• his two interviews with the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee

• attending the International Summer School at the University of Oslo with 500 students of different ages from 70 countries,
and learning Norwegian in a class with students representing 10 nations

• travelling above the Arctic Circle

• delivering the alumni speech at the 50th anniversary of the International Summer School

• travelling around the country

• commentary on Norwegian and American societies

• spending his honeymoon in Norway introducing his wife to the Kleiner's Norwegian family

• his continous raves about Norwegian chocolate and potato chips

• his sharing of and education about Norway with Americans here

And most of all introduce yourself to this special Northern country, its culture, history, special people that has endeared itself to Michael for more than 35 years.

robert_kleiner1946The genesis for this experience came in 1946 when a young Robert Kleiner (left in 1946) was stationed in Norway to help rebuild the country after the War and fell in love with the nation. He returned in 1948 to attend the University, then came home to get married. He promised he would bring his family to Norway. As a professor of sociology at Temple University he received a sabbatical in 1969 and fulfilled his promise. The rest of the story you must read.

Contact Information: Michael Kleiner
Skype: michael-kleiner
Skype online number for those without Skype: 215-253-6918
LinkedIn: http://linkedin/in/michaelkleiner

 The book may be purchased at Beyond the Cold is available at Buy Books on the Web, Infinity Publishing's online bookstore&or call 877-BUY-BOOK.

Now available at Scan Select, Inc./Scandinavian Specialties
6719 - 15th Avenue NW
Seattle, Washington 98117
Phone: (206) 784-7020

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Heritage Museum
Decorah, IA

International orders:
Infinity Publishing 610-941-9999 or click here., Barnes & or computer version. Multiple Book Price Comparison

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