Bookpacking Through Europe: Northern Europe

Can't afford to backpack through Europe? How about a "bookpack" through Europe? Travel through northern Europe with a selection of books, all from the comfort of your own home at no cost!

Begin your adventure in Iceland. 

  • Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir: A novel of murder, secret symbols, history and witchcraft.
  • Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson: In a village where no one locks their doors, secrets and lies have a way of surfacing. First in a series.
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Based on the true story of a woman charged with murder in 1829. 
  • Names for the Sea: Strangers In Iceland (nonfiction) by Sara Moss: A woman applies on a whim for a job in Iceland and moves her family right before Iceland's economy collapses. 
  • Gnarr by Jon Gnarr (nonfiction): Jon Gnarr founds the Best Party (really, that's what it's called) and becomes the mayor of Iceland's only major city.
  • Journey Through Ash and Smoke by Kate Messner: A time-traveling dog goes to Iceland to help a girl find her father as a volcano erupts. For children.

Next stop, Norway. 

  • The Half-drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker: The first book in a trilogy about King Harald the Fair-Haired, the first king of Norway in the ninth century.
  • Out Stealing Horses by Per Pettersen: Set in eastern Norway about two young horse thieves and a tragedy. 
  • Headhunters by Jo Nesbø: What happens when you mix financial troubles and a priceless painting missing since WWII? 
  • South With the Sun by Lynne Cox (nonfiction): Famous Arctic explorer Roal Amundsen was Norwegian, and the first man to reach both the South and North Poles.
  • Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman (nonfiction): A woman decides to teach herself to live in the unforgiving climates of Norway and Alaska.
  • We Die Alone by David Armine Howarth (nonfiction): A true story of a man escaping the Nazis after trying to organize the Norwegian resistance in 1943.
  • Shark Drunk by Morten Andreas Strøksnes (nonfiction): Off Norway's shores lives the massive Greenland shark, whose flesh is intoxicating, and which two friends are determined to catch. 
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Norwegian Folktales by Peter Christian Asbjørnsen: Mountains of glass, trolls, sprites and more make up these Norwegian tales. For children.
  • The Witches by Roahd Dahl: A boy and his grandma try to stop an evil witch's plan to turn children into mice. For children.

Up next, Sweden.

  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman: A small Swedish town that lives and breathes hockey is torn apart by scandal.
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: A journalist and a tattooed genius hacker work together to solve a woman's disappearance.
  • The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg: After the apparent suicide of a friend, an author feels compelled to write about why she might have done it and discovers the truth.
  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankdell: The first Kurt Wallander novel about a murdered woman's dying word that unleashes xenophobia across Sweden.
  • The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson: A man escapes his nursing home and goes on misadventures.
  • Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgarrd (nonfiction): A man pens a letter to his unborn daughter about the world he and his wife live in.
  • The Ice Balloon by Alec Wilkinson (nonfiction): In 1897, Swedish areonaut S.A. Andree decided to fly in a hydrogen balloon to the North Pole.
  • Meet Swedish sisters Flicka, Ricka and Dicka, opens a new window (by Maj Lindman) in these picture books for children.
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren: A pig-tailed, red-haired and parent-free girl goes on adventures in a Swedish village. For children.

Now on to Finland.

  • Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta: As water disappears across the world, only two people know about a secret source of water in Finland.
  • The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen: A small Finnish town keeps producing incredible writers, but how?
  • Cruel Is the Night by Karo Hämäläinen: Four diners begin dinner but only one will survive. Inspired by Agatha Christie.
  • The Healer by Antti Tuomainen: Set in the near future during a climate catastrophe, a journalist wonders if his wife's disappearance is connected to a serial killer.
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson: A girl and her grandmother spend a summer together on a small island in the Gulf of Finland.
  • As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka: A Finnish retelling of Snow White with a lot more grit and crime. For teens.
  • Spy Dad by Jukka Laajarinne: A spy dad tries to give up his spy life when his daughter wants more of his attention. For children.

Last stop, Denmark.

  • Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney: The classic epic narrative of a Scandinavian hero who fights a legendary bloodthirsty monster, Grendel.
  • The Quiet Girl by Peter Høeg: A mysterious order of nuns drafts a man with mystical abilities to protect a group of children.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Something is rotten in Denmark.
  • The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen: A fallen homicide detective is "promoted" to work on cold cases and discovers that a presumed dead politician might not be dead.
  • The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell (nonfiction): Because Denmark is the happiest place on earth, what secrets can the rest of us learn to find happiness?
  • Hitler's Savage Canary by David Lampe: Hitler tried to make Denmark a "model protectorate" but the Danes refused.
  • Brick by Brick by David C. Robertson: Did you know LEGOs are Danish?
  • The Whispering Town by Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren: A small town in Denmark helps a Jewish family escape from the Nazis. Picture book.
  • The Ugly Duckling & Other Stories by Hans Christian Anderson: Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales are known by children around the world. For children.

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