Books Set In Scandinavia: Scandinavian Books

Not only was Scandinavia one of the first overseas destinations I ever visited, it’s also where I first lived in a foreign country, first saw snow with my own eyes and first learnt to travel independently – backpacking my way through Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark solo. As one of my most beloved parts of the world, it’s a wonder it’s taken me so long to put together this selection of books set in Scandinavia!

I’ve been back to Scandinavia many times since my first visit; expanding my travels to Iceland too. I’ve explored the arctic circle, relaxed in summer houses, hiked over glaciers and chased the northern lights (with eventual success!)

To keep this list of books set in Scandinavia short and sweet I’ve included just ten titles per country; covering a mixture of genres and styles; from classics through to contemporary novels. The books are related to the countries in various ways – are set there, reflect the local culture or are by notable authors from there. I hope this list of books set in Scandinavia will transport you to this magical part of the world!

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Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Books Set in Scandinavia: Denmark

  1. Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl
  2. The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  3. The Quiet Girl by Peter Høeg
  4. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  5. Winters Tales by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
  6. Smilla’s Sense For Snow by Peter Høeg
  7. The Killing by David Hewson
  8. The Copenhagen Affair by Amulya Malladi
  9. The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl
  10. The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

Books Set in Scandinavia: Finland

  1. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  2. The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna
  3. House of Orphans by Helen Dunmore
  4. Palace of the Snow Queen by Barbara Sjoholm
  5. The Limit by Riikka Pulkkinen
  6. The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles by Roy Jacobsen
  7. The Kalevala by Anonymous
  8. The American Girl by Monika Fagerholm
  9. Under The North Star by Väinö Linna
  10. Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendel Vida

Books Set in Scandinavia: Iceland

  1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  2. The Sagas of Icelanders by Anonymous
  3. Independent People by Halldór Laxness
  4. Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland by Sarah Moss
  5. The Blue Fox by Sjón
  6. 101 Reykjavik by Hallgrímur Helgason
  7. Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
  8. The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
  9. Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson
  10. The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley

See my much longer list of books set in Iceland here!


Books Set in Scandinavia: Norway

  1. My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgård
  2. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
  3. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
  4. The Human Flies by Hans Olav Lahlum
  5. The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
  6. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  7. The Snowman by Jo Nesbø
  8. Mysteries by Knut Hamsun
  9. The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder
  10. Arctic Dreams by Barry López

Books Set in Scandinavia: Sweden

  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  2. Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
  3. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  4. The Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg
  5. A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
  6. Beartown by Frederik Backman
  7. Everything I Don’t Remember by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
  8. Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  9. Wilful Disregard by Lena Andersson
  10. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

What do you think of these books set in Scandinavia?

Have some great books set in Scandinavia that I’ve missed? Are you planning a trip to Scandinavia soon? Are you interested in other books set in Europe? I’d love to hear about more about your travels and tips for books set in Scandinavia in the comments below!


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  1. Wow!! What an amazing list! I can’t wait to explore this beautiful and magical part of the world but until then, I will travel there through this amazing collection of novels! Thank you for coming up with this list, I’m very excited to start reading!

    1. Hi Kellyanne! I’m so glad to hear it, I really hope you enjoy them – please keep me posted on your favorites! Thanks especially for requesting a Scandinavia list, I really enjoyed putting it together 🙂

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Vicki! I love generational family stories, so have a feeling I’ll like this one! 🙂

  2. Kristin Lavransdattar by Sigrid Undset and Master of Hestviken also by Undset.

    Undset is absolutely amazing and reading Kristin Lavransdattar is life changing!

    1. Thanks so much for the amazing recommendations Amanda, I’ve heard a lot about Kristin Lavransdattar!

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