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Are you planning to visit Iceland? Why not prepare for your trip to Iceland by reading some of the fantastic novels set in this stunningly beautiful country!
In this selection, I include some of the best books on Iceland – fiction and non-fiction – about Iceland to help prepare you for your visit. Elf stories, Viking dramas, and murder mysteries.
Iceland has a very strong literary and storytelling culture. It is traditional to give books as gifts at Christmas and every Icelander receives at least one book under the Christmas tree.
Iceland also publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world. The majority of books are published and sold in the 2 months running up to Christmas. This is called the jólabókaflóð or the Christmas book flood!
This love of storytelling is reflected in Icelandic culture. The famous Icelandic Sagas appeared in written form in the 13th century. During the long dark winters in Iceland, a tradition built of communal reading and storytelling.
What better way to get through the harsh cold conditions than sitting around a warm fire listening to tales, poetry and stories? So not only are they amazing storytellers but they also have a beautiful yet brooding landscape to set them in!
Why not purchase a selection of these Icelandic novels and books to take with you on your trip! Looking for itinerary suggestions? This 10 day Iceland ring road trip is the perfect way to enjoy your visit.
Best books on Iceland
THE BEST ICELAND BOOKS - FICTION
A selection of the best fiction books set in Iceland.
Set in a quiet fishing village in northern Iceland this brilliant debut novel from Ragnar Jonasson will keep you enthralled until the very last terrifying page. Introducing Ari Thor the central character across The Dark Iceland Series this novel typifies the murder mystery genre in which the Nordic countries excel.
Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in Kent, England.
The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland’s economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary; by the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull; and by a collection of new friends
When a girl’s shoes are found beside a dead raven, and the search for her body is called off, it is left to Police Constable Petra Jensen to close the case and allow the parents to grieve. But when another young woman disappears, Petra must face an Arctic winter in pursuit of a killer who leaves no trace. And she has only her own intuition to guide her…
A Greenland Missing Persons Novella set in the harsh, unpredictable Arctic with its rich tradition of storytelling.
Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland is a wondrous story about Tory Bilski and her friends’ adventures during their annual riding trip to northern Iceland. These women meet up once a year to ride Icelandic horses, and they share an extraordinary experience together.
Their friendship becomes stronger as each woman learns more about herself and what she is capable of doing. This book will inspire you to live your dreams and make new friendships along the way.
A fabulous book about Icelandic folklore. A folklore that is rife with tales of elves and hidden people that inhabited hills and rocks in the landscape. If you read this before you go you will know exactly what to look out for!
Iceland is in the middle of a tourist boom and it if we are visiting we need to do it responsibly or we will end up destroying what is so special about it. This is an essential companion for anyone visiting the country and if you only buy one book before you visit this is the one!
Icelandic is one of the oldest languages in the world! This book will introduce you to its complexities and more (sections on slang and curse-words!) If you are interested in Icelandic culture and their language this is a must-read!
Whether you’re looking to connect with your roots, try something new or already love Icelandic cooking, this book is a must for your cookbook shelf. This is a collection of 25 traditional everyday Icelandic recipes, translated with step-by-step instructions.
Iceland is home to an utterly unique and captivating food scene, characterized by its distinctive indigenous ingredients, traditional farmers and artisanal producers, and wildly creative chefs and restaurants. Find out more in this cookbook and recreate some of the best dishes in your own kitchen!
THE BEST ICELAND BOOKS FOR CHILDREN
My choice of the best Iceland books for children of all ages.