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Think of Norway and immediately snow-covered peaks, glaciers, stunning fjords, the northern lights and of course fearsome Vikings spring to mind. And possibly the term Nordic Noir!
Norway with its population of just over 5 million receives 9 million-plus visitors a year with the majority of those arriving over the summer months. Popular destinations include Oslo, Bergen, Flam and surrounding fjords (the Naeroyfjord) and Tromso in northern Norway.
In this post, I have gathered together some of the best books about Norway (or set in Norway). If you are one of the many millions of people planning to include some Norway travel into your itinerary this year and want to learn more about Norway before you go why not read some of these great books to prepare for your trip?
This list includes both fiction and non-fiction titles for adults as well as some Nordic Noir but I have generally chosen popular fiction which will appeal to everyone. There are also a couple of books for children about Norway too.
Best Books about Norway
BEST NORWEGIAN BOOKS - FICTION
A selection of the best fiction books about Norway (or set in Norway)
Out Stealing Horses
This New York Times top 100 best seller and award winning novel by Per Petterson tells the story of Trond Sander at 2 points in his life.
Aged 67 having just suffered the loss of his wife and sister he returns to a childhood haunt where events over 50 years earlier at the end of world war 2 come back to trouble him.
Fellowship of Ghosts: A Journey Through the Mountains of Norway
Join the author as he hikes through the mountainous terrain of central Norway and recounts the tales of those who have walked before him.
BOOKS ABOUT NORWAY - NORDIC NOIR
For those who enjoy a little drama in their lives.
The Snowman (Harry Hole Series)
Jo Nesbo is one of the world's best selling writers of crime fiction. The books are translated from Norwegian into English by the author Don Bartlett (whose personal favourite I read is The Snowman)
If you want to try a little Nordic Noir then this author is the place to start with his Harry Hole series.
Nordic Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Film & TV
The essential guide to Nordic Noir covering film, TV and Scandinavian Crime Fiction.
13 Best Nordic Noir books to read in 2021
Do you enjoy Nordic Noir? This list of 13 Nordic Noir books is the perfect place to get your fix of Scandinavian drama.
BOOKS ABOUT NORWAY - NON FICTION
A selection of non-fiction books about Norway.
Summer Light: A Walk Across Norway - Lonely Planet Journeys (Travel Literature)
Join the author on his journey on foot and by bicycle from Oslo to Bergen.
The Social Guidebook to Norway: An Illustrated Introduction
A great book to read for anyone visiting Norway and wanting to know what to do (and not do) when they are there!
The Social Guidebook to Norway 2: Friendships and Relationships
Are you visiting Norway soon? These are a must-read to help you understand about Norwegians and their ways! I wish I had bought this book for my husband before he worked in Laerdal for a few months. Essential reading for anyone planning a trip!
The Xenophobe's Guide to the Norwegians
A fun easy read for anyone interested in knowing a little more about Norway and its inhabitants!
BEST GUIDEBOOKS FOR NOWAY
If you are looking for a guide book for your visit to Norway these are my top choices. I always recommend buying up-to-date guide books before you travel – don’t rely on a book that is a few years old.
Rick Steves Snapshot Norway
In this slim guide excerpted from Rick Steves Scandinavia, you'll get Rick's firsthand, up-to-date advice on the best sights, restaurants, and hotels in Norway.
You'll wander through Viking history, explore snowcapped mountains and mighty glaciers, stroll through a lively fish market, and relax in a cozy fjordside hamlet.
The Rough Guide to Norway
Rough Guides provide great information about sights and what to see when you visit a country.
Beautiful Norway Coffee Table Book
Beautiful photos which capture the quintessential stunning landmarks, scenery and architectural buildings of the country and city from day to night.
Children's books about Norway
Tales from Norway: of Vikings, Gods, Giants and Trolls
A great way to introduce children to Viking mythology. In this book they will learn all about the Vikings and sagas and myths involving gods, giants and of course trolls!
If You Were Me and Lived in ...Norway: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World
I am a firm believer in teaching children all about different cultures around the world. If you are visiting Norway with your kids or simply want to teach them about life in Norway this is a great buy.
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I hope you enjoy my selection of books about Norway – do bookmark the page as I will be adding to this list on an ongoing basis.
If you enjoy reading about destinations before you visit do check out my other selection of best travel books for various countries around the world including Denmark, Iceland, Australia, South Africa, Italy, and Canada.
For those of you who enjoy Scandinavian TV series check out these posts: