Shannon’s Favourite “Nordic” Reads

I know, it’s a bit of a weird list title.

As you know, this week we’re in Sweden for Summer Passport. In planning I started reflecting on all the books I’ve read set in Sweden (and you’d be surprised, I’ve read quite a few!), but then books started rushing into my head that are set in Iceland and Norway and Finland and I just couldn’t limit it to one country… I just couldn’t!

So, here it is! My favourite Nordic reads:

1) Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida — This is one beautiful, beautiful book. It was recommended to me by a coworker and I just couldn’t put it down once I started reading. It’s the story of a young woman who, upon her father’s death, finds out he was not her biological father. This leads her on a journey to Lapland, and it is a journey in every sense of the word. It’s spiritual, emotional, physical… Gosh, you just have to read it. And the setting plays a huge role in the story.

2) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson — Obviously when we think of books set in Sweden this one is at the top of the list. It’s gripping, it’s complex, and it made for a really fantastic movie.

3) The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson — I feel a little bit bad for putting this one on the list because it’s not out until September, but man, this is one GREAT book. It’s about an old man who strikes out on one last adventure across Sweden, and it’s quite the adventure! There’s violence, an elephant, criminals, and a whole lot of vodka. It’s bizarre, it’s quirky, and it’s just such a great story. It really reminded me of Up and Forrest Gump. I can’t wait til September!

4) The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg — Lackberg is one of the first authors I think about when I think about Sweden. She writes gripping, scary crime fiction set in small towns in Sweden. Though I’ve read a few different books by Lackberg, The Ice Princess is definitely my favourite (so far). Trust me, you’ll get chills just reading the description.

5) The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey — I know, the majority of this book is set in Scotland, but Gemma does spend part of the book in Iceland looking for information about her family. I found this part of the story particularly beautiful. Overall, this retelling of Jane Eyre is a great coming-of-age story and definitely a great read!

So there you go, 5 of my favourite books set in Nordic countries. This was actually a pretty fun list to put together, because reading books set in this area of the world just have a different feel to them, and they’ve really made me want to take a Nordic vacation!

Did I miss any of your favourites on this list?

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