Our friends in Scandinavia have influenced the rest of the world in everything from music and interior design to, of course, literature. Below are some of our favorite novels that transport us from colorful waterfronts of Denmark to long winter nights of Sweden and beyond. Check them out and book your Scandinavian vacations afterward.
A young boy, his dad, and his grandfather work together to bond, understand, and say good-bye in this bittersweet and moving love story about the power of family and memory. Sweden’s Fredrik Backman, who wrote A MAN CALLED OVE, proves once again that he has a compassionate understanding of human nature.
A woman is determined to understand why her childhood friend committed suicide and, along with a local detective, she discovers shocking secrets that change what they both thought they knew about their remote town. A haunting story of obsession and the dangers that lies can inflict, this novel is a compelling and moody debut.
A woman’s consuming fixation on a famous artist unleashes an intense chain of events in this biting and compelling philosophical read. Demonstrating the often painful and awkward perils of romantic love, Lena Andersson effortlessly crafts a whip-smart and relatable novel.
BLIND GODDESS follows a huge web of corruption that spans from the underground drug trade all the way to the highest levels of government. With shadowy lawyers, mysterious murders, and massive deception, this is a riveting and breathtaking thriller featuring Norwegian detective Hanne Wilhelmsen.
Hanne Wilhelmsen is a brilliant but conflicted Norwegian police officer who is called in to investigate when a small time drug dealer is found battered to death on the outskirts of Oslo. When a shady lawyer is shot a few days later, Hanne and her partner, Håkon, suspect that the cases may be connected.
When an odd girl who only comes out at night moves in next door to 12-year-old Oskar, he’s fascinated. At the same time, his quiet suburb is shaken by the discovery of a body, drained of blood. Atmospheric, disturbing, and poignantly moving, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is a modern horror classic that breathes fresh life into one our oldest monsters.
A Swedish woman travels all the way to Broken Wheel, Iowa, to meet her pen pal, but she soon finds herself in the midst of helping to bring fresh life to this dying town. Discover how powerful the love of literature and new friends can be in this quirky and charming novel.
The mystery genre was given a shot in the arm with Stieg Larsson’s thrilling and freshly modern Millennium series. An investigative journalist and a troubled-yet-brilliant hacker are determined to find out what happened to a young woman who disappeared 40 years ago. What follows is a twisty and pulse-pounding descent into darkness.
When an elderly widower encounters his neighbor, memories of his boyhood in Norway during and after World War II come flooding back. With beautiful, spare prose and a narrative that travels back and forth through time, OUT STEALING HORSES effortlessly explores how childhood events can dramatically change our lives forever.
In this first of the internationally acclaimed noir series, anti-immigration paranoia rises when an elderly couple is viciously murdered in a remote Swedish town. Flawed police inspector Kurt Wallander is determined to both solve the crime and fix his damaged personal life. A timely and complex novel, FACELESS KILLERS explores our contemporary views of crime and deep-rooted social issues.
With his 100th birthday approaching, Allan decides to escape the nursing home he now he lives in and embark on an adventure. But this isn’t the first breathless escapade Allan has enjoyed in his long life, and you get to join him on all of them. A charming, eccentric, and hilarious caper, this book reminds us to live each day fully.
Detective Carl Mørck blames himself for his colleagues’ deaths so he decides to occupy himself with a pile of cold cases. He becomes obsessed with the mystery of a missing politician, and soon embarks on an absorbing, thrilling, and often laugh-out-loud funny investigation. With intriguing characters and lots of twists and turns, this is a lighter Scandinavian crime novel.