8 Best Books About Norway Update 05/2022

Books About Norway

Before you go to Norway, what books should you read about the country? When we were in high school, we read books about Norway, like Sophie’s World. We don’t know.

There are a lot of books set in Norway on our reading list that deal with finding yourself and growing as a person, so check them out!

Kon-Tiki, despite its flaws, is still an important book in Norway. It even led one of the people who write for TUL, Dagney, to study anthropology.

Then, learn about some of the best books about Norway for people who love WWII stories, as well as books about Norway for people who like mysteries and crime novels.

Make your way to an island full of strong women and think about the ice palaces across Norway.

Below, we have a list of hundreds of Norwegian books that have been translated into English. There are both fiction and nonfiction books. We hope that these books about Norway will not only take you there, but also teach you more about the country so that your trip will be even better.

So, what books should you read before you go to Norway to learn more about it? Which books about Norway do we think are good? Let’s start now!

Best Books About Norway

Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl, translated by F. H. Lyon

Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl, translated by F. H. Lyon

When Thor Heyerdahl and his crew set off from Peru in 1947, they named the raft Kon-Tiki after an old word for Viracocha.

Heredahl made the risky trip to show that people from South America could have made the trip in pre-Columbian times and that long-distance water travel was possible for early civilizations.

To do this, he built the famous raft out of materials found in the area and with technologies that were available at the time. This is how it worked: He and his crew set off into the ocean with a radio and some charts.

In this book, Heyerdahl is the person who tells the story. Because he is so old, some of his descriptions of the Peruvians and the Polynesians are very bad. If you read this whole book, it is very Eurocentric.

This book was important to me as a child because I am part Norwegian. Even though I don’t agree with Heyerdahl’s views, it made me decide to study anthropology later in life.

This one isn’t really about Norway, but it’s one of the most important books about Norway. You’ll find a copy in almost every home.

Headhunters by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett

Roger Brown is the best person to look for people. Roger will get someone to work for you. His wife owns a gallery, and their home is very nice. This is how it works: Everything is going well.

But Roger’s lavish lifestyle isn’t all paid for by his job. In his free time, he and his partner Ove steal expensive art from people who want to buy it and sell it on the black market.

A person who may have a painting that is worth a lot in modern art comes along. Roger plans the heist that will set him up for the rest of his life.

When Roger gets a new client, things don’t go as planned. It looks like there isn’t anyone Roger can trust and no one else who can help him. Roger must use his wits to get out of the reckoning that’s been coming for a long time.

This was the first book I ever read by Jo Nesb. It was a thriller all the way through. It’s a good way to get to know the author if you don’t want to read a whole series of detective novels set in Norway.

But if you like it, check out some of Nesb’s best-known books, like the Harry Hole series, which starts with The Bat, if you want to read more.

I’m Traveling Alone by Samuel Bjørk, translated by Charlotte Barslund

When a six-year-old girl is found hanging from a tree in the Norwegian countryside, it’s clear that this isn’t just any crime.

First, the girl is dressed in weird, doll-like clothes. Second, there’s a sign on her neck that says “I’m alone.”

Holger Munch, a veteran inspector, doesn’t waste any time in getting in touch with Mia Kruger, a troubled but brilliant investigator. When Mia was younger, she lived on an island and dealt with the ghosts of her own past.

It doesn’t take long for her to figure out this isn’t a one-time crime, but that this is the work of a serial killer.

In I’m Travelling Alone, there’s more to it than just a police procedural. Fans of that kind of book will find a lot to like here too.

In this Norway book, there is a lot to enjoy because the story is complicated and the characters are well-developed. All of the subplots come together to make a novel that is more than the sum of its parts.

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, translated Paulette Møller

Sophie Amundsen is a normal 14-year-old girl from Norway who lives in the town of Lillesand and goes to school there. There are two notes in her mailbox one day. One says, “Who are you?” and the other asks, “Where do we come from?” Hilde is the name of a girl who is on the postcard, and it’s written to her.

Is there something I don’t understand? You’re not alone. In Sophie’s case, she wants to know what’s going on too.

She asks Alberto, a friend of hers, for help. A philosophical journey is what the two of them go on together. They learn to try and decode the universe itself as they seek to understand it better.

This book about Norway is very thought-provoking. Is this the next book you’d like to read?

So, even though it might seem like Sophie’s World is one of the more highbrow books about Norway, it’s actually written for kids and young adults. It’s a fun and easy way for everyone to start learning more about philosophy. As a child, I read and loved it. In this case, you can buy books on Amazon and read them on Goodreads

We Die Alone by David Howarth

We Die Alone by David Howarth

It would be easy to think that We Die Alone was just a story. Those events in David Howarth’s book about Jan Baalsrud’s World War II adventures are not true. They are part of a real story of wartime survival that he tells in the book.

He was on a secret mission to get into Nazi-occupied northern Norway by boat, but someone betrayed him and he had to fight to get away. He had to get to a frozen island above the Arctic Circle.

To stay alive, Baalsrud must find a way to avoid both being recaptured by the Nazis and also freezing to death in the freezing cold.

We Die Alone has a lot of twists and tense parts. If you’ve read a lot of survival books, you know this is one of the better ones.

The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas, translated by Elizabeth Rokkan

Young girls Siss and Unn don’t know that just one night together will change their lives forever.

After that night, Unn doesn’t come back. Siss wonders what happened to her and if it has anything to do with how much time they spent together before she died.

People like this book because it is written in a unique way. When you read this book, the poetic prose and the way it moves make it seem like a coming-of-age story for introverts.

The vivid scenery described by Vesaas is just as important to the story as the two main characters, who are the main ones. During winter, the waterfalls in Norway freeze over, leaving behind large, frozen structures. These are the “ice palaces” of the title.

In her writing, Vesaas uses poetic language to make the reader think about the idea that ice palaces can be both real and metaphorical.

I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson, translated by Charlotte Barslund

It’s 1989, and in Oslo, Arvid Jansen is having a bit of a mid-life crisis at the moment. When he’s about to turn 40, he’s about to get divorced, and his mother is dying of cancer.

When he goes to spend time with her, it’s clear that she doesn’t like him and wants to be alone.

To figure out when this rift between Arvid and his mother started, he starts to think back on his life. Reflection takes him back to his childhood and adolescence, when he made decisions that, even though they were good for the world, didn’t go well with his mother.

Many people will have read Petterson’s more popular book Out Stealing Horses before this one. There is, however, a subject that I find more interesting.

As the only child of a single parent, Arvid’s relationship with his mother has a lot in common with how I feel about my own. As a bonus, you’re not likely to find many books set in Norway that talk about Communism in such a direct way.

The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am by Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold, translated by Kerri A. Pierce

Matthew Martinsen has been alive a long time. She’s been alive for a long time.

There are a lot of people who have died at a younger age than she is now in the newspaper obituaries. She realizes that she may not have lived at all!

Mathea is worried that she might die without anyone even knowing that she was even alive in the first place. She decides that now is the time to act.

For a start, she takes a watch her late husband used to have and some cake from her wedding. She then heads out into the world to make her mark. Because the world doesn’t want to play along.

If you live in a place like Norway, where the winters are so dark, many people can relate to the idea of not living your life or becoming too old and alone. Books like this, on the other hand, mix up the dark subject matter with a little humor and philosophical thought.

It’s always good to see a character grow as a person, even if the character thought it couldn’t happen.

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