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Looking for a good book to read while you're traveling in Denmark? Check out my list of books about Denmark and by Danish authors.

Fairy Tales Told for Children

Hans Christian Andersen
CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant

Andersen was prolific in his writing, churning out thousands of pages of poems, travelogues, and novels during his lifetime. But it is by far his fairy tales for which he is remembered today, so much so that many of his stories and their themes find their way into our everyday lives. Among his most famous fairy tales are “The Little Mermaid,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and “The Princess and the Pea,” but that is just scratching the surface of his oeuvre.

Project Gutenberg

Nordic Ways

Debra Cagan (Editor), András Simonyi (Editor)
CATEGORIES: Sense of Culture

Nearly 50 authors from all five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) provide essays on Northern life, including the environmental business practices that have made the region an economic powerhouse and one of the regions with the happiest residents and best quality of life in the world. (Recommended by H.E. Björn Lyrvall, Swedish ambassador to the U.S., in CN Traveler.)

Smilla's Sense of Snow, book by Peter Høeg

Smilla's Sense of Snow

Peter Høeg
CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant

Touching on issues such as Danish culture versus Greenlandic and the related issues of language and identity, Høeg’s novel became an international bestseller and was shortlisted for an Edgar Award. (Recommended by H.E. Lars Gert Lose, Danish ambassador to the U.S.,in CN Traveler.)

The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country

Helen Russell
CATEGORIES: Sense of Culture

When her husband packed up the family to rural Jutland for a job at LEGO, British writer Russell had a bit of a culture shock. But she soon gained an appreciation for the Danish way of life, particularly those parts of it that make the Danes the happiest people on Earth. Her humorous account, complemented by interviews and research, of the first year in her new country highlights the good and the bad, inviting the reader to apply these learnings in their own search for happiness.

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