The most recommended books about Denmark

Who picked these books? Meet our 52 experts.

52 authors created a book list connected to Denmark, and here are their favorite Denmark books.
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Book cover of The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Yuki Carlsson Author Of Prison of Loneliness

From my list on when death appears better than life.

Why am I passionate about this?

The inner world of people has always fascinated me, which is why I created the initiative “student for students” where people could just come and talk about what they are going through. In countless sensitive conversations, I got to know many people struggling with the question “to be or not to be”. Then, my sister took her life. I accepted her decision. However, many struggled to do the same. “How can she do this to us?”, “It was selfish of her”, “But she was intelligent.” etc. Countless statements showed that people could understand, but not comprehend what happened. Therefore, I want to create awareness for mental health topics.

Yuki's book list on when death appears better than life

Yuki Carlsson Why did Yuki love this book?

Best known for its famous quote “To be or not to be.” Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet revolves around the struggles of life.

I find this piece inspiring —not because of the question of suicidal ideation but—because of how it is written. Shakespeare manages to put an entire existential crisis into such a concise statement. I wish I could write quotes like that. Also, Shakespeare’s 5 act structure, although from theatre, builds the backbone of my books.

The language is witty, stating so much in between the lines. What I find most inspiring about it as an author, though, is that Shakespeare managed to appeal to a broad mass by providing entertainment to the simpler folks while addressing sensitive political topics and philosophical questions for the intellectuals.

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In recent years, ways of dealing with Shakespeare’s texts and with the interpretation of his plays have been undergoing significant change. The New Folger editions, while retaining many of the features that have always made the Folger Shakespeare so attractive to the general reader, at the same time reflects these current ways of thinking about Shakespeare.


Book cover of The Girl in a Swing

Audrey Driscoll Author Of The Friendship of Mortals

From my list on giving reality a supernatural twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 1998, I met H.P. Lovecraft's corpse-reanimating doctor, Herbert West. I found him intriguing, but HPL's story didn't tell me enough about what lay behind his bizarre interests. Why did his friend help and support him? To answer those questions, I wrote four genre-blending novels, of which The Friendship of Mortals is the first. Through West's librarian friend, Charles Milburn, I explore their friendship, the choices they make, and how they deal with the consequences of those choices. The setting is a college town in early 20th century New England, but with a supernatural twist.

Audrey's book list on giving reality a supernatural twist

Audrey Driscoll Why did Audrey love this book?

I've re-read this book several times, trying to figure out if there was something I missed that would answer the questions raised in the final chapters. An English ceramics expert who values his orderly life meets a woman while on a business trip. He falls in love and marries her. Suddenly his life is delightfully disorderly, except for small, disturbing details. Strange things appear in or near the pleasant country home he's known all his life—a black dog, a child's toy, a voice on the telephone. All this builds up to a terrible revelation. I loved this book for its vivid evocation of atmosphere and emotion, from the idyllic to the erotic to terrifying.

By Richard Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl in a Swing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alan Desland, who feels himself to be an ordinary and unremarkable man, falls passionately in love with the beautiful but mysterious German stenographer, Karin, who is sent to assist him during a business trip to Denmark. To his astounded joy, she returns his love - but their courtship and marriage will shake his life to its very foundations and test him to the limits of sanity.

About the Author
Richard George Adams (born 9 May, 1920) is an English novelist, author of Watership Down, Shardik, Maia, The Plague Dogs, Traveller, Tales from Watership Down and many other books.

When Watership…


Book cover of Prince of Spies

Mark Edward Jones Author Of Peculiar Activities

From my list on we don’t know what we don’t know.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by spy stories since childhood, never sure which character is a friend or foe within the stories. As I grew older, I became interested in fictional mysteries, including those with settings in the Medieval era, turn-of-the-century England, and World War II. Unsure of who to trust is a theme through my Detective Henry Ike Pierce series, of which I'm working on the third book now. False hearts abound in my stories, and Detective Pierce must sort through a seemingly flexible definition of trust, including uncertainty of his closest colleagues’ loyalty. If you're a fan of seeking the truth, I hope these books are as enjoyable to you as they were to me.

Mark's book list on we don’t know what we don’t know

Mark Edward Jones Why did Mark love this book?

Richard Prince is a detective in 1942 Britain. A government entity recruits him as a spy, and its director sends Prince to Denmark, where rumors are floating of the development of a superweapon. Prince’s endeavor requires him to dodge the Gestapo, the S.S., and other German heavies.

This story is another instance of the protagonist having to guess who he can trust, will his so-called allies betray him, and are perceived antagonists actually the enemy? Many wheels within a wheel, false faces, and false hearts. 

By Alex Gerlis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prince of Spies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Find the truth; risk everything. A gripping WWII spy novel full of intrigue and peril from a modern master.

1942: A German spy comes ashore on a desolate stretch of Lincolnshire beach. But he is hunted down by a young detective, Richard Prince. The secret services have need of a man like him...

In occupied Europe, Denmark is a hotbed of problems for British intelligence. Rumours of a war-ending weapon being developed by the Germans are rife.

Sent to Copenhagen, Prince is soon caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Dodging Gestapo agents, SS muscle and the danger…


Book cover of We, the Drowned

Gregg Dunnett Author Of Little Ghosts: My sister's name was Layla. I know who killed her. She told me.

From my list on blurring the line between fantasy and reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m not an expert on very much. Certainly not the biggest questions of all, such as are we really here, and if not, what’s this all about? But I’ve always enjoyed books that touch upon these questions and find a way to connect them to our everyday reality (I find them easier than actual philosophy). If I am well placed to curate this list, that’s why. I hope it reminds you how we all grapple with these same universal questions. How we all share our doubts and face the same fears. How we’re all whittled away by the same relentless flow of time. 

Gregg's book list on blurring the line between fantasy and reality

Gregg Dunnett Why did Gregg love this book?

When I read this it felt like a seagoing version of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and it was touch and go which to include in this list. But if you’re like me, and love the sea, there’s no real choice.

In this epic novel we’re shown how the Danish port town of Marstal – and people who call it home – evolve over the course of a century. The novel brilliantly captures the pull that the sea has over the town’s inhabitants, and their struggle to keep what makes them human when faced with its power and scale.

There’s a fantastical element too, just a touch here and there, which somehow matches how most of us experience the unexplainable.  

By Carsten Jensen, Charlotte Barslund (translator), Emma Ryder (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We, the Drowned as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1848 a motley crew of Danish sailors sets sail from the small island town of Marstal to fight the Germans. Not all of them return - and those who do will never be the same. Among them is the daredevil Laurids Madsen, who promptly escapes again into the anonymity of the high seas.

Spanning four generations, two world wars and a hundred years, We, The Drowned is an epic tale of adventure, ruthlessness and passion.


Book cover of War

Annika Thor Author Of A Faraway Island

From my list on for children and young people on war and refugees.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a descendant of Jewish refugees, from pogroms in Russia and from Nazi persecution in Germany, I grew up with stories of war, exile, and loss. As a writer, these themes have been very important for me, not only in the series of four books about Stephie and Nellie, but also in a novel for adults and a picture book for younger children. As a reader, I am interested in stories that deal with the same themes – stories that may be set in the past, the present, or the future. As a mother and grandmother, I know that good books can help us talk to our young about the most difficult matters.

Annika's book list on for children and young people on war and refugees

Annika Thor Why did Annika love this book?

The idea of this book is so simple and so brilliant! What if war broke out, not in some faraway part of the world, but in your own home country? What if your house had been bombed, your sister injured, and your grandparents killed? What if you, a European teenager, had to flee with your family to a country in the Middle East, where you are barely tolerated and forced to live in poverty? 

On 64 pages, in a book the size and shape of a European Union passport, Danish writer Janne Teller makes the reader understand what it really means to be a refugee from war and persecution.

By Janne Teller, Translated by Martin Aitken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Endorsed by Amnesty International. Imagine if war broke out - not in Iraq or Afghanistan, somewhere far far away, but here, in our country. In War, Janne Teller embarks on a thought-provoking experiment: by simply turning the current crisis on its head, she reveals what it is like to flee your home country, to be exiled, and to fight for survival in a foreign country.

In this illustrated short story, Europe has fallen apart and the only place at peace within reach is the Middle East. You follow a normal British family as they flee to the Middle East and…


Book cover of A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast

Marcel Krueger Author Of The New Frontier: Reflections From the Irish Border

From Marcel's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Postcard collector Deep topographer Traveler Train enthusiast

Marcel's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Marcel Krueger Why did Marcel love this book?

This is not only a wonderful travel book following the coast of the North Sea from the Kattegat to Amsterdam, but like other outstanding place-writing books these days a meditation on the pitfalls of history and memory and how we face it individually.  

Not an escapist book, but still perfect reading for the dark season when rain or snow howl around the house and you're snug inside, reading on the sofa.

By Dorthe Nors,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Line in the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Me, my notebook and my love of the wild and desolate. I wanted to do the opposite of what was expected of me. It's a recurring pattern in my life. An instinct.

There is a line that stretches from the northernmost tip of Denmark to where the Wadden Sea meets Holland in the south-west. Dorthe Nors, one of Denmark's most acclaimed writers, is a descendant of this line; for generations, her family lived among the storm-battered trees and wind-blasted beaches of the North Sea coast. Returning after decades of inhabiting cities, she chronicles a year spent travelling up and down…


Book cover of From Genesis to Prehistory: The Archaeological Three Age System and its Contested Reception in Denmark, Britain, and Ireland

Tim Murray Author Of From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: The History and Philosophy of Archaeology

From my list on the history and philosophy of archaeology.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tim Murray has been a leading exponent of the history and philosophy of archaeology for the past thirty years. He has used the history of the discipline to explore the nature of archaeological theory and the many complex intersections between archaeology and society. Of his many publications flowing from this general project, the award-winning global scale five-volume Encyclopedia of Archaeology, the single volume global history of Archaeology Milestones in Archaeology. Murray is a global leader in applying studies in the history of archaeology to the reform of archaeological theory. This is evidenced by the publication of a collection of his essays, From Antiquarian to Archaeologist, and his numerous academic papers on the subject.

Tim's book list on the history and philosophy of archaeology

Tim Murray Why did Tim love this book?

It is a commonplace observation about the history of archaeology that the Three Age System, along with the discovery of high human antiquity, forms one of the two great defining ‘events’ of prehistoric archaeology in the nineteenth century.

Generations of students have been introduced to the discipline (and the nature of its distinctive contribution to the writing of human history) through re-telling of foundation stories about antiquity, and our capacity to order and measure it.

Rowley-Conwy’s excellent book significantly recasts the first of these great foundation narratives and teaches us much about the continuing importance of those narratives.

By Peter Rowley-Conwy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Genesis to Prehistory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We are now familiar with the Three Age System, the archaeological partitioning of the past into Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. This division, which amounted at the time to a major scientific revolution, was conceived in Denmark in the 1830s. Peter Rowley-Conwy investigates the reasons why the Three Age system was adopted without demur in Scandinavian archaeological circles, yet was the subject of a bitter and long-drawn-out contest in Britain and Ireland, up to
the 1870s.


Book cover of Kingship and Government in Pre-Conquest England C.500-1066

Tom Licence Author Of Edward the Confessor: Last of the Royal Blood

From my list on Anglo-Saxon England.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tom Licence is Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia and a former Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He teaches Anglo-Saxon History to undergraduates and postgraduates.

Tom's book list on Anglo-Saxon England

Tom Licence Why did Tom love this book?

For readers who want an expert introduction to the origins of kingship, power, and government in the centuries before the Norman Conquest, Ann’s Kingship and Government is the place to go. A great strength of her book is that it explains key concepts, structures, and terminology as the need arises, and in a way that clarifies the story that is being told. This equips the reader to explore what can otherwise seem like a strange and incomprehensible world. If you want the nuts and bolts of how Anglo-Saxon society and its power structures operated, this is the book for you. It is also one of the best political surveys of the emergence of England in those centuries.

By Ann Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kingship and Government in Pre-Conquest England C.500-1066 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is a study of the exercise of royal authority before the Norman Conquest. Six centuries separate the 'adventus Saxonum' from the battle of Hastings: during those long years, the English kings changed from warlords, who exacted submission by force, into law-givers to whom obedience was a moral duty. In the process, they created many of the administrative institutes which continued to serve their successors. They also created England: the united kingdom of the English people.


Book cover of Gertrude and Claudius

Lenore Hart Author Of The Raven’s Bride

From my list on romances of famous literary couples.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a nosy world traveler who loves visiting archeological sites, medieval castles, museums of the strange, and other people’s gardens. As both writer and editor, I know there’s nothing more powerful than finding and using the perfect words. A story can only engage others if it’s told vividly and well. I wrote my first in fifth grade, self-published for classmates on paper purloined from the teacher’s supply closet. Since then I’ve produced poetry, short prose, children’s books, and historical and contemporary novels. In my role as small-press editor, I love coming across a good manuscript by another writer and midwifing it to a final, polished birth as a wonderful book.

Lenore's book list on romances of famous literary couples

Lenore Hart Why did Lenore love this book?

Everyone may love a hero, but let’s face it: They’re far more enthralled by a really good villain. An antagonist can be far more conflicted and complex, and thus more interesting, than a steady, predictable protagonist. And when it comes to infamous couples gone bad, two of the most famous are Gertrude and Claudius from Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. I was once part of a traveling Shakespeare company, years ago, and sometimes still act. So novels that feature characters from classic plays and either update or develop them more deeply fascinate me. Updike’s skilled, vivid take on Hamlet’s mother and scheming uncle-turned-stepfather does not disappoint. He makes them far more sympathetic and human than one would ever infer from the original play, and I was quickly immersed in the setting and era he so vividly recreates. But, fair warning: You may find yourself rooting for the opposition in this revisionist…

By John Updike,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gertrude and Claudius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Using details of the ancient Scandinavian legends that were the inspiration for Hamlet, John Updike brings to life Gertrude's girlhood as the daughter of King Rorik, her arranged marriage to the man who becomes King Hamlet, and her middle-aged affair with her husband's younger brother. As only he could, Updike recasts a tale of medieval violence and presents the case for its central couple that Shakespeare only hinted at. Gertrude's warmth and lucidity, Claudius's soldierly yet peaceable powers of command are seen afresh against a background of fond intentions and familial dysfunction, on a stage darkened by the ominous shadow…


Book cover of The Emperor's Tomb

E. Chris Ambrose Author Of The Mongol's Coffin

From my list on weaving adventure and history.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an art school drop-out who'd been majoring in sculpture, I'm fascinated by material culture—artifacts created by early peoples that reveal their cultural values. Often, the relics and sites that engage both archaeologists and readers suggest unexpected depths of knowledge that show human ingenuity through the ages. I strive to incorporate the details of an artifact or monument's creation into the clues and descriptions in my work, hopefully illuminating a little-known historical realm, if only by torchlight as the adventure unfolds. The fact that I get to explore so many exotic locations, in research if not in person, is a definite plus!

E. Chris' book list on weaving adventure and history

E. Chris Ambrose Why did E. Chris love this book?

Dan Brown may have initiated the genre, but Steve Berry takes it a few steps further. He spends more time developing the historical reality, and less time on invention, and his streamlined prose really delivers on the promise of his plot.

In this book, Berry links a contemporary interest in fossil fuels with a striking source of historical data—a lamp taken from the tomb of the first Emperor of China, familiar to a Western audience mainly because of the army of terra cotta warriors defending the tomb to this day. Berry delves into the legends about that tomb, then brings it vividly to life.

If Brown gives his readers entry into a secret society, Berry hands over the key to a hidden realm, but one with implications for our own world. Berry manages multiple viewpoints with a skill I hope to emulate.

By Steve Berry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Emperor's Tomb as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new Cotton Malone adventure that takes our hero from Europe to the Far East in a race to unlock the mystery of an ancient tomb.

Hearing that his old friend Cassiopeia Vitt is in trouble, Malone follows the few clues he has and realises that they are in the middle of something huge, involving Russian and US oil interests and a centuries-old secret.

After stumbling across two dead bodies and into the crosshairs of his former boss, Malone finds himself in a race to unravel the mystery of an emperor's tomb, a sinister society, and a deadly battle between…