The most recommended books about Greenland

Who picked these books? Meet our 26 experts.

26 authors created a book list connected to Greenland, and here are their favorite Greenland books.
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Book cover of White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen's Fearless Journey into the Heart of the Arctic

Caroline McCullagh Author Of Quest For The Ivory Caribou

From my list on adventure in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teenager, I started reading about people who lived in marginal places, such as the Eskimos of the far north and the Kung San of South Africa. Living a middle-class American life it was difficult for me to understand how people could not only live in those places but also love them. After I raised my children, my husband encouraged me to return to college, and I did, majoring in anthropology. I learned about the deep connections that bind all people—love of home and family. By learning about other people’s lives, much of what confused me about my own fell away. 

Caroline's book list on adventure in the Arctic and Antarctic

Caroline McCullagh Why did Caroline love this book?

Inuit and Danish in heritage, Knud Rasmussen is one of the major stars of Arctic research. He led one of the most famous explorations of northern Canada, The Fifth Thule Expedition, and documented the lives and culture of the people who lived there.

This modern biography doesn’t have the drama and excitement of firsthand accounts, but it’s comprehensive and well-written. It has many interesting details of the lives of both Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen. Additionally, it gives readers a look at the larger context of politics and exploration in the first half of the 20th century.  

By Stephen Bown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Among the explorers made famous for revealing hitherto impenetrable cultures,T. E. Lawrence and Wilfred Thesiger in the Middle East, Richard Burton in Africa,Knud Rasmussen stands out not only for his physical bravery but also for the beauty of his writing. Part Danish, part Inuit, Rasmussen made a courageous three-year journey by dog sled from Greenland to Alaska to reveal the common origins of all circumpolar peoples. Lovers of Arctic adventure, exotic cultures, and timeless legend will relish this gripping tale by Stephen R. Bown, known as "Canada's Simon Winchester."


Book cover of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow

Linda Olsson Author Of Astrid & Veronika

From my list on understanding the moody people of Nordic countries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an accidental emigrant now living in Auckland, New Zealand. I arrived with my then husband and our three sons in 1990 for a three-year spell. And here I am with two sons now settled in New Zealand and one in Sweden and me in a very awkward split position between the two. I am also an accidental author as my first career was in law and finance. I am presently working on my seventh novel. My novels are what my publishers call literary fiction and they often involve characters who, like me, have no fixed abode. 

Linda's book list on understanding the moody people of Nordic countries

Linda Olsson Why did Linda love this book?

This is an unusual crime story set in Copenhagen, Denmark. It caused a sensation when it was published in 1992. The main character Smilla Jaspersen is a half Inuit scientist from Greenland, lonely and homesick in the big city. The death of an Inuit boy pulls her into a complex web of crime exposing Denmark’s complicated relationship with its protectorate Greenland. The title refers to the Inuit people’s understanding of their wintry habitat, and is a reminder of the threat to traditional lifestyles of many indigenous people. A thriller, but so much more. 

By Peter Høeg,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The original Scandinavian thriller

One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop.The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.


Book cover of The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate

Jorge Daniel Taillant Author Of Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers

From my list on science from a cryo activist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jorge Daniel Taillant is a cryoactivist, a term he coined to describe someone that works to protect the cryosphere, ie. the Earth’s frozen environment. Founder of a globally prized non-profit protecting human rights and promoting environmental justice he helped get the world’s first glacier law passed in South America. He now devotes 100% of his time to tackling climate change in an emergency effort to slow global warming … and to protect glaciers.

Jorge's book list on science from a cryo activist

Jorge Daniel Taillant Why did Jorge love this book?

As a climate activist and lover of glaciers and glaciation, I took a special interest in David Archer’s book, The Long Thaw. Archer takes us in and out of ice ages, explaining with surprisingly understandable prose just how ice ages are formed, their predictable cycles, why they’re important, and how with current climate change trends and impacts, we just may have missed the onramp to the next one. That could put us into a Hothouse Earth scenario not seen since the times of the dinosaurs. Archer masterfully brings science to the layperson. If we think that the year 2100 is a marker in the sand for climate change, think again. Archer reveals that the chilling (or heating) reality of climate change just might be forever. 

By David Archer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The human impact on Earth's climate is often treated as a hundred-year issue lasting as far into the future as 2100, the year in which most climate projections cease. In The Long Thaw, David Archer, one of the world's leading climatologists, reveals the hard truth that these changes in climate will be "locked in," essentially forever. If you think that global warming means slightly hotter weather and a modest rise in sea levels that will persist only so long as fossil fuels hold out (or until we decide to stop burning them), think again. In The Long Thaw, David Archer…


Book cover of Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

Linnea Hartsuyker Author Of The Half-Drowned King

From my list on understanding the Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer of historical fiction. When I was in my teens, my family embarked on a project to trace our ancestry and identify our living relatives. Through church records in Sweden and Norway, we found that Harald Fairhair (Harfagr), the first king of Norway is one of our ancestors. Those explorations gave me the seeds of my first novel of Viking-Age Norway, The Half-Drowned King, and the subsequent books in the trilogy.

Linnea's book list on understanding the Vikings

Linnea Hartsuyker Why did Linnea love this book?

One of the best ways to envision a historical period is to see its artifacts. Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga is a companion to a Smithsonian exhibit of the same name and contains a rich trove of images and descriptions of viking physical culture, along with essays about the archeology of their discovery, and how they were used in the exploration of the North Atlantic, and the eventual journey to the New World.

By Elisabeth Ward, William F. Fitzhugh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Replete with color photographs, drawings, and maps of Viking sites, artifacts, and landscapes, this book celebrates and explores the Viking saga from the combined perspectives of history, archaeology, oral tradition, literature, and natural science. The book's contributors chart the spread of marauders and traders in Europe as well as the expansion of farmers and explorers throughout the North Atlantic and into the New World. They show that Norse contacts with Native American groups were more extensive than has previously been believed, but that the outnumbered Europeans never established more than temporary settlements in North America.


Book cover of The Prophets of Eternal Fjord

James Lawless Author Of The Adventures of Jo Jo

From James' 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Novelist And poet who Loves philosophical musings, Nature walks And tennis.

James' 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, James' 9, and 11-year-old's favorite books.

James Lawless Why did James love this book?

In our fast-paced world of today one has to really trust an author to make a big commitment of time to surrender oneself as a reader to the enormity of a novel such as this of nearly six hundred pages. But it pays to persevere as one is sucked into its narrative as young Danish priest Morten Falck, with a fondness for Rousseau, sets out for Greenland in 1787 to attempt to convert the Inuit to the Danish church.

Vividly translated by Martin Aitken, Leine’s descriptions are brilliant and insightful as Falck undergoes a crisis of faith and draws us into the visceral world of Eternal Fjord. It is a great, original novel with a rich polyphony of memorable places and events and resonating characters. A work that will endure.

By Kim Leine, Martin Aitken (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Prophets of Eternal Fjord as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the swarming streets of Copenhagen to the frozen villages of Greenland, The Prophets of Eternal Fjord is a grand, magisterial story of epic proportion. Earning rave reviews and scores of readers across the world, Kim Leine's masterpiece-sweeping across the sea in a whaler and scurrying, panicked, from the Great Fire of 1795-arrives on American shores erupting with pathos, lust, faith lost and found, and a cast of characters clinging to life amidst persecution and calamity.

Idealistic, foolhardy Morten Falck, the hapless hero, is a newly ordained priest sailing to Greenland in 1787 to convert the Inuit to the Danish…


Book cover of The Norse Myths: Stories of The Norse Gods and Heroes Vividly Retold

Alice Mills Author Of The World Treasury of Myths & Legends

From my list on Norse myths and legends.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alice has had a passion for myths ever since reading Greek myths as a small child. Alice's most recent book is a retelling of myths and legends worldwide. As well as editing several anthologies for children, she has published a book on mythology and another on the fantasy writer Mervyn Peake, and she has many scholarly publications on fantasy and children's literature.

Alice's book list on Norse myths and legends

Alice Mills Why did Alice love this book?

This volume covers a lot of ground, from myths of the gods to hero tales to historical figures and the discovery of America. It stands out for me because of the illustrations, which range from ancient Norse carvings to superhero films. Above all, the book abounds with fine nineteenth and early twentieth-century book illustrations and a host of paintings from the Renaissance onwards, a feast for the eyes.

By Tom Birkett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The great Norse Myths are among the most dramatic and unforgettable stories in all human history. These fascinating, fantastical tales have inspired centuries of art, culture and literature, including the storytelling of Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones, Wagner's Ring Cycle and Marvel Comics.

The Norse Myths takes us on a thrilling journey through the Norse cosmos, from the creation of the world to Ragnarok, the final world-destroying conflict; via the Nine Worlds, and the exploits of the mighty gods and goddesses - mystical Odin, malicious Loki, mighty Thor and more - and their quarrel with…


Book cover of The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate

Stephanie Bosco-Ruggiero Author Of Adopting Older Children: A Practical Guide to Adopting and Parenting Children Over Age Four

From my list on raising emotionally healthy children.

Why am I passionate about this?

Childhood is a special time but can also be wrought with severe challenges for some children. Children vary in emotional health and resilience, so we must provide extra support to those who struggle. I learned so much from the parents and therapists I interviewed for my book, about their experiences building resilience and emotional health in adopted children. I have a PhD in social work and have worked on federally funded child welfare and child trauma grants. Currently, I am a freelance writer and researcher and teach social policy and research courses at several graduate schools of social work, but my most demanding and rewarding job is being a mom!

Stephanie's book list on raising emotionally healthy children

Stephanie Bosco-Ruggiero Why did Stephanie love this book?

Mindfulness has become a more popular concept in the realm of relaxation training, wellness, spirituality, and health, but many books are focused on adults. Children can also practice mindfulness which is having a reflective stance in daily life including appreciating experiences in the moment, being mindful of how you speak to people and of your relationships, incorporating a meditative element to daily life, and reflecting deeply on experiences and learning from those experiences. The author was involved in developing a mindfulness curriculum for school children which has been deemed quite effective in increasing focus and calm and decreasing discord and behavioral problems among children in the toughest classrooms. Check out this book, then try a book on mindful parenting!

By Susan Kaiser Greenland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mindful Awareness is a widely used stress-reduction technique that works by enabling people to pay closer attention to what is happening within them - thoughts, feelings, emotions - so that they can better understand what is happening to them. In The Mindful Child, Susan Kaiser Greenland extends her internationally known program to children, showing how they can be taught to be kinder and more compassionate to themselves and others.


Book cover of Kalmann

Guy Morpuss Author Of Five Minds

From Guy's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Lawyer Runner

Guy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Guy Morpuss Why did Guy love this book?

This was a beautifully written murder mystery set in a dying fishing village in the north of Iceland. The narrator, Kalmann, is an intriguing character. He is a shark fisherman who stumbles across a body in the snow.

At times he is variously funny, frustrating, sad, and untrustworthy. He hints at past mysteries without fully revealing what they are, or the part he played in them. I read a lot of murder mysteries, and this is the one that has stuck in my mind throughout the year.

By Joachim B. Schmidt, Jamie Lee Searle (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Kalmann as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

He is the self-appointed sheriff of Raufarho fn, a sleepy town in northern Iceland, and has everything under control. There's no need to worry. Day by day, he treks the wide plains which surround the almost deserted village, hunts Arctic foxes and lays shark bait in the sea - to process the fish into the Icelandic fermented delicacy, ha karl. But inside Kalmann's head, the wheels sometimes spin backwards. One winter, after he discovers a pool of human blood in the snow, the swiftly unfolding events threaten to overwhelm him. But with his naive wisdom and pure-hearted courage, he makes…


Book cover of The Land that Time Forgot

Thomas T. Thomas Author Of The House at the Crossroads

From my list on with unusual ways to travel in time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in time travel since childhood, although I personally do not think human beings will ever move forward or backward in time. But the notion and its paradoxes make a great subject for the imagination, which is the meat of speculative fiction. In writing about time travel, I had to deal with the “grandfather paradox,” where something the character does in the past changes his own future—the core of Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Sound of Thunder.” My excuse, used in The Children of Possibility, is that great upheavals like war and civilizational collapse erase small changes like stepping on a butterfly. But, you know, it’s all speculative.

Thomas' book list on with unusual ways to travel in time

Thomas T. Thomas Why did Thomas love this book?

This three-volume series is not actually about traveling in time. The main characters survive being torpedoed in World War I, are taken aboard the German submarine, and travel to an unknown continent in the South Atlantic where dinosaurs, missing-link humans, and other oddities survive. I mention this book here because I read it as a teenager, long before H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, and it gave me a taste for putting modern humans into an earlier time frame—and that is the basis of at least half the time-travel stories.

By Edgar Rice Burroughs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Land that Time Forgot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Land That Time Forgot opens with the discovery near Greenland of a floating thermos flask containing a manuscript by castaway Tyler Bowen, Jr. The document recounts a series of adventures that starts with a sea battle against a German U-boat and ends on a mysterious island populated by hostile prehistoric animals and people.

The second part of the book, “The People That Time Forgot,” continues the story with the tale of Tom Billings, who has been sent on a mission to rescue Bowen after his manuscript was discovered. He flies solo over the mountainous cliffs that encircle the island…


Book cover of Peter Freuchen's Famous Book of the Eskimos

Caroline McCullagh Author Of Quest For The Ivory Caribou

From my list on adventure in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teenager, I started reading about people who lived in marginal places, such as the Eskimos of the far north and the Kung San of South Africa. Living a middle-class American life it was difficult for me to understand how people could not only live in those places but also love them. After I raised my children, my husband encouraged me to return to college, and I did, majoring in anthropology. I learned about the deep connections that bind all people—love of home and family. By learning about other people’s lives, much of what confused me about my own fell away. 

Caroline's book list on adventure in the Arctic and Antarctic

Caroline McCullagh Why did Caroline love this book?

Peter Freuchen, a Danish explorer, first came to Greenland in 1906 and immediately fell in love with the land and its people. He spent the better part of the next 50 years there. He was a partner in adventure with the famous explorer of the north, Knud Rasmussen. Freuchen wrote many books, some of which have been translated into English, including novels.

I chose this one to recommend because it seemed a good place to start, but I love them all. Peter Freuchen’s Book of the Eskimos, a summation of much of what he learned over the years, was edited by his second wife, Dagmar, and published three years after he died in 1957.

By Peter Freuchen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peter Freuchen's Famous Book of the Eskimos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Freuchen's Famous Book of the Eskimos [Mass Market Paperback] Peter Freuchen (Author)