Whether you’re after books about Iceland to help you plan your trip. Or ones that promise to give you some last minute inspiration. Or even heartwarming books set in Iceland to tuck into during cosy nights in.
Either way, we’ve got you covered with this list of 29 must-read books about Iceland. Njóta / Enjoy!
Books About Iceland To Help You Plan Your Trip
If you’re looking for a complete Iceland travel guide full of inspiration, insider tips, maps and more, then look no further than Lonely Planet’s Iceland Travel Guide. LP is our travel publisher of choice every single time; we can’t recommend them enough.
The DK Eyewitness Top 10 Iceland book (updated for 2020) is pocket-sized but still chock-full of useful information about Iceland. This is a great option if you’re not yet sure what you want to see or do in Iceland as it takes you through the top ten of everything from waterfalls and volcanoes to museums and festivals.
If you know you’ll be focusing on Reykjavik and Southwest Iceland during your trip then this pocket-sized Lonely Planet guide is for you. It’s small but perfectly formed to show you what to see and what to skip in these areas – from top must-sees to unique hidden gems.
Another top travel publisher is Rough Guides. Their books are chock-full of practical advice and information whether you’re into adventure travel or partying the night away. Their latest Iceland travel guide even comes with a free ebook version so you don’t have to lug the actual book around with you.
For top Iceland inspiration, Lonely Planet’s Best of Iceland is full of stunning photos and useful tips to help you see the most popular attractions in Iceland. It even has useful itineraries throughout for quick weekend trips and longer holidays.
Whether you want to hike glaciers, soak in hidden hot springs or otherwise, this Iceland travel guide by Rick Steves is best for those of you who like to explore hidden gems and get off the beaten path. Inside, you’ll find top tips and recommendations as well as itineraries and candid writing to guide you through the land of the midnight sun.
One more Iceland travel guide to add to your list is this one by Marco Polo. It’s full of insider tips, sightseeing highlights, top tours you can take and fun suggestions of things to do in Iceland – whatever you’re in the mood for.
If you want to head out on Iceland’s most famous road trip route then this Lonely Planet guide is for you. From maps and itineraries to top attractions and need to know tips, this is one of the most comprehensive guides out there that is totally dedicated to Iceland’s Ring Road.
Books About Iceland To Inspire You
Written by photographer and Iceland expert, Martin Schulz, this book about photographing Iceland has five unique photography-focused tours inside to help you visit 37 must-see locations in Iceland. The incredible photos themselves are enough to inspire anyone to visit Iceland.
If you’re looking for a travel coffee table book dedicated to Iceland then this is the one for you. It has over 200 stunning photos of Iceland inside with captions for each one to tell the unique story of the moment that has been captured. The perfect book to flick through while you patiently wait for your trip to Iceland to start.
11. Out in the Cold – Travels North: Adventures in Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada
An inspirational tale of adventure, Out in the Cold is Bill Murray’s vivid depiction of his adventure across Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. From seeing a total solar eclipse in Svalbard to tasting wind-dried sheep in the Faroe Islands and hiking across glaciers in Iceland, this book is one for the adventure lovers among you.
If you’ve ever had dreams of packing up your life and living in Iceland then this is the book for you. Written as a memoir, this book follows Sarah Moss as she embarks on her childhood dream of moving to Iceland from Kent in the UK. While the book is honest and funny, it’s also so inspiring to hear how the author’s adventure panned out and how she came to love Iceland even more.
More Books About Iceland You Might Like
13. The Little Book of Tourists in Iceland: Tips, Tricks, and what the Icelanders Really Think of You
Iceland is in the middle of an unprecedented boom in tourism. While this has brought great wealth to the country, it has also presented a myriad of issues and challenges. Through a collection of short essays, this book seeks to provide a unique insight into the social and environmental impact that tourism is having on Iceland and offers tips for travelling safely, responsibly and in harmony with the locals.
14. The Little Book of the Icelanders: 50 miniature essays on the quirks and foibles of the Icelandic people
For a humorous take on the Icelandic culture, this book is a fun read. Some of the topics covered include local driving habits, Icelandic wedding rituals and where you should go to meet the “real” Iceland locals. Humorous, witty but actually quite informative when it comes to the local culture.
15. The Little Book of Icelandic: On the idiosyncrasies, delights, and sheer tyranny of the Icelandic language
Another witty read is The Little Book of Icelandic. From the meanings and origins behind local Icelandic idioms and proverbs to local curse words and slang you can learn, this book deconstructs the Icelandic language and the often-hilarious ways in which the words have been created.
Icelandic folklore is rife with tales of elves and hidden people that inhabited hills and rocks in the landscape. But what do these stories really tell us about the Iceland of old and the people who lived there? In this book, author Alda Sigmundsdóttir presents twenty translated elf stories from Icelandic folklore, along with fascinating notes on the context behind them.
Icelandic might be one of the world’s most complex languages to learn, and although you’ll get on fine without knowing any Icelandic words at all, it is polite to learn a few common phrases before your trip. This Lonely Planet phrasebook helps to break down the language and pronunciation making it relatively fast and easy to pick up a few key phrases.
Keen on exploring Iceland’s many incredible hiking trails? Then this book is the one for you. With a total of 49 day walks and 10 multi-stage treks, you’ll find out how best to explore the Icelandic landscape on two feet while passing through three of the country’s most infamous national parks.
Bonus: Books Set In Iceland That Are Total Must Reads!
Set in Northern Iceland in 1829, Burial Rites is the award-winning fictional tale of a woman condemned to death for murdering her lover and the priest tasked with absolving her of her sins.
In Iceland, the age of the Vikings is known as the Saga Age. Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict the lives of the Norse men and women who first settled in Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured farther west to Greenland and, ultimately, North America.
Set in Iceland in 1627, The Sealwoman’s Gift is an award-winning novel all about the pirates that raided the coast of Iceland and abducted 400 people into slavery in Algiers.
For a more contemporary book set in Iceland, try Butterflies in November. This fictional story written by a native Icelander follows the journey of a heartbroken woman who finds herself winning the road trip of a lifetime to Iceland.
The Magnus Iceland Mystery novels are a popular series of five murder mystery books set in Iceland. The stories follow Detective Magnus Jonson as he tries to connect the dots between seemingly unconnected events in history and the murders of today.
Iceland, Defrosted is the true story of an Englishman’s obsession with Iceland. Follow the author as he describes all the reasons why he loves Iceland – from the natural hot springs and howling winter storms to the elusive Northern Lights and local Icelandic music. This book is almost like a love letter to the country and is perfect for those who love Iceland just as much as him.
Set in rural Iceland in the early 20th Century, Independent People follows a sheep farmer as he seeks to earn a living from a blighted patch of land after the destruction of the First World War.
Dark Iceland is another series of five murder mystery books set in Iceland. This time, you follow rookie police officer Ari Thór Arason as he works through his first investigation and beyond.
Storytellers is the debut novel of Icelandic writer, Bjørn Larssen, which tells the story of how on a cold Icelandic night in March 1920, a hermit blacksmith finds himself with an unwanted lodger. Sigurd, an injured stranger is there to share a story from the past that could alter the blacksmith’s entire life.
Winner of the Nordic Literary Prize and nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize, The Blue Fox seeks to transport you back to the year 1883 and into the midst of an Icelandic winter. The story follows a priest called Skugga-Baldur on his hunt for the enigmatic blue fox. Part mystery, part fairytale, this book promises to keep you spellbound throughout.
From the same author as The Blue Fox, The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat is a beautiful anthology of selected works of fiction from the Nordic region, which are often deep-rooted in the world of folklore, fairytale and intrigue.
Over to you now – which books about Iceland do you love to read? We’re always after recommendations so leave us a few notes in the comments below…
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