5 must-read books about life in Denmark


The Year of Living Danishly

by Helen Russell

Imagine being a British journalist having all your life settled in England, all of the sudden being given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland. While the statistics describe Denmark often as a land of long dark winters, cured herring, pastries, Lego and design, also claimed being the happiest place in the world, Helen decides that there is only one way to find out - she will give herself a year and try to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. Delightful read that will resonate a lot if you are a foreigner trying to integrate into the culture, mentality and even just way of living like me. With a mix of English sensibility and Danish pragmatism, the author is showing what Danes get right, what they get wrong and how we might all live a little bit more Danishly.

This is my favourite book to read about Denmark.

The Little Book of Hygge

by Meik Wiking

I guess you might have heard about hygge, right? Nowadays, the market is literally oversaturated with books on this topic, mainly because this Scandinavian way of living got popular in last few years. Hygge is truly an essential concept in Danish culture and it touches nearly all aspects of its society and everyday life. Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and knows what to say on this topic. In this book, Meik Wiking not only provides you the facts but also helps you to implement hygge into your own life to make it more hyggelig – for instance by including some Danish recipes! Really nice easy afternoon reading.

Very pleasant read, again highly recommended book to read when interested into Denmark and its way of living.

How to be Danish

by Patrick Kingsley

This book is an easy read with 8 chapters which dip into several key aspects of the Danish culture. Chapters like education, transportation, immigration, energy, culture, food. This collection is an observation from a British perspective which surely still resonate with other foreign readers. Even though the book is very short, it is still very informative, it’s funny and interesting. I really like that the book is showing both bad and good sides of the country and trying to explain both throughout.

Very funny read and also highly recommended book to read when interested into Denmark and its way of living.

Xenophobe’s guide to the Danes

by H. Dyrbye, S. Harris, T.Golzen

Quite amusing and the perfect size to carry around in your purse and read a little whenever you find yourself waiting. Readers who know anyone Danish or who have lived or traveled in Denmark will surely cackle at this fun and insightful book about all things related to Danes and Denmark. Frank, witty, sarcastic and yet so strangely true with a generous layer of British humor. In my opinion worth to read. (but please, don’t take this kind of books hundred percent serious ;)

Very nice read alike when it comes to choose a book to read about Denmark and its way of living.

80 Fairytales

by Hans Christian Andersen

Any fairy tale lovers over there? Well, you may or may not know, Hans Christian Andersen is a Danish writer famous for his fantastic work, such as The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling or The Little Match Girl. I personally love fairytales and I picked up this collection during one of my bookstore visits that I do regularly in Copenhagen. It includes enough reading material to fill rainy evenings and believe it or not, it brings you closer to Danish culture, in some way. Now this blog post is complete, such a masterpiece could have not be left out.

At least one of Hans Christian Andersen’s books is a must read when you planning to live in Denmark.