Fifty Norwegian books and counting

This impressive reading list has something for every reader who loves Norway—from classics to contemporary, fiction and non-fiction, translations and English originals

Christine Foster Meloni
Washington, D.C.

The Washington, D.C., Sons of Norway lodge launched its Reading Circle in the fall of 2008. Four members—Karen Doty, Marie Hansen, Lynn Juhl, and I (Christine Foster Meloni)—attended the first meeting to discuss Per Petterson’s international bestseller, Out Stealing Horses. We now have 14 regular participants and meet every other month.

We recently reached an impressive milestone. In May of this year, we met to discuss book number 50. At the end of the year we will have read and discussed 54 books.

Summer is a perfect time to relax with a good book. Why not choose a book by a Norwegian or Norwegian-American author? You will certainly find many to your liking in our List of 50 below. (Books are listed in alphabetical order by author.)

List of 50 (+ Four)
• Amundsen, Roald. Race to the South Pole

• Berman, Irene Levin. “We are going to pick potatoes” Norway and the Holocaust: The Untold Story

• Bjørnstad, Ketil. The Story of Edvard Munch

• Branston, Brian. Gods and Heroes from Viking Mythology

• Brown, Nancy Marie. The Far Traveler

• Dahl, K.O. The Last Fix

• Elphinstone, Margaret. The Sea Road

• Enger, Thomas. Burned

• Foltz, Jeff. Birkebeiner: A Story of Motherhood and War

• Foss, William. The Norwegian Lady and the Wreck of the Dictator

• Fosse, Jon. Melancholy

• Fossum, Karin. When the Devil Holds the Candle

• Fowler, Cary. Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault

• Gaarder, Jostein. The Solitaire Mystery

• Hamsun, Knut. Growth of the Soil

• Hamsun, Knut. Hunger

• Hamsun, Knut. Victoria

• Hansen, Helga. All That I Hold Dear: A Young Immigrant in New York, 1911-1916 (diaries translated by granddaughter Ruth Nybro)

• Haukelid, Knut. Skis Against the Atom: The Exciting, First Hand Account of Heroism and Daring Sabotage During the Nazi Occupation of Norway

• Heivoll, Gaute. Before I Burn: A Novel

• Hicks, Peter. Technology in the Time of the Vikings

• Holt, Anne. Blind Goddess

• Holt, Anne. Death of a Demon

• Hustvedt, Siri. The Blazing World

• Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House

• Ibsen, Henrik. Hedda Gabler

• Ibsen, Henrik. League of Youth

• Kjeldsen, Kirk. Land of Hidden Fires

• Landvik, Lorna. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

• Landvik, Lorna. Welcome to the Great Mysterious

• Lindstrom, Merethe. Days in the History of Silence

• Margeson, Susan. Viking

• Miller, Derek. Norwegian by Night

• Petterson, Per. I Refuse

• Petterson, Per. Out Stealing Horses

• Rolvaag, O.E. Boat Longing

• Rolvaag, O.E. Giants in the Earth

• Rose, Julie K. Oleanna: A Novel of Norway in 1905

• Skomsvold, Kjersti Annesdatter. The Faster I Walk The Smaller I Get

• Smiley, Jane. The Greenlanders

• Snelling, Lorraine. Dakota Dawn

• Solstad, Dag. Shyness and Dignity

• Staalesen, Gunnar. The Consorts of Death

• Sturluson, Snorri. Prose Edda

• Sundstøl, Vidar. Land of Dreams

• Sundstøl, Vidar. Only the Dead

• Torvik, Solveig. The World’s Best Place to Live: Norway and the Norwegians

• Ullman, Linn. Blessed Child

• Undset, Sigrid. Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath

• Undset, Sigrid. Return to the Future

• Unknown Icelandic Author. Orkneyinga Saga

• Vesaas, Tarjei. The Birds

• Vietmeyer, Noel. Borlaug: Right off the Farm. Volume 1

• Watkins, Paul. The Fellowship of Ghosts: A Journey through the Mountains of Norway

Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She values her Norwegian heritage.

This article originally appeared in the July 28, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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