Iceland Books You All Should Know! | Top 17

Do you know you could travel to Iceland without actually visiting the country? Well, not literally, but books are a perfect medium to transport you not only to Iceland but to any country you desire. In this article, I have compiled a list of Iceland books you all should know that will virtually transport you to Iceland. But before going over the list of books, let us have a glimpse at what Iceland has to offer.

Iceland, a Nordic island nation, is not just about its spectacular scenery with volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs but also about its strong literary culture. As Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country globally. The capital of Iceland, “Reykjavik,” is recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature. The people of Iceland love to pamper themselves with some reading, especially before Christmas. And Icelandic crime writers are particularly common, which is surprising given the country’s low crime rate.

iceland books

To the Icelanders, books are more than just a source of entertainment. As They are an inextricable part of their national identity, reminding them of their forefathers’ fortitude and how much they have progressed since then.

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Amazing Facts About Iceland:-

These are the amazing facts one should know about Iceland:-

  • Iceland has splendid landscape views, including geysers, hot springs, and lava fields due to volcanoes.
  • The name Iceland and Greenland is an irony because the appearance of both countries is vice versa. To be more precise, Iceland possesses only 11% of ice glaciers in it, whereas Greenland is 80% covered with ice glaciers.
  • Iceland is more liveable as compared to Greenland.beautiful iceland
  • English is the second language in Iceland after their native language.
  • Iceland is also a record holder of being in the top 5 literate countries.

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Why Should We Read Icelandic Books And Icelandic Novels?

Iceland has a great literary history. The Irish monks previously occupied the land of the island, and later, after abandoning the cold land, there were Vikings who lived on the land for a long period. The country of Iceland has a lot about the Vikings, whether it’s literature or history. Other than literature and history, there are many more to know and read about Iceland. For instance, you may read Icelandic fiction and novels about Iceland. The most occupied topic in Iceland literature is the tales and sagas of the Vikings; this is also considered classic Icelandic literature.

icelandic vikings

New and modern stories about Vikings are also available, but the old tales and folklore will never fail to astonish. Also, the Icelandic books were published in English. Therefore, it will be an easy deal to read those books. Reading Icelandic books will constitute a great knowledge of world history and might help budding writers’ creativity.

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Top 17 Iceland Books

Now without further ado, let’s dive into the list:

The Little Book Of Tourists In Iceland – Alda Sigmundsdottir

This book offers a unique perspective on tourism’s social and environmental effects on Iceland and practical advice on how to travel safely, responsibly, and in harmony with the locals.

the little book of tourists in iceland

A great resource for anyone interested in modern Iceland and a must-have for all visitors to the region. 

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Names For The Sea: Strangers In Iceland – Sarah Moss 

This is not exactly a travel book, nor is it exactly a memoir. Instead, it is Sarah Moss in Reykjavik for an academic year after the 2008 Global financial crisis. The reader gets a clear sense of how different Iceland is and how difficult it was for the Icelanders to adapt.

names for the sea

The lava fields, the ocean, the waves, and the ice all seem to be magnificent. You learn about their mindset, what they enjoy doing in their spare time, their friends, and how they acquire items when needed. The food is limited in terms of fruit and vegetables, but it is gradually changing.

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Iceland Books Viking Age Iceland- Jesse L. Byock

Jesse Byock demonstrates that Norse society in Iceland was an autonomous one—almost a constitutional Free State without warlords or kings—in this fascinating history. This remarkable research, which combines history, anthropology, and archaeology.

viking and iceland

It also serves as a valuable companion to the Icelandic sagas, exploring all aspects of Viking Age life: feasting, farming, chieftain and church influence, marriage, and the role of women. 

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The Almost Nearly Perfect People- Michael Booth

Why are the Danes so happy, even though they pay the highest taxes? Is Finland’s education system the best? Are Icelanders as wild as they seem to be at times? Booth discusses who the Scandinavians are, how they vary and why, and their quirks and foibles in The Almost Nearly Perfect People.

the almost nearly perfect couple

Then, he investigates why these societies have been so popular and models for the world. Along the way, a more complex and sometimes darker image of an area afflicted by taboos. Iceland books will make us learn more experiences 

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Iceland Books The Sagas Of The Icelanders

 Saga Age in Iceland – Vikings Rule. The Sagas are a rare body of medieval literature that ranks among the world’s greatest literary gems, as epic as Homer’s, as tragic as Sophocles’.

sagas of iceland

Human as Shakespeare’s. These novels, set around the turn of the millennium, portray the lives. Also deeds of the Norse men and women with an astonishingly modern realism.

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The Fish Can Sing – Halldór Laxness

The Nobel prize winner Halldór Laxness wrote an amazing, humorous novel. It is about an orphan, Alfgrimur, who grew up in a simple turf cottage with an elderly fisherman and a succession of strange houseguests.

fish can sing

It’s a fascinating look at life in Iceland in the early twentieth century when Reykjavik set up itself as the capital, and big fishing boats are mightier than the livelihood of simple fishers.

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Iceland Books The Glass Woman- Caroline Lea

Witchcraft was punishable by death in 17th century Iceland. Biblical scriptures demanded that women be submissive. There was a shortage of food, and the ocean was a death trap.

iceland books


The winter season loomed over villages like the Engill dauans’ shadow. This gothic tale is about Rosa and her life in a village where nobody trusts her and her husband. Iceland Books tells about the stories of trust and family too in a engaging way.

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I Remember You- Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

Three friends set out to renovate a rundown house in a remote, completely isolated location in this terrifying tale. They immediately realize, however, that they are not as alone as they thought. Something is urging them to depart.

i remember you

Meanwhile, a young doctor investigating the suicide of an older woman in a nearby town learns as she was fond of his long-since-disappeared son. A surprising twist occurs as the two stories clash. It’s atmospheric and creepy rather than gory, but definitely, a fun read.

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Butterflies In November- Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

The narrator starts fantasizing about exotic vacations far away from the insanity of her current life after being dumped twice and accidentally killing a goose. But, her plans are derailed when she is forced to care for her best friend’s deaf-mute son.

butterflies in november (1)

But when they win over 40 million kroner on a shared lottery ticket, she and the boy embark on a cross-Iceland road trip. It gives way to a series of adventures. Butterflies in November is an exceptional, funny story of motherhood, relationships, and the legacy of life’s mistakes that is both darkly comedic and uniquely moving.

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Iceland Books Inspector Erlendur Series- Arnaldur Indridason

The 11-Iceland book series by Indridason may be the most commercially successful of all the mystery books of Iceland. Jar City is the first episode in the series, which focuses on Iceland’s isolated society, psychological drama, and dark secrets.

crime thriller iceland (1)

You can also check out the author’s latest Flovent and Thorsen series of thriller books set in Reykjavik. Burial Rites is a tradition in Iceland, even though actual murders are rare.

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The Little Book Of The Hidden People – Alda Sigmundsdottir

Icelandic folklore is a story of elves and secret people who lived in the landscape’s hills and rocks. But what do those elf stories tell us about ancient Iceland and the people who lived there?

the little book of hidden people

Alda Sigmundsdóttir’s book contains twenty translated elf tales from Icelandic folklore and interesting observations on the context in which they originated.

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Moon Iceland With A Road Trip On The Ring Road By Jenna Gottlieb

Moon Iceland is all about the breathtaking landscapes, unrivaled trekking, and the creative spirit of Reykjavik. Strategic, flexible routes from a three-day tour of the best of Reykjavík to a nine-day road trip on the famed Ring Road, designed for outdoor adventurers, culture and history lovers, wildlife lovers, and much more. Unique experiences and not miss highlights. Drive past quaint towns and huge fjords. hike through Iceland’s majestic national parks. Wander in the shimmering glow of northern lights. Stroll Reykjavík’s busy streets. 

moon iceland

The top outdoor activities such as trekking across a mighty glacier, hiking the rim of a remote volcano, and relaxing in the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, exploring crystalline ice caves and lava tubes rich in minerals or catching a rainbow appearing over a thundering waterfall. Author Jenna Gottlieb has given clear and honest opinions of where to eat, where to stay, and when to go, including insights about traveling during the winter. Handy tools include an Icelandic phrasebook and critical background information on the culture, landscape, history, and environment.

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Iceland Books Beautiful Country By Christopher Hughes

Author Christopher Hughes has discovered the fascinating story of the beautiful country of Iceland. Iceland is a wonderful country with a rich history and unique story. Iceland is a brilliant place to explore because of its language and culture. Making it a popular tourist destination for people. This book is all about unfolding the history of Iceland. 

history of iceland

As the name suggests, offering an insightful description of everything from the first settlers to this country’s place in the modern world. This book provides a clear view of its languages, vibrant and unique culture, religions, and even food and economy. The History of Iceland is perfect for anybody who loves to travel, work, or holiday in this remote. A beautiful island nation as it provides a detailed look at this country as it is in Iceland’s books

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DK Eye Witness Top 10 Iceland 2021 By DK Eye Witness

Striking, Reminiscent, and Wild: Iceland’s magnificent fjords, smoldering volcanoes, thunderous waterfalls, and simmering geysers never fail to capture the imagination with their raw beauty and rugged splendor.


DK Eyewitness Top Ten travel guide ensures we find our way around the ‘Land of Fire and Ice.’

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Insight Guides Iceland

Insight Guides Iceland is one of the most comprehensive travel guides packed with inspirational photography and fascinating cultural insights that make it easy for anybody to decide when to go or what to see after arrival. As This is an absolute guide for a perfect trip and one of the best Iceland books.


This book is an absolute smart guide that describes how to get to Iceland by a ferry from Denmark and by air, then commute within Iceland with a bus, a rented car, or hitch-hiking. 

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Insight Guide Pocket Reykjavik By APA Publications Limited

This pocket-friendly guide contains concise information about where to go and what to do.

pocket guide iceland

It is a very fast-moving book in Iceland.

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Iceland Books ICELAND By Oleg Senkov

This is a unique and complete travel guide for true nature lovers. It will help you to learn more about what Iceland books describe Iceland.

oleg senkov iceland

This is one of the best travel guides in Iceland.

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What is the best Icelandic saga?

The best Icelandic books or sagas will be the ones that you consider the best. But yes, in popular opinion, we can conclude the famous Icelandic saga is THE SAGA OF NJALL. It is considered one of the most idiosyncratic sagas of all time.

Who is Iceland's most famous writer?

No doubt Icelanders read books so much and obviously have good book taste. Depending upon Icelanders' favorite and popular opinion, they find crime fiction writer Arnaldur Indriðason, who was born on 28 January 1961, is the most likable. Erlendur is the character that Arnaldur Indriðason gave birth to and is the favorite of all time.

What should I know before going to Iceland?

Things one should keep in mind before traveling to Iceland are. Iceland is cold even in summer, there for warm clothes and thermal wear are necessities for survival. Natural light is very less. Also, choose summer to visit there.

How many Icelandic sagas are there?

There were so many sagas found since back then, but as days past, some of the manuscripts get ruptured and destroyed with time. Till now, 40 sagas manuscripts are well preserved. To conclude, the answer is that there were more than 40 sagas back then, but now only 40 sagas have lasted.


In Conclusion, this article says about Iceland books. So, my list of best Iceland Books ends here. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Let me know how useful it was for you in the comments below!:)

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