Norway: travel books to read before you go

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This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Norway guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

For great predeparture reading or an accompaniment to long, lazy cruises through the fjords, the following books should fit the bill.

The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule, by Joanna Kavenna, vividly captures our fascination with the Arctic north, with some outstanding sections on Norway.

Norway: The Northern Playground, by Cecil Slingsby, is a classic early- 20th-century account of climbing in the Norwegian mountains; it’s a gripping account that will appeal equally to nonclimbers.

Fellowship of Ghosts: A Journey Through the Mountains of Norway, by Paul Watkins, is loaded with insight as it tells of the author’s solo journeys through Norway’s high country on foot.

Isles of the North: A Voyage to the Lands of the Norse, by Ian Mitchell, recounts a boat journey into the Norwegian fjords with musings on Norway’s place among modern nations.

Summer Light: A Walk Across Norway, by Andrew Stevenson, is an affectionate and luminous account of a walk from Oslo to Bergen that captures the essence of Norway.

Letters from High Latitudes, by Lord Dufferin, evokes a mid-19thcentury sailing trip around the Arctic, including Jan Mayen Island, Svalbard and mainland Norway, with references to the more romantic aspects of Norwegian history.

Arctic Dreams, by Barry Lopez, is a classic, haunting treatment of Arctic regions, with many references to Sami culture. Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge, by Jill Fredston, documents the harsh richness of Norway’s arctic coasts by an author who rowed her way almost along its length.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.