Sweden: travel books to read before you go

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

Good books on travelling or living in Sweden are few and far between.

A Short ResidenceMary Wollstonecraft’s A Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark records the pioneering feminist author’s journey to Scandinavia in 1795 in search of happiness. It’s a classic of early English Romanticism and well worth a read.

Neither Here Nor ThereThe always hilarious Bill Bryson had an entertainingly difficult time of it in Sweden, as described in two chapters of his European travel book Neither Here Nor There.

NilsThere are also a couple of good views of Sweden from within, including Selma Lagerlöf’s The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. This creative account of the country’s history and geography is still taught in Swedish classrooms.

HashGet a taste of a thematic journey in the remotest parts of northern Sweden in Torgny Lindgren’s wonderful novel Hash. Two odd characters set off on a motorcycle in search of the perfect, life-altering pot of hash (pölsan), a sort of potted-meat dish traditionally prepared in the rural north.

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