Reading list inspiration for travel
Books & eBooks
- Beowulf: A New Verse TranslationView on Amazon The Irish Nobel laureate gives an unrivaled translation of the classic Old English poem, likely composed toward the end of the first millennium. The story of Beowulf — who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother — conjures one who encounters the monstrous, defeats it, and then lives on in the exhausted aftermath. Translated by Seamus Heaney.
- Fairy TalesView on Amazon Thirty of the best fairy tales from the famed 19th century Danish storyteller. By Hans Christian Andersen; illustrated by Anders Nilsen; translated by Tiina Nunnally.
- Historical Atlas of the VikingsView on Amazon Viking marauders in their longships burst through the defences of 9th century Europe, striking terror into the hearts of peasants and rulers alike for two centuries. But the Vikings were more than just marine warriors and this atlas shows — with over 60 full-color maps — their development as traders and craftsmen, explorers, settlers and mercenaries. By John Haywood.
- How to Be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of DenmarkView on Amazon We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about the Danes themselves? Part reportage, part travelogue, the author fills in the gaps—an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans politics, television, food, architecture, and design. By Patrick Kingsley.
- Olafur Eliasson: ContactView on Amazon The catalog for Denmark's most influential modern artist's exhibition at Paris' Fondation Louis Vuitton features critical essays, an interview between the artist and curators, sketches and preparatory drawings and the works in full color on black paper. By Bernard Arnault, Suzanne Page, Irma Boom and Laurence Bosse.
- Smilla’s Sense of SnowView on Amazon One of Denmark's most esteemed novelists tells the story of a woman's investigation into a six-year-old neighbor's fatal fall from the top of apartment building in Copenhagen. By Peter Hoeg; translated by Tiina Nunnally.
- The Bog People: Iron Age Man PreservedView on Amazon The study of several immaculately-preserved bodies of Iron Age humans discovered in northern Denmark by peat diggers in the early 1950s. Written in the guise of a scientific detective story, this classic of archaeological history is a thoroughly engrossing and still reliable account of the religion, culture and daily life of the European Iron Age. By PV Glob.
- The Edge of the WorldView on Amazon Illuminating the lost history of a thousand years on the shores of the North Sea, the author reveals the cultural transformation sparked by the people of this region: the ideas, technology, science, law, and moral codes that helped create our modern world. By Michael Pye.
- Winter’s TalesView on Amazon An excellent collection of eleven ornate, often-challenging-to-read short stories from the Danish author best known for "Out of Africa." By Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen).
Articles & Academic Papers
- “A Fight Is Brewing”View on NYTimes.com The creators of some of the most distinctive craft beers in the world are identical twins from Denmark who can’t stand each other. By Jonah Weiner.
- “Crossing the Øresund”View on NYTimes.com Reflections on the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. By David Margolick.
- “Exclusive interview with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark”View on wort.lu On the anniversary of 40 years on the throne, the Queen reflects on the role of a monarch in a modern democracy, her role as a woman and mother and the issue of the royal succession - saying she will remain on the throne until the end of her days.
- “Foodporn: Smørrebrød in Denmark”View on RoadandKingdoms.com An open-faced sandwich topped with herring or lox, or, in a pinch, a coldcut or cheese. The Germans call these belegtes brötchen—laid-on bread. The Danes, just up the coast, call it smørrebrød. By Nathan Thornburgh.
- “One Country Saved Its Jews. Were They Just Better People?”View on newrepublic.com Danish Jews survived Hitler’s rule in World War II, when other European Jews did not, because Danes regarded their Jewish neighbors as countrymen. By Michael Ignatieff.
- “Welcome to the real Lego land: rebuilding the brand brick by brick”View on TheGuardian.com The tiny Danish town of Billund is creative cornerstone to the famous toy firm. With a new visitor centre opening, CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp explains how Lego returned to its foundations. By Rupert Neate.
Online Sources & Blogs
- Church Wall Paintings | KalkmalerierVisit kalkmalerier.dk Frescoes are are found in some 600 churches across Denmark, perhaps representing the highest surviving concentration in the world. This site has the most representative collection.
- Copenhagen Food RecommendationsVisit fedguides.com Co-owner of four restaurants in Copenhagen, Michelin-star chef Christian Puglisi shares his recommendations for eating and drinking in the city.
- Trade in DenmarkVisit atlas.media.mit.edu Excellent, highly-graphical summary of the country's exports and imports.
- World Bank | DenmarkVisit worldbank.org A great resource for the country's quality of living indicators, economy and climate change data.
- It’s not just the bikes — green rooftops help make Copenhagen the world’s greenest cityListen on pri.org In this PRI's Living on Earth story, green roofs have been mandatory on suitable new buildings in Copenhagen since 2010.
- Nordic Track to Paradise?Listen on wnyc.org Norway, Denmark and Sweden have a reputation for being great places to live and Scandinavians rank among the happiest people on earth. Michael Booth, a journalist now living in Denmark, argues that everything is not as it appears.
Just for Kids
Who to Follow
- Twitter: Andrew MellorFollow @operalastnight Journalist and critic. Writer for Klassisk (Denmark), FMQ (Finland), Gramophone, New Statesman etc. Nordic correspondent for Opera, Opera Now & Opera News.
- Twitter: Copenhagen PostFollow @cphpost Denmark's only English-language newspaper. Serving the international community since 1998.
- Twitter: Lærke SpennerFollow @Laerkespenner Head of Social. Nordics at VICE Denmark. Interested in Tech, Social, Graphic Design, Culture, Communication and Music.
- Twitter: René RedzepiFollow @ReneRedzepiNoma Chef at restaurant Noma in Copenhagen.
- Twitter: Teis Hald JensenFollow @TeisHaldJensen Reuters correspondent in Copenhagen. I tweet news from Denmark and retweet news from Nordics and Baltics.