Book reviews – Iceland books

My reviews of fiction by Icelandic authors, or fiction relating to Iceland by foreign authors

Arnaldur Indriðason – Reykjavík Nights

Erlendur’s back, only it’s 1974! Read my review here.

Jón Gnarr – How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World

London excitement! Read my review of the book launch here.

Alva – 88

A truly original book by my blogging inspiration! Read my review here.

Pam on the Map – Iceland

A very funny and readable book about a first-time solo Ring Road journey. Read my interview with Pam here.

Arnaldur Indriðason – Strange Shores

Could this really be the final book in the Detective Erlendur series?? Read my review here.

Hannah Kent – Burial Rites

Based on a true story in 1800’s Iceland, Agnes Magnúsdóttir has been condemned to death along with two others for the murder of  local eccentric. This is her story. Read my review here.

Auður Ava Olafsdóttir – Butterflies in November

A newly single woman sets off around the Ring Road for some strange adventures with a friend’s child. Oh, and there’s quite a few recipes too! Read my review here.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir – Someone to Watch Over Me

Who has burned down a residential home for disabled people and why can a little boy see his dead babysitter? Read my review here.

Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson – House of Evidence

A tale across generations of one man’s obsession with bringing the railroad to Iceland. Read my review here.

Christina Sunley – The Tricking of Freya

A Canadian girl with a crazy family and Icelandic roots learns more about her family history than she had bargained on. Read my review here.

Sarah Moss – Names for the Sea

A great account of expat life in Iceland. Read my review here.

Andri Snær Magnason – LoveStar

Welcome to a future of “perfect” love matches and being shot into space when you die. Oh, and constant advertising. And it’s all thanks to someone in Iceland. Read my review here.

Quentin Bates – Cold Comfort

Sergeant Gunnhildur is on the case following the murder of a Z-list celebrity in Reykjavík. Read my review here.

Amalia Lindal – Ripples from Iceland

Written by an American who married an Icelander 60 years ago, charting her experiences in a very different Iceland. Read my review here.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir – I Remember You

Scary stuff in the West Fjords…this is a ghost story rather than her usual mystery series. Read my review here.

Quentin Bates – Frozen Out

Life in a quiet town has become disturbed by the discovery of a body. Read my review here.

Arnaldur Indriðason – Black Skies

The latest in the Detective Erlendur series – with a focus on sidekick Sigurdur Óli this time. Read my review here

EE Ryan – The Odd Saga of the American and a Curious Icelandic Flock

Short story about an American studying in Iceland, with mysterious things happening…read my review here

Vilborg Davidsdottir – On the Cold Coasts

Fifteenth century Icelandic romance, shipwrecks, religion!…read my review here

Nanna Árnadóttir – Zombie Iceland

You probably have to like either Zombies or Iceland to appreciate this…luckily, I do! Read my review here.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir – The Day is Dark

Why are workers disappearing from their base in Greenland? Read my review here.

Auður Ava Olafsdóttir – The Greenhouse

Lobbi leaves his strange family behind in Iceland to do gardening in a European monastery…read my review here.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir – Ashes to Dust

Bodies are found inside a house being excavated on Heimaey Island…read my review here.

Arnaldur Indriðason – Outrage

Elinborg takes centre stage in this one and I was a little disappointed with it…Read my review here.

16 thoughts on “Book reviews – Iceland books

  1. Hi Eva, I’m so glad you discovered my blog because now I’ve found yours and have just subscribed to it. I’ll be in Iceland this July, for a fundraising trek on behalf of the Arthritis Society of Canada. It’ll be my 2nd visit; the first was in the early 1970s so it’s high time I returned. I’m going to look up books in this list, and offer you three suggestions in return as a thank-you:
    * “Jar City (A Reykjavik Murder Mystery),” by Arnaldur Indridason, Vintage Books London, 2004 — one of a series he has written, it’s a standard well-plotted & well-written murder mystery on one level but additionally informative as a glimpse of life in another culture
    * “The Tricking of Freya,” by Christina Sunley, Picador, St. Martin’s Press, NYC, 2009 — story moves between Gimli, Manitoba (town in this Canadian province settled by Icelanders) and Iceland as a young New York City woman of Icelandic descent sorts out her heritage and her life
    * “Last Places (A Journey in the North),” by Lawrence Millman, Vintage Books,m 1992 — very quirky and vivid writer, familiar with the Arctic, who in this book writes about his most recent travels in an arc that hopped from the Shetland Islands to the Faroes to iceland to Greenland to Arctic Canada

    • Hi Penny! Well, I think you will find it has changed quite a lot in 40 years – at least Reykjavik has! Thank you for your recommendations. I have already read and love Jar City, but not the other two. Another friend recommended the Freya book to me, and I will also check out Last Places. Thanks for following!

  2. Thank you for your blog. I am traveling to Iceland in a few days. I want to add to your list of books. “A Girls Ride in Iceland” by Mrs. Ethel Alec-Tweedie about a group of young trend setters from England who travel to Iceland in the late 1800’s.

  3. For the younger crowd, “Frances” by W D Valgardson is a nice read, especially for kids with an Icelandic background or connection. It’s about a girl in Canada who gets to know all about her Icelandic heritage, but it’s not preachy or sentimental. I read it as a kid and remember it still.

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