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Books to Take You Places
July 18, 2020
Denmark - 7 great books set in Denmark

Here are 7 books set in Denmark to help you get into the spirit of the country before you visit, or to enjoy as an armchair traveller.

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The Year of Living Danishly

Denmark is officially the happiest nation on Earth, so when journalist Helen Russell finds herself spending a year in rural Jutland, she decides she'll do all she can to uncover the secrets of the Danes' happiness. But will the long, dark winters and pickled herring take their toll?

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries.What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness.

From childcare, education, food and interior design to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.

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the preacher - 7 great books set in Denmark
The Preacher

Thorkild Christensen stares down at his murdered wife, Karen, and realises he knows almost nothing about her. How did she fill her days? Where did she disappear to every Thursday? Lead investigator Detective Thea Krogh is determined to find out. And then a second woman is shot dead. There is seemingly nothing to link the two victims, and the police move on, desperate for a lead. But someone out there has a deadly secret. And as events begin to play out - masterminded by a strange and bewitching figure - all of their worlds are about to come crashing down . . . An ingenious thriller from an exciting new Danish talent. Will you guess the secret to unlock the killer twist?

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mercy - 7 great books set in Denmark
Mercy : A Carl Morck Novel

At first the prisoner scratches at the walls until her fingers bleed. But there is no escaping the room. With no way of measuring time, her days, weeks, months go unrecorded. She vows not go mad. She will not give her captors the satisfaction. She will die first. Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck has been taken off homicide to run a newly created department for unsolved crimes. His first case concerns Merete Lynggaard, who vanished five years ago. Everyone says she's dead. Everyone says it's a waste of time. He thinks they're right. The voice in the dark is distorted, harsh and without mercy. It says the prisoner's torture will only end when she answers one simple question. It is one she has asked herself a million times- Why is this happening?

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Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow

One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop.The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.

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How to be Danish: A journey to the cultural heart of Denmark

Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it's the motherland of The Bridge, Borgen, and The Killing, and home to Noma, the world's best restaurant.

But though we wear their jumpers and watch their thrillers, how much do we really know about the Danes themselves? Part reportage, part travelogue, How to be Danish is an attempt to fill in some of the gaps - an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans television, food, design, architecture, politics, and race.

From the set of The Killing to the chefs of Noma, via the woman who knitted *that* jumper, Patrick Kingsley takes us on a journey to the mysterious heart of Denmark.

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copenhagen tales - 7 great books set in Denmark
Copenhagen Tales

Exploring the many moods of the Danish capital.From the narrow twisting streets of the old town centre to the shady docklands, this rich anthology captures the essence of Copenhagen and its many faces. Through seventeen tales by some of the very best of Denmark's writers past and present, we travel the length and breadth of the Danish capital examining famous sights from unique perspectives. A guide book usefully informs a new visitor to Copenhagen but these stories allow the reader to experience the city and its history from the inside.

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Main image by Katie Walker from Pixabay