Denmark: A Reading List

Image of Nyhavn Canal and boats in Copenhagen


How To Be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark –  Patrick Kingsley
I had trouble finding English-language books to help me prepare for my trip to Denmark.  Then, thankfully, I stumbled upon How To Be Danish.  This easy-to-read book provided some fascinating background on Danish history, politics, and sociology.  By the time I finished, I understood why Denmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world.

The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country – Helen Russell
Helen Russell and her family move to Denmark, and she shares her insights about the Danish culture, language, and people.  This book is enormously entertaining and educational.

Countrymen: The Untold Story of How Denmark’s Jews Escaped the Nazis – Bo Lifeguard & A Conspiracy of Decency: The Rescue of the Danish Jews During World War II– Emmy Werner
I thought all books written about the Holocaust would be heartbreaking.  I knew there were individual stories of humanity and courage during a horrific time in our collective history, but I had no idea that an entire country banded together to save their people.  The citizens of Denmark, with the help of the Swedes, stood up to the Nazi regime and said, “Not on our watch.”  Countrymen and A Conspiracy of Decency tell the true story of how the Jews of Denmark largely survived the Holocaust.

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