Books to Learn About Sweden (and Scandinavia)

The Almost Nearly Perfect People:  Beyond the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia (3*) by Michael Booth (a more scathing review of the darker sides of Scandinavia)

The Year of Living Danishly:  Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country (4*) by Helen Russell (an Englishwoman moves to small town Denmark)

The Swedes:  A Happy Culture of Scandinavia (4*) by Julien S. Bourrelle (a pretty accurate cartoon view from a French Canadian)

Working with Swedes (4*) by multiple authors (building on The Swedes in a similar cartoon style, but co-authored by a multi-cultural group from Greece, China, Scotland, and Sweden, it is another fairly accurate depiction of Sweden)

How to Be Swedish:  A Quick Guide to Swedishness in 55 Steps (5*) by Matthias Kamann (this is one of my favourites of Sweden, perhaps because I lived in Germany too and enjoy seeing the German view of Sweden)

Culture Shock Sweden:  A Guide to Customs and Etiquette by Charlotte Rosen Svensson (factual, if a bit dry, representation of Sweden.  My 1996 edition is a bit dated so I ordered a used copy from 2007 to check it, will rate after I read the new edition)

Modern Day Vikings:  A Practical Guide to Interacting with the Swedes (4*) by Christina Johansson Robinowitz and Lisa Werner Carr (especially well adapted for Americans working with Sweden, as the authors have American connections)

Xenophobe’s Guide to the Swedes (3*) by Peter Berlin (from a library of many Xenophobe’s Guides, it is a standard guide written by an author born and raised in Sweden and lived adult life abroad)

Insight Guide Sweden by Discovery Channel (perhaps more of a tourist guide book, but includes some interesting culture, history, and famous Swede biographies)

The Nordic Theory of Everything:  In Search of a Better Life (3*) by Anu Partanen (contrasts Finland to the United States, from the view of a Finnish author who moved to the US.  Provides some interesting arguments about the paradox of which is the greater nanny state)

There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather (4*) by Linda Åkeson McGurk (probably most relevant for parents, but provides insights to the differences in upbringings between the United States and Sweden.  An interesting note, the author is basically a reverse of my life, as she grew up in Sweden and is raising her family in Indiana, while I grew up in Indiana and have mostly raised my daughter in Sweden)

Live Lagom:  Balanced Living the Swedish Way (3*) by Anna Brones (some insights into Sweden and a key cultural word, lagom (satisfactorily enough), from an author who was raised in the West Coast United States by Swedish expatriate parents.  In some ways, as much a reflection on American culture, or at least Sweden through American eyes) 

The Swedish Way of Living Just Right:  The Book of Lagom (3*) by Göran Everdahl (a mixture of Swedish history and culture as told by a Swedish author and columnist)

Swedes:  What We Are Like and Why We Are as We Are (4*) by Gillis Herlitz (a Swede describes the country and culture from the inside with good insight from the Swedish perspective)

Swede Among the Rednecks (2*) by Ulf Kirchdorfer (I was disappointed by this book with an interesting title. Many short stories from an adult who moved from Sweden to US as a child, relating back to Swedish culture)

Lagom (Not Too Little, Not Too Much): The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life (4*) by Niki Brantmark (I found this book, written by a British author, to be a quite good summary of some of the major value differences between the UK (and US). Overall, a quite good read to understand the Swedish approach to life, particularly in regards to “lagom”)