13 Books Set in Greenland That Will Put It At The Top Of Your Bucket List

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Greenland is easily in the top five of my bucket list destinations (along with Mongolia/overlanding Central Asia, Argentina and Chile which I count as one, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Churchill, Manitoba to see polar bears, in case you were wondering.)

Then after writing about books set in Finland and books set in Iceland and coming across a bunch of books set in Greenland in the process, well, here we are.

As I wrote this post, I found some fun facts about Greenland, too. It’s bigger than Mexico but only has a population of 57,000(ish) meaning there are only 0.03 people peer square kilometer! It’s also one of a few countries that is transcontinental. It’s owned by Denmark but is on the North American tectonic plate. Now, lets get to what you’re really here for: all the books about Greenland!

An African in Greenland

Tété-Michel Kpomassie knew he had to go to Greenland when he discovered a book about Greenland as a teenager in Togo. After nearly a decade of working his way north, he finally made it to the country of his dreams and this is the record of his adventures.

This Cold Heaven

In This Cold Heaven, Gretel Ehrlich unlocks the secrets of the land and the people that inhabit this island she has been obsessed with. This is part travel book, park cultural anthropology book about Greenland and the hardy people she encounters.

She finds out the 23 words Inuit have for ice, that they prefer the harsh four months of endless darkness over the gentler summers without night, befriends a polar bear hunter and more.

Out in the Cold

Bill Murray’s journey (not THE Bill Murray) across the arctic north starts in pursuit of a total solar eclipse in Svalbard 800 miles from the north pole. He tries wind dried sheep in the Faroe Islands, befriends Inuit bone carvers in Greenland, and camps with an Italian musician who dreams of starting Greenlands first luxury resort.

He stands naked on an Icelandic glacier and later (clothed) in a Canadian bog where the first European stood 500 years before Columbus. The is the perfect mixture of adventure and history and great for anyone looking for a books about traveling through the arctic.

The Ice at the End of the World

The history of Greenland’s ice starts with the explorers who first arrived and on foot, then skis, the crude motorized sleds where they embarked on grueling expeditions that took up to a year and often resulted in frostbitten tragedy.

The goal was to conquer the seemingly infinite interior of Greenland. Today, scientists scientists are deploying whatever tools they can to uncover the secrets of this frozen island before it’s too late and this is Gartner’s chronicling of hardships, discoveries, and scientific achievements in Greenland. This is the perfect book about Greenland if you’re interested in the ecology and environment.

The Girl with the Raven Tongue

It’s up to Petra Jensen to close the case and let the parents grieve when a girl’s shoes are found next to a dead raven and the search for her body is called off.

Blood Floe

The yacht owner is frustrated by the slow course of the investigation so he hires Maratse to help speed things up. A lost journal believed to have been written by Alfred Wegener, a German polar researcher, is also being recovered.

The investigation takes him from the frozen peaks of Greenland to his Berlin but he realizes there is more at stake than discovering the identity of the murderer as he works to find the journal. His life and the lives of the ones he loves are brought into a conspiracy that stretches around the globe.

Migrations

Franny Stone is able to forget the losses of her life by following the ocean’s tides and the birds flying above but as the wild she loves starts to disappear, she can no longer wander without a destination and finds herself in Greenland with one purpose: to find the world’s last flock of Arctic terns and track their final migration.

She convinces the captain of the Saghani, Ennis Malone, to take here aboard where she wins over his eccentric crew with promises of the birds leading them to fish. As they head south, her dark history beings to unravel and when t starts to threaten the crewe, she must face whatever she is running to – or from.

The Boy with the Narwhal Tooth

Constable Petra Jensen travels to the far north of Greenland to find a young Greenlandic boy that was reported missing almost 12 months to the day that he disappeared. If you’re looking for a short book set in Greenland, this series is perfect for you.

The Shiver in the Arctic

Constable Petra Jensen picks up the pieces of an old case to investigate while the temperatures plummet and residents of a remote village hunker down during a particularly vicious winter storm.

The Fever in the Water

The water supply has been poisoned in a remote settlement and all the evidence points to thee culprit being a man who disappeared several years ago and now it’s up to Petra Jensen to find him.

No One Thinks of Greenland

Randy Spruance’s strange world is opened up to us with the short phrase “you’ll want to scratch.” He was forced to join the military thanks to a mysterious past and is sent to a top-secret military hospital in Greenland.

There he meets a colorful cast of outcasts and rejects and begins to fall for the commanding officer’s leggy and strong willed girlfriend while slowly uncovering thee awful secret behind the portion of the base dubbed “The Wing.”

The Calendar Man

Petra Piitalaat Jensen is considering early retirement to work through the grief of losing her partner, but she is urged to investigate when there is a discovery of a young man’s frozen body several days before a referendum that will decide the future of Greenland.

While the people of Nuuk lock their doors, the voting booths are empty and Petra is pulling together as many police as possible, stretching their already thin resources even thinner in a desperate hunt to catch the killer that is determined to make this a Christmas to remember.

A Wilder Time

Greenland is a treasure trove when it comes to Earth’s early history. It’s embedded in the country’s still wild landscape, one of the only remaining. Over multiple seasons, William E. Glassley and two fellow geologists visit the pristine landscape to collect samples and observe rock formations for evidence to prove that plate tectonics is a much more ancient process than some believe, which is highly contested.

As they are driven into more remote, and likely never before seen, areas, Glassley encounters creatures and natural phenomenon that gave him insight into the origins of myth, the virtues and boundaries of science, and the importance of seeking wilderness within.

After writing this post, I now want to read almost all of these Greenland books and want to visit more than ever. It’s certainly moved its way up even higher on my bucket list and hopefully these have either inspired you to visit or gotten you excited about your already planned trip.

Have you read any of these books about Greenland? Which ones? Have you read any others? Any others I should check out?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US. You can probably find me reading on the beach, wandering through the desert, or hanging out in a cute little coffee shop.

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