In the year that sees a major new exhibition on Vikings at the British Museum our fascination with all things Scandinavian shows no sign of abating.
Journalist, Michael Booth's timely new book sees the author embark on a revealing and humorous journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover the secrets of their success.
Across the week, five post-cards from each of the countries which challenge the often rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. Along the way, a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of the region - it isn't always easy being Nordic.
First up the Danes - consistently rated as the happiest people on earth and yet they pay the highest taxes.
Reader: Gunnar Cauthery
Abridged by Richard Hamilton
Produced by Gemma Jenkins.