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Sauna Books and Media

Build or add to your Finnish heritage library with books about the history, culture, design, construction, and enjoyment of the traditional Finnish sauna! We are always looking for books to add to our shelf; your suggestions are welcome!

These works are the property of their creators and are not affiliated with Finlandia Foundation National. If you have suggestions for items to be included, please reach out!

The Best Part of a Sauna Book Cover

The Best Part of a Sauna

Written by Sheryl Peterson
Illustrated by Kelly Dupre

Boldly colorful illustrations and a playful grandchild enjoying time at the lake with grandparents create a book to be enjoyed by all generations.

Finnish Log Construction – The Art

Written by Frank Eld

Frank Eld is an expert on the unique Finnish method of log construction, including saunas. This popular book is out of print, but copies are available on CD from the author.

Everyday Sisu: Tapping into Finnish Fortitude for a Happier, More Resilient Life

Written by Katja Pantzar

Katja Pantzar explores the simple practices that make Finnish life so stable, sustainable, and healthy for body and mind, even when life doesn’t go as planned. You’ll discover ways to boost your mental and physical resilience to face life’s challenges head-on. Sauna is involved.

The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness, and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu

Written by Katja Pantzar

An engaging and practical guided tour of the simple and nature-inspired ways that Finns stay happy and healthy–including the powerful concept of sisu, or everyday courage.

The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition

Written by Michael Nordskog
Photography by Aaron W. Hautala

Beginning with the origins of Finnish sauna, The Opposite of Cold is an exquisite commemoration of the history, culture, and practice of Finnish sauna in the north woods. With stunning photographs of unique and historic saunas of the region Michael Nordskog and Aaron W. Hautala unveil the importance and beauty of sauna culture in modern Midwestern life. Introduction by Arnold R. Alanen, Foreword by David Salmela.

Sauna: The Power of Deep Heat

By Emma O’Kelly (Author), Maija Astikainen (Photos)

This book honors the old, embraces the new, and plunges headlong into the transformative power of steam.

‘Smartly written and beautifully illustrated … a celebration of a cultural resurgence and a reminder of the power of connecting with nature and something larger than ourselves.’ Mikkel Aaland, author of Sweat

The Sauna is Full of Maids book cover

The Sauna is Full of Maids

By Cheryl J. Fish

This collection of poems is a reflection on how present-day Finnish life intertwines with folklore and mythology-expressed in the Kalevala, a work of epic poetry compiled from long-lived ballads, songs, and incantations and advancing modern developments.

The Secrets of Finnish Sauna Design book cover

The Secrets of Finnish Sauna Design

Written by Lassi A. Liikkanen

Are you planning a new sauna, renovating an old one, or just dreaming? Do yourself a favor. Save your sauna project and read this wonderfully illustrated book about the design of authentic Finnish saunas!

The Sisterhood of the Enchanted Forest: Sustenance, Wisdom, and Awakening in Finland’s Karelia book cover

The Sisterhood of the Enchanted Forest: Sustenance, Wisdom, and Awakening in Finland’s Karelia

Written by Naomi Moriyama and William Doyle

After living for twenty-five years in New York, Naomi Moriyama moved with her husband and co-author William Doyle and their seven-year-old child to the vast forest of Finland’s Karelia, a mysterious region on the Russian border that helped inspire J.R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth fantasies. Over the course of six unforgettable months with her family and her new “sisters,” she found her life transformed, and discovered the power that lay within her all along. The book includes a chapter “The Vapor Bath,” in which Naomi and William share their unforgettable sauna experiences in North Karelia.

Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage book cover

Sisu: The Finnish Art of Courage

Written by Joanna Nylund

How about developing your Sisu — an “untranslatable” Finnish term referring to a mixture of courage, resilience, grit, tenacity, and perseverance. It’s a trait that has shaped not just the fate of a nation but continues to be a guiding principle for how Finns live their daily lives. 

Thermal: Saunas, Hot Springs & Baths

Written by Lindsey Bro

Full of breathtaking photography and engaging stories, THERMAL is a celebration of the places, traditions, and mythologies surrounding the healing benefits of heat. Featuring more than 50 faraway locations—from an ancient holy hot spring in Turkey to a cozy sauna on a snowcapped ridge in Alaska, plus pools, tubs, and more—these pages overflow with idyllic landscapes and wanderlust inspiration.