Norwegian Runes and Runic Inscriptions is not only a good introduction to runes in Norway, but also to runology in general. The main developments in the history of the script(s) are covered, with plenty of examples, complete with the original runes, transliterations, transcriptions, and translations. Black and white pictures give an idea of what the Norwegian inscriptions looked like: generally more sober than the sometimes lavishly decorated stones that have been found in Sweden.
Most importantly, the book combines a technical history of how a script develops linguistically with the diversity of messages written in it. The content of runic inscriptions includes, among other things, memorials for the dead, accounts of journeys, founding of churches, business correspondence, magic, marking, and humour.
Being the dirty bastard that I am, I'm sharing something from the latter category with you. As Spurkland says, imagine three rowdy guys sitting in a tavern and carving on a stick. They go by the names of John Silk, Guthorm the Licker, and John Ball: