The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That's down to one thing: hygge.'Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight...'You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa wi...

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Title:The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
Author:Meik Wiking
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well Reviews

  • Helene Jeppesen

    This "Little Book of Hygge", written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, sets out to explore the Danish phenomenon 'hygge': What it is and how you can achieve it. It's always fascinating to read about your own people, but to me this petite book was even more fascinating because it explores something that I consider a constant and a necessity in my everyday life.

    The question is: Do I agree with everything in this book? Does it give you an honest impression of Danes' liv

    This "Little Book of Hygge", written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, sets out to explore the Danish phenomenon 'hygge': What it is and how you can achieve it. It's always fascinating to read about your own people, but to me this petite book was even more fascinating because it explores something that I consider a constant and a necessity in my everyday life.

    The question is: Do I agree with everything in this book? Does it give you an honest impression of Danes' lives, happiness and how we 'hygge'? The answer is: Yes! I couldn't find any faults with this book, and I was so impressed with how it defined 'hygge' spot-on that I've been inspired to do a video on just this phenomenon.

    If you desire to know more about how to create a 'hyggelig' atmosphere in your home or around people, definitely read this book. It speaks the truth and encaptures the real spirit of 'Hygge', and it doesn't hurt that the book is beautifully designed and comes with gorgeous pictures.

  • Christina - Traveling Sister

    So, what even

    hygge (pronounced hoo-ga)? Well, it’s not something that can be completely translated into the English language but the most laymen definition of it is coziness. However, that doesn’t really capture the essence of what hygge means to the Danish culture. It’s a integral part of the way they live and one of the many reasons why the Danish top the charts on the UN’s happiest

    So, what even

    hygge (pronounced hoo-ga)? Well, it’s not something that can be completely translated into the English language but the most laymen definition of it is coziness. However, that doesn’t really capture the essence of what hygge means to the Danish culture. It’s a integral part of the way they live and one of the many reasons why the Danish top the charts on the UN’s happiest countries list. Hygge is also deeply personal, and anything that brings you quiet contentment can likely fall into the realm of hygge.

    Now look, if that quote alone doesn’t get you going and feeling all the feels about life and joy, then I’m not sure this book is going to be the one for you. However, if connection, ambiance and the simple joys of being with people you love, who love you in return is something that makes you happy – I can’t suggest this book enough. Many of the principles laid out here are things that once you read will likely make you say ‘duh’ or ‘oh, there’s a word for what I’ve been trying to do this whole time’ and I found this incredibly refreshing.

    So while things like candles, fireplaces, lighting in general, warm socks, comfy clothes, items made of wood, and incorporating nature into your space are all outlined as important aspects of hygge, the most important is togetherness. Being with those that truly see you for who you are and care for you. Hygge, is that comfortable silence with those you love.

    There’s an anecdote in the book about the first hour after you come back from skiing – all your friends are exhausted, everyone is still in their ski gear, your feet are aching and you’re sitting on your patio looking out at the sheer beauty of the mountains. Your friends or family trickle outside, you can hear the sound of Grand Marnier pouring in the background while coffee is brewing. As you all sit, quietly observing the exhaustion in your limbs, the beautiful day and the time you spent together – this is the epitome of hygge.

    In the end, I’ll be putting this on my list of books to give as a gift moving forward. I think everyone can learn lessons from this and I just felt absolutely tickled the whole time I read this. Putting our efforts into health, fitness, mental well-being are all important, but something that falls to the wayside as we age is helping our current social relationships and new relationships flourish. I really can’t suggest this book enough, it was a funny, light-hearted and general joy to read and I am already implementing things I’ve learned into my day to day life!

  • Vanessa

    This book made me so incredibly happy while reading it. The phenomenon and idea of hygge is something that appeals to my very soul, and it is something that I want to try and implement far more in my life than I already am. As my main resolution for this year is to stay happy, it seems inevitable that I would work towards the hygge lifestyle.

    This book is much better than the previous hygge book that I read last year - it is written by Meik Wiking who is the CEO of the Happiness Resea

    This book made me so incredibly happy while reading it. The phenomenon and idea of hygge is something that appeals to my very soul, and it is something that I want to try and implement far more in my life than I already am. As my main resolution for this year is to stay happy, it seems inevitable that I would work towards the hygge lifestyle.

    This book is much better than the previous hygge book that I read last year - it is written by Meik Wiking who is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, so it feels inevitable that he would know exactly what he is talking about. An element of this book that really made me geek out and fall in love were all the statistics from various surveys that the Institute had carried out, which showed people's general opinions on various aspects of hygge. I liked seeing the evidence of people's feelings and how they implemented hygge in their lives.

    The book itself is absolutely beautiful, full of gorgeous photographs and illustrations, and is a joy to read through. I felt a genuine sense of happiness and cosiness as I read through this, curled up on my sofa with plenty of cushions and a mug of tea by my side. I tried to space out my reading and savour the book, but unfortunately I was far too involved to do so!

    My only issue with this book, and thus the reason I knocked it down a half star, is because I felt that at times it was a little too focused on activities that were accessible to Danish people. Of course hygge is a Danish phenomenon, and I loved finding out the statistics on many things (for example how many candles Danish people burn weekly!), but at times I felt like the tips on how to implement hygge elements in my life were just out of reach, based on where I live. However, it was only a slight qualm, and there is plenty in this book for me to try and experience, with numerous recipes, ideas for social occasions, and other such things that I can try out.

    Overall I thought this was a great book, and as I received it as a present I would also say this would make a great gift to anyone who likes the cosier, quieter side of live and wants to implement more hygge in their lifestyle. A wonderful reading experience.

  • Barry

    I think someone else may have pinched the title but I think this book could be called 'The Little Book of Bollocks'.

    We start of with a Danish concept of Hygge (I think it is pronounced hoo-gah or something). Essentially it seems to be the notion of having comfortable spaces at home and work, feeling happy and safe and at peace. All good so far? Well yes of course, it doesn't take a genus to work out that having a favourite blanket is comforting. It makes the obvious connection that having a good

    I think someone else may have pinched the title but I think this book could be called 'The Little Book of Bollocks'.

    We start of with a Danish concept of Hygge (I think it is pronounced hoo-gah or something). Essentially it seems to be the notion of having comfortable spaces at home and work, feeling happy and safe and at peace. All good so far? Well yes of course, it doesn't take a genus to work out that having a favourite blanket is comforting. It makes the obvious connection that having a good home / work balance and having a strong social network is good for you. Yep, still with you.

    But what underpins this is a load of consumerist crap - pages and pages of what expensive lighting, candles and furniture you should buy. Lots of stating the bloody obvious - if you are cold put some nice woollen socks on. The book is terribly middle class - it reeks of 'get away to your cabin at the weekend and enjoy some hygge'. Yes, millions of us have weekend retreats on tap...

    I get that you can do hygge on the cheap and I agree totally that allowing yourself in the modern world to make time for your self and to do 'special' things and have comfort in your life is good. I don't buy that eating lots of cake is hygge or lighting a candle will transform your life. My problem with this book is that it takes some pretty universal notions and translates them into a 'lifestyle' or a 'fashion'.

    This book gets two stars because it is actually very pretty and beautiful to flick through and I did have a hygge moment cuddling my 3 year old daughter whilst reading the book. She them shit herself unfortunately and ruined the moment ha ha! It annoyed me as a vegan that seemingly to get a 'hygge' moment you had to inflict pain on other creatures, there are lots of recipes in here for meat heavy dishes, you get told you may be lucky to see a pig roast in one section and them espouses the hygge of hunting and fishing - how comforting to witness the slow charring of a once happy pig!

    I think I would be more happy if I sat down with the TV off and read more, I love being warm in my home and eating nice food - unfortunately life has it's stresses too and my kids are hardly the quietest. The book does make it clear that stress won't go away, it's about creating hygge to counter it and I suppose there is some truth in this - there is a good message which is 'be kind to yourself'.

    What isn't good in this book is that despite it being written by a social science the actual evidence for hygge is exceptionally tenuous. There are some giant leaps from studies that suggest Danes are happy, glosses over the socio-political elements and attributes happiness to hygge - it's not the most compelling argument for spending a month's salary on a vase...

  • Lily

    Lifecycle of an idea:

    1) hear about it on NPR

    2) identify with it. tell friends about it.

    3) buy book about it.

    4) begin reading book.

    5) realise there are suddenly *a lot* of books on this topic.

    6) start to suspect book is just a big advertisement put out by one of those agencies that determines what will be trendy for next season.

    7) book seems to really want you to buy woolen socks.

    8) book is poorly written and repeats itself.

    9) see a new twee danish crap store in your big mall.

    10) reach peak despa

    Lifecycle of an idea:

    1) hear about it on NPR

    2) identify with it. tell friends about it.

    3) buy book about it.

    4) begin reading book.

    5) realise there are suddenly *a lot* of books on this topic.

    6) start to suspect book is just a big advertisement put out by one of those agencies that determines what will be trendy for next season.

    7) book seems to really want you to buy woolen socks.

    8) book is poorly written and repeats itself.

    9) see a new twee danish crap store in your big mall.

    10) reach peak despair.

    11) burn book. the crackling fire, you are told, is very hygge.

    12) find peace with the ease with which the corporate world manipulates your interests and desires.

    13) write a goodreads review.

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