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:
ISBN:0241283914
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:288 pages

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

  • Karina Read
    Aug 30, 2016

    Beautifully published. Gorgeous photos, charts and drawings. The writing is funny, interesting and engaging. A really fun read! So...when are we moving to Denmark??

  • Caitlin
    Sep 07, 2016

    I really enjoyed this book. For me, this is a bit of a follow-up to

    which I also enjoyed and which left me wanting to understand the concept of hygge a bit better because the Danes seem to have it right there. The Little Book of Hygge is, firstly, beautifully produced - it's a nice size in the hand, lovely finish, handsome photography and charts. It's also an easy read which strikes a nice balanc

    I really enjoyed this book. For me, this is a bit of a follow-up to

    which I also enjoyed and which left me wanting to understand the concept of hygge a bit better because the Danes seem to have it right there. The Little Book of Hygge is, firstly, beautifully produced - it's a nice size in the hand, lovely finish, handsome photography and charts. It's also an easy read which strikes a nice balance between facts and figures, anecdotes and just plain enjoyable writing. I still feel like it only scratches the surface of the idea of hygge but to delve deeper would probably have meant that the book itself would be less hyggelig and one of the nicest things about this little volume is how much it embodies its subject. Because not only are you reading about hygge, but the smoothness of the cover, the simple, slightly rustic but elegant style of the illustrations, the length of the chapters and just the feel of turning the pages to me felt very hyggelig indeed and I could totally see myself reading it in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate and some ebelskivers. The very occasional addition of recipes and craft instructions were a nice touch - small additions which didn't overwhelm the informational basis of the book but simply provided a few ideas of things to try.

    Wiking looks at a range of aspects of hygge which overall gives a strong understanding of what it is. The importance of light was really interesting in particular and is making me rethink lighting in my home and I also liked how the book considers hygge at work too. This is particularly relevant for me at the moment because I'm starting a PhD this year and will be spending a lot of time sitting about reading and I'm thinking that ramping up the hygge factor will make all of that just a good deal more enjoyable.

    The reason I've only given this three stars is that while I learned quite a bit from the book, it felt a little bit lightweight. But I'm a bit conflicted about this because while there's not a vast amount of detail, I also kind of feel that it has exactly as much detail as it needs. Unlike other books I've felt were light, I'm glad I bought this one and I suspect I'll come back to it again. I think the hyggelig form factor counts for a lot, and overall I do think that it encourages testing out the ideas and reconsidering one's own environment - perhaps even

    it's a little light on details. Hygge is one of those words that's not easily translated into English and as I read the book I really got the feeling that the detail I was craving might be provided by practical follow-up - that I would probably learn more by creating moments of hygge in my life - than by reading more about it. I've only just finished it and it might be a little while before I implement much from the book, so possibly I'll revise my star rating later on.

  • Lily
    Oct 31, 2016

    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.

  • helen the bookowl
    Nov 20, 2016

    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.

  • Whispering Stories
    Feb 23, 2017

    The Little Book of Hygge, isn’t the type of book that I would normally choose to read, but something drew me to it, perking my interest. I kept on hearing about ‘hygge’. Everyone was talking about it, so I decided to investigate myself, though I will admit that I was drawn to this book about the subject, rather than the artwork on the cover.

    Hygge is all about living better, how to live ‘in the now’, calmly and more happily. According to statistics, the Danes are the happiest people on the planet

    The Little Book of Hygge, isn’t the type of book that I would normally choose to read, but something drew me to it, perking my interest. I kept on hearing about ‘hygge’. Everyone was talking about it, so I decided to investigate myself, though I will admit that I was drawn to this book about the subject, rather than the artwork on the cover.

    Hygge is all about living better, how to live ‘in the now’, calmly and more happily. According to statistics, the Danes are the happiest people on the planet, and according to the author, their ‘hygge’ lifestyle is the reason for this.

    We are taught, and shown by the vast amount of photos in the book, how the Danes live their daily lives and how they relax. From open fires, eating tasty food, spending time with friends, riding their bikes, there are numerous ways that they feel ‘hygge’ everyday.

    I spent quite a while reading this book, feeling the urge not to rush it, so I read a couple of chapters daily, letting the information sink in.

    I loved the book, the explanations of what ‘hygge’ is, and how to achieve it. Yes the author does repeat himself a lot, going over about the same things, but this book isn’t all about hot chocolate, and roaring fires, it is much, much more.

    Will I take away anything from this book, and use it in my daily life? Maybe to use candles more. I already have lots around the house, just never light them. Apart from that I’m very doubtful. What I will take away from the book though, is the knowledge of how a lot of the Danes live, their culture and how it makes them happy.

    Would I recommend this book, wholeheartedly. Now I’m off to go and feel miserable again, in this dull and cold British weather

    Reviewed by Stacey on

  • Barry
    Jan 03, 2017

    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...

  • Vanessa
    Jan 08, 2017

    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.

  • Inge
    Feb 02, 2017

    is a small collection of everything that is right in the world. Hygge is a term that doesn't have a literal translation in many languages, but it is a concept that everyone is familiar with: that sense of warmth, comfort, cosiness, belonging, safety. Something which the Danish have turned into a proper art form. In this little book, you will discover everything about hygge. How to hygge in summer, in winter, on a budget, in Copenhagen. Hygge is a reading nook by the fire

    is a small collection of everything that is right in the world. Hygge is a term that doesn't have a literal translation in many languages, but it is a concept that everyone is familiar with: that sense of warmth, comfort, cosiness, belonging, safety. Something which the Danish have turned into a proper art form. In this little book, you will discover everything about hygge. How to hygge in summer, in winter, on a budget, in Copenhagen. Hygge is a reading nook by the fireplace with a good book and a comfortable blanket. Hygge is a cup of hot chocolate. Hygge is an intimate dinner party with board games. We should all learn how to incorporate hygge into our lives - there is a reason why the Danish are among the happiest people in the world.

    As someone with anxiety and depression, I made it my personal mission to learn more about happiness and positivity. Because these things don't come naturally to me anymore, but I can train myself. I keep a gratitude journal (apparently this is very hygge). I read books about happiness. I spend a lot of time on self-care, even the unpleasant aspects of it (e.g. doctor's appointments). So when I found out about hygge, I was more than excited to learn more about it. I ordered a

    , which is a self-care subscription box.

    came with it, which was so perfect.

    I read this book in my reading nook, with cups of tea, cookies, and several blankets. I learned about candles, discovered recipes, and smiled at beautiful pictures. This book was certainly very

    .

  • Margret Lacombe
    Jan 30, 2017

    I think I've always practiced Hygge. This book was so very charming and uplifting

  • Jennifer
    Feb 19, 2017

    If 2016 was all about throwing things away a la Marie Kondo (

    ), then 2017 seems to be all about getting cozy.

    This is a beautifully designed little book which extolls the benefits of coziness/homebodyness and good friends/good food as the way to happiness. The Danes generally rank at the top (or near top) of woldwide happiness rankings. Large social safety-net programs probably play a key role in this, but sinc

    If 2016 was all about throwing things away a la Marie Kondo (

    ), then 2017 seems to be all about getting cozy.

    This is a beautifully designed little book which extolls the benefits of coziness/homebodyness and good friends/good food as the way to happiness. The Danes generally rank at the top (or near top) of woldwide happiness rankings. Large social safety-net programs probably play a key role in this, but since that's not easily or quickly replicated, the author advises that happiness can be found via candles, warm drinks, fireplaces and wool socks. Now, I like all of those things as much as the next person (probably more) but I'll just say that I'm glad I checked this one out from the library instead of buying this book in order to learn these pearls of wisdom.