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Book Review – August 2017

By Sarah Cournoyer, Beaver Dam Community Library

The Little Book of Hygge (pronounced HOO-GA): Danish Secrets to Happy Living (2017) Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen

Happiness. It is something we all want and there are so many ways of achieving it. Meik Wiking combines his institute’s research into happiness, wellbeing, and quality of life with the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced HOO-GA) in this gem of a book.

With chapters on topics like Food and Drink, Hygge in the Summer, Light, Togetherness, Home, Clothing, and the Five Dimensions of Hygge, it is full of all kinds of ideas for incorporating a little hygge (originating from the Norwegian word for “well-being” and used as both a verb and an adjective) into our own lives.

A few of my favorite tips:

  • Lighting matters – use lamps or candles to create cozy circles of warmth
  • Hot drinks are hygge and Danes drink 33% more coffee per capita than Americans
  • Good news for introverts: small social gatherings are more hygge than large parties
  • Sweets are hygge and so are stews and other slow food things to eat
  • Sweaters and wool socks are hygge

Hygge fits perfectly into the transition into fall as we celebrate the abundance of the harvest season, gather together with friends, begin the busy transition into the school year, and start to think about the coming winter season. I enjoyed reading this book in the tiny snippets that my busy life allows and since it is organized in brief segments within each chapter, it was the perfect read.

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