Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Book Love: The Little Book of Hygge

If you follow any blogs or listen to podcasts or paid attention to hot book titles in the last few months, you've probably heard of hygge.  I was first introduced to it when reading My Year of Living Danishly earlier this year (review here).  Then all of a sudden this hygge trend started to pop up every where.  Podcasts, blogs, books, nobody I knew in real life was talking about it (maybe because none of us know how to pronounce it?) but it was all over the internet.


I picked up this book, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living after hearing Sherry mention it on the Young House Love has a Podcast podcast.  I've gotten quite a few good book recs through their blog and so when she praised this one I immediately added it to my TBR (to be read) and placed it on hold with the library.  When I did that it was still winter and cold and the idea of being cozy inside was very appealing.

By the time my copy came in it was late April but thanks to weird weather, it was still cold outside.  As I type this, my feet are FREEZING.  Even being inside in May.  So while I thought it would be weird reading this book about coziness in the spring, it turned out to be perfect timing.

So, what is hygge?  This book describes it as:
...everything from "the art of creating intimacy," "coziness of the soul," and "the absence of annoyance," to "taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things," "cozy togetherness," and my personal favorite, "cocoa by candlelight".
So basically a lot of my favorite things.

Hygge is at it's strongest in the winter, especially in December, when you can fully immerse yourself in things like blankets, good books, a roaring fire, candles, and delicious foods.  It's togetherness and being social but not fancy socializing, the filled with traditions and cozy kind that usually comes with the holidays.

But there is also summer hygge which is things like outdoor movies (hello, drive-in, for which I have professed our love more than once), grilling outside (even more hygge with a beer in hand), playing board games (a frequent activity at the lake), having a camp fire (camping, at the lake), and enjoying easy time together, often outside.

Hygge is not screen time or electronics or anything pretentious.  It's the comfortable, wonderful parts of life.

Hygge might be one of those flash fads (at least state-side) but what I loved about this book is how it emphasized how wonderful these hygge type moments and feelings are.  So many times when I was reading I was nodding along thinking of how much I enjoy the things he was describing.  How I have so many happy memories of the drive-in and cooking around a camp fire and having cookouts in the backyard and celebrating those easy, happy, cozy moments with loved ones.  Hygge seems to entail so many of the best parts of a rich, full life.

I also liked a look at another culture, this one from an insider, native Dane.  I find it fascinating to learn how other people live, especially in other cultures.  I may have strange feelings about their welfare state but they do seem to have a few things figured out.

This was a really easy, quick read, with many pictures and graphs which made the pages turn super fast.  Even if you know nothing about hygge and avoid whatever the trends are, there is so much to enjoy in this little book.  It was a delightful read.
Hygge is about making the most of what we have in abundance: the everyday.
Goodreads | Amazon

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