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How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,429 ratings  ·  197 reviews
The “Danish coziness” philosophy is fast becoming the new “French living” in terms of aspirational lifestyle books and blogs. There are countless viral articles comparing the happiness levels of Americans versus Danes. Their homes are more homey; their people are more cheerful. It’s an attitude that defies definition, but there is a name for this slow-moving, stress-free ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Joyful Mimi I recommend “A Year of Living Danishly”. Its been the best that I have read on the subject so far.

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 ·  1,429 ratings  ·  197 reviews


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Mil111
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Despite the author claiming several times that she wanted to avoid sounding pretentious this book is extremely pretentious! Its like the pretentious equivalent of saying "I'm not racist but..." which is always guaranteed to follow with a racist comment. Her assurances always end up following through with pretentious comments.

This book feels like there is lots of 'padding' in it in order to make it long enough for a book format. Many things are repeated and there are way too many pointless
...more
Shannon
Jan 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: home-lifestyle
I really wanted to like this book. From what I've previously read about hygge I'm interested in incorporating more coziness and simplicity into my lifestyle. However this book is the opposite of hygee. Incredibly over written, small text, limited photos and more like a text book than a how-to guide encouraging a simpler life. Personally the meat heavy diet doesn't appeal to my lifestyle or health but to each his own. Skip this book and check out hygge blogs and websites.
Jill Crosby
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Unbeknownst to me, a product of growing up in a lower middle-class home in a northern mid western state, I've been living the Hygge dream for most of my life.

The author spends a lot of time talking about "foraging" and "hunting," as Hygge Nordic pursuits, and maintains an air of "when I was a child, we loved climbing the mountains to look for the berries we'd have for dessert that night." Her Hygge experiences come across as luxury, and not necessity. In this, her appeal seems to be directed
...more
Kimber
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
this book is more about Scandinavian culture in general and not too much about the subject of hygge of which there is only scant advice on: use lots of candles, get some plants (succulents are recommended for their simplicity) and bouquets of flowers (one kind, not mixed) and preferably in odd groups such as 3, 5 or 7....

I have an affinity for the Nordic region and all of their principles of living, but this book was somewhat long-winded.
Amanda
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I initially had no plans to delve into the seeming fad of Hygge, but after learning what it is I realized how much it appealed to me and seemed like something I was already doing. So naturally I had to hit up the library and see what it is all about. Turns out it's not a fad, it's a way of life, specifically for Nordic countries. So much of it reminds me of my own upbringing, my lifestyle, or my parents' lifestyle. (I am, after all, of nordic descent.) Some of the food isn't quite to my taste, ...more
Corrie
Mar 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: e-book, 2017
This book should be titled How to be a Condescending Nordic Asshole: Why We Do Everything the Right Way and Everyone Else Does it Wrong.
Jill Courser
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was curious about all the buzz around hygge, so I checked this out at our local library (because it was the only book on the subject they had). This book was disappointing in many ways. There is an air of smug superiority throughout that I found off-putting. The author can't seem to sing the praises of nordic culture without slighting other views at the same time. It's not her love and pride of heritage that I found distasteful, but rather her repeated little comments about how wrong everyone ...more
Bobbi
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm very disappointed that this book was the first book I've read on the subject of Hygge. I found the author to be self-righteous and arrogant in the sense that she seems to imply that if you want a life built around the concept of Hygge you must follow her recipe to the letter...which apparently includes hunting and fishing, trekking through the woods, and being willing to stuff your body with meat, salt, and sugar. I'm all for a good hike or some snow-shoeing but that's not for everyone and ...more
Alexandra Consolver
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hygge
Full Review:

4 Stars - I recommend if you are looking to learn more about hygge.

A guide to hygge living, this book is filled with recipes, design tips, and memories from the author's childhood.

Starting out I enjoyed this book. I don't think it is a particularly good overview of Hygge. It sort of assumes that you already know something about it. I felt that the print was VERY small and I have pretty good eyesight. I enjoyed her Nordic mindset that bodies are looked at in the way of their
...more
Lisbet
Jun 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book felt like the author couldn't make up her mind if she was writing a pretentious, self-indulgent memoir of her perfect childhood in Norway, a cookbook, or a textbook on how to do everything the way she does (and then calling that way "HYGGE!" because hygge sells right now).

I grew up in Denmark and am very familiar with the concept of hygge, and sincerely hope no one thinks they can't find or create hygge in their life if they don't follow the author's often unrealistic idea of hygge
...more
Linda
May 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I do not believe this is how to hygge. I only got through about 30 pages but it was rather judgmental and condescending and that is not what this whole idea is about. I had to stop at the point where the author recommends having flowers in your house but says your bouquets should contain flowers all of one shade because mixed bunches are twee. That might just be the most pretentious thing I've ever heard. Who are you to judge my mixed bouquets, lady? Anyway, you're writing a book about hygge and ...more
Conny
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I got the book because in this day and age I really wanted to incorporate more of the Hygge lifestyle that I kept hearing about. Unfortunately I ordered the book as soon as it came out and did not read any reviews about it beforehand, if I had I would have shopped around for other books on the subject. The book was lovely to look at but it really did not inspire me as much as I thought it would and I pretty much did all the things already, apart from fishing and hiking. For whatever reason I ...more
Jenny
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
I read this out of curiosity about the trend of hygge. An interesting peek into Nordic lifestyle. However, from this author's representation, nothing that I haven't read before from Charlotte Mason, Edith Schaeffer, Amish officiandos, etc. At the core is a lifestyle centered around keeping simple the activities of nature and outdoor living , food and hospitality, family and friends with an eye to enjoyment of the good gifts of life.
Dustin
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this from the library and it was so good I bought a copy for my coffee table ...more
Aubrie
Mar 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did I miss something? I thought Hygge was about comfort as a lifestyle - this book just made me anxious and actually a bit angry. Near the beginning, Signe Johansen talks about how living in the country is better and that "studies show" city living makes people stressed and they don't live as long. There are no sources to this. There are actually a LOT of rural suicides, at least as far as I know in America. There are also a lot of risks for those who are farther away from a life-saving ...more
Kelsey
Mar 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Overall, I was disappointed in this book. I'll start with the positive: beautiful illustrations, author's writing style is friendly and some very good recipes. I also enjoyed the author's writing style.

On the negative side, I think this book is really about Nordic living and not hygge. It is also more of a recipe book than a book about hygge. The author is a food writer.

But my biggest negative is that I disagree with her definition of hygge. This is perhaps because the author is not Danish. My
...more
Nicole
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
More than a little holier than thou about common sense things like 'go outside', 'find activities you like', and utterly lacking in actual information. The recipes are nice, but loaded with un-purchasable ingredients. Not even really a fun read to make up for it, and in ebook format, the food photos are too small to enjoy.
Debra Chiczewski
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why so many readers have negative views of this book. I found it delightful in terms of enjoying life, simple pleasures, good food, family and friends, and decorating. There are always new ideas or thoughts to gain learning and I found them in this book.
Alex DK
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-reviews
Check out my full review:
https://lifeonacanadianisland.blogspo...
Mark N.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a cozy little book, would make for a good gift (FYI: Hygge is not Swedish kung-fu).
Jacqueline
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, 2017
Focuses on how being active outdoors and cooking/baking can foster hygge, the Danish practice of coziness. The book does include a number of recipes that might be of interest (I just skimmed these), but I found Meik Wiking's The Little Book of Hygge to be a better, more informative, and helpful holistic guide to adopting this lifestyle. Johansen's narrative is more about what she likes to do whereas Wiking's gives a better view of what hygge means in many different forms.
Davenport Public Library
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The word hygge has been showing up on social media and blogs a lot lately. It’s a funny looking word to those of us unfamiliar with it, but it describes a concept that is common in the Nordic countries. A Danish/Norwegian word, hygge (pronounce “hoo-ga”) roughly translates as “a feeling of coziness” and includes connecting with friends and family in meaningful ways, finding pleasure in simple things and embracing the outdoors. Maybe because countries like Finland and Norway and Sweden endure ...more
Hugs
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was a wonderful book from which I took many insights I will use in life!
Nikki
Much of what I said about The Little Book of Hygge applies to this one too. Signe Johansen is maybe a little bossier than Meik Wiking, and the book is illustrated with lovely photographs. The recipes she gives seem to include many ingredients that would be difficult to find in the US (it appears she lives in England now) so I will probably stick with the Danish-American Fellowship Cookbook from Minneapolis and various church cookbooks for cooking and baking hyggelig foods. I'd maybe recommend ...more
Moonstone
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sold-on
I didnt enjoy this book as much as some others I have read on the subject of Hygge. The so called Health Hedonism was confusing, p22 says steer clear of so called healthy treats that value virtue over flavour and calling healthy foods such as chia seeds, dates and avocado flavourless mush. About a third of the book is devoted to recipes of things that do not really appeal to me.
Jeni
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
If you are looking for a book that vaguely relates Every. Single. Aspect. Of Nordic society to Hygge - you're going to love this book. I wasn't and so I didn't. This book is a history/economics book with the word Hygge thrown in occasionally.
Juli Anna
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Too wordy for a cookbook, too rambling for an informative guide; I don't know what this is. Lifestyle porn, that is what. I did copy down her recipe for boozy hot chocolate made with Ovaltine, though...
Sarah
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
I did not like the author's tone in this book. She was up on her high horse about how everyone should be humble and get back to nature, essentially shaming anyone who didn't do what she did. Bottom line, she needed a better editor to bring her back down to earth.
Deborah
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The art of comfort and cozy and embracing simplicity. ...more
Nyx
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
After a few chapters, I started skipping the parts that were completely irrelevant, and promptly finished the book!
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