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Lykke (Luu-kah) (n): Happiness

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the world's only Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. His job is to travel around the world, seeking out the happiest people and uncovering what they do differently. In The Little Book of Lykke, he reveals what he has found.

This captivating read features case studies from Bhutan to Australia, South Korea to Canada, France to Denmark, taking the reader on a happiness treasure hunt. Written in the same warm tone as Meik's phenomenal bestseller The Little Book of Hygge, this easy-to-understand book will change the way you think about how you relate to your neighbours, the rituals around cooking and eating dinner, and when to book your next holiday - and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published September 7, 2017

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About the author

Meik Wiking

16 books1,278 followers
Meik Wiking is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, research associate for Denmark at the World Database of Happiness, and founding member of the Latin American Network for Wellbeing and Quality of Life Policies.

He and his research have been featured in more than five hundred media outlets, including The Washington Post, BBC, Huffington Post, the Times (London), The Guardian, CBS, Monocle, the Atlantic, and PBS News Hour.

He has spoken at TEDx, and his books have been translated into more than fifteen languages.

He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,461 reviews
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
695 reviews1,073 followers
May 24, 2018
“If you want happiness for an hour - take a nap. If you want happiness for a day - go fishing. If you want happiness for a year - inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime- help someone else.”

This was a great concept, but I never really do well with non fiction. I find it doesn’t grip me and I lose interest. Therefore this book took me way longer than a fiction book of the same size would have.

Despite this, I liked the ideas portrayed on this book. Small ways we can improve our happiness and wellbeing, usually revolving around our attitudes and behaviours toward other people, including strangers.

The author had obviously done his homework. There was plenty of statistics and comparisons with different countries happiness levels. Overall, a very interesting read, just a bit difficult to remain interested throughout.

“Mindfulness is about being present. Right here, right now, in this moment, and being loving and kind to yourself. Whereas our thoughts usually revolve around the future or the past, mindfulness is all about the present moment.”
February 24, 2018
Overall a good book on lykke. If only it did not include weird political references... it might have gotten 5 stars.
I thought it might cheer me up to see the victory speech of the first female US president, so I turned on the news....
I was tired, and I was sad to hear that a lot of Americans would be facing four difficult years. In short, I was angry, tired, and sad. (с) For Christsake, how does the gender of the president fit into the happiness of the country. The electorate was 50/50, no matter who won, someone would have been disappointed and 'facing 4 difficult years'. Whining much? -2 stars for this
These days, it is easier to notice the fighting rather than what is fine. (c)
Her dad decided to change that and he took her on a treasure hunt around the city: to look for color, for beauty, and for the good in the world. (c)
Books are wonderful idea-spreaders. (c)
That is essentially my job as CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen: to measure, understand, and generate happiness. At the institute, we explore the causes and effects of human happiness and work toward improving the quality of life of people across the world. (c)
The summer solstice may be a pagan ritual, but to this day it remains my favorite tradition. The Nordic sun sets into a night without darkness and the bonfires are lit throughout the country to celebrate midsummer. Remember: Danes are the direct descendants of Vikings, so we enjoy watching things burn: bonfires, candles, villages. It’s all good. (c)
A couple who are sharing their fifty-two weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave are strolling along the waterfront. A group of students are swimming in the clean water in the harbor, carefree, because not only are there no university tuition fees, students also receive the equivalent of $790 (after tax) every month from the government. Everything runs smoothly in Denmark. Well, almost. Four years ago, one train did arrive five minutes late. The passengers each got a letter of apology from the prime minister and a designer chair of their choice as compensation. (с)
Whether you look at the English word companion, the Spanish word compañero, or the French copain, they all originate from the Latin com and panis, meaning “with whom one shares bread.” (c)
However, I believe the Danes are happy not despite the high taxes but because of the high taxes—and most Danes would agree. Almost nine out of ten people living in Denmark say they happily pay their taxes, according to a Gallup survey undertaken in 2014. It’s all about knowing that happiness does not come from owning a bigger car but from knowing that everybody you know and love will be supported in their time of need. What works well in the Nordic countries is an understanding of the link between the good life and the common good. We are not paying taxes; we are purchasing quality of life. We are investing in our community. (c)
In Danish, the word for community is fællesskab. Fællesskab can be split up into fælles, meaning “common” or “shared,” and skab, which can mean either “cabinet” or “create.” Not only is community our common cabinet (our shared supplies), it is also something we create together. I think there is some beauty in that.
Like the Germans, we Danes love compound words. Maybe it is because of the cold climate, but Danish words like to spoon. Råstofproduktionsopgørelsesskemaudfyldningsvejledning is the word for a manual to fill out a questionnaire about the production of raw materials. It is also the reason why Scrabble in Denmark is considered an extreme sport and is the number-one cause of wrist injuries. There are seventy words in the official Danish dictionary by the Society for Danish Language and Literature that have the word fællesskab in them. (c)
A cohousing scheme
A shared grave, e.g., where several people are buried together
A sense of community
A shared economy, e.g. when couples have a joint bank account
A shared destiny
A shared gender. Whereas most languages divide nouns into masculine and feminine, Danish nouns are divided into no gender and common gender—they are the hermaphrodites of nouns, if you will. (c)
The place is called Fælleshaven. Yes, it is another compound word. Fælles means “common” and haven means “garden.” It is a bofællesskab. Fællesskab means “community” and bo means “to live.” A bofællesskab is a cohousing scheme, which originated in Denmark but rapidly spread to the rest of Scandinavia and onward.(c)
...Bodil Graae, who wrote an opinion piece called “Children Should Have One Hundred Parents” in one of the major papers in Denmark... (c)
A couple of years ago, the Danish anthropologist Max Pedersen did a large study of seniorbofællesskaber, cohousing for the elderly, and found that “it is difficult to see the data and statements as other than a success for the bofællesskaber”: 98 percent reported feeling safe in their community, 95 percent were satisfied with their living situation—but I think the most interesting data was that 70 percent reported having at least four friends among their neighbors. (c)
How many languages do you speak? (Three on average. After a bottle of wine: five; before my morning coffee: barely one.) (c)
There is a bench in my courtyard right outside my kitchen window where I often sit and read. From the bench, you can see a tall chestnut tree and hear the wind in the leaves. The bench also functions as a semiprivate space—I can be by myself, but I am still close enough to the public space that people will say hello and ask about the book I’m reading. You won’t ever get to know your neighbors if you never see them. Spaces like this—front gardens and porches—are called soft edges, and studies show that streets with soft edges feel safer and people tend to stay in them longer. Just being out in front of your house gives a welcoming vibe that encourages interaction. Few people would dare come into your kitchen to say hello, but if you are in your front garden, people may get to know you and you them. Because of my outdoor reading spot, I’ve learned that, upstairs from me, live Peter and his daughter Katrine, and further up lives Majed, who has a fruit store (with delicious peaches), and the last time I met him he was going on his first bike ride in twenty years. Interestingly, noise from neighbors ceases to be annoying once you get to know their names and stories. (c)
A couple of years ago, I called my bank to see if I could borrow some money to buy a place to live. When I said that I studied happiness for a living, the man on the other end of the line went awfully quiet. Long story short, I was in my mid-thirties, single, and spent the next couple of months on my friend’s couch with his two cats. You know, living the dream. But I didn’t despair: I knew people had my back. (c)
One December around a decade ago, the British Medical Journal published an article called “Why Danes Are Smug: Comparative Study of Life Satisfaction in the European Union.” It concluded that the key factor in the high level of life satisfaction among the Danes was consistently low expectations for the year to come. “Year after year, they are pleasantly surprised to find that not everything is getting more rotten in the state of Denmark.” This conclusion has been repeated by the BBC and CNN, among others. There is only one tiny issue: the article was meant as a joke.
The December issue was a Christmas edition that also featured explanations for why Rudolph has a red nose (apparently, it is due to a high density of capillaries in his nose); and the article about the happy Danes also looked at the impact of a high share of blondes living in the country, the level of beer consumption (a reviewer suggested that Danes are happy because they are drunk when they participate in the surveys), and concluded that another reason was that beating Germany 2–0 in the Euro 92 Championship football final put Denmark in such a state of euphoria that the country has not been the same since.
Expectation makes the heart grow fonder. ...
Imagine you could have a kiss from anyone you want. Any celebrity. ...
Do you have someone in mind? If you do, then consider this: When would you want that kiss? Now? In three hours? In twenty-four? In three days? In one year? In ten years? ...
If you are like the respondents in a study undertaken by George Loewenstein, professor in economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and director of the Center for Behavioral Decision Research, you would want the kiss three days from now. Yes, someone actually researched this question. ...
The point is, in some circumstances, expectation can be a source of great joy. However, we must also be aware that, in others, expectation and ambition can be a source of misery. (c)
In Denmark, and throughout the Nordic countries, conspicuous consumption is being somewhat curbed because of Janteloven, or the Law of Jante. The “law” comes from a 1933 novel by Danish Norwegian Aksel Sandemose and can be boiled down to “You’re no better than us.” It promotes a culture where people of high status are criticized because they have been classified as better—or pretend to be better—than their peers. In English, this is known as tall poppy syndrome.
Where success may be enthusiastically flaunted in the US, humbleness is the bigger virtue in Scandinavia. Buy a luxury car with a personal license plate saying “SUCCESS” (as I saw in Riga, Latvia), and you can expect to have your car keyed within a day or two. (с)
the belief in the healing power of books is said to go as far back as ancient Egypt and Greece, where signs above libraries would let readers know that they were entering a healing place for the soul. More recently, psychologists at the New School for Social Research found that fiction books improve our ability to register and read others’ emotions and, according to an article in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, research also shows that literary fiction enhances our ability to reflect on our problems through reading about characters who are facing similar issues and problems. Basically, reading is free therapy. (c)
Ruby Receptionists has been named the number-one small company to work for in the US by Fortune magazine. When a new employee starts there, they are handed a “Smile File” and asked to write down every nice comment they receive from coworkers, clients, and their bosses. Why? Because people remember criticism far better than praise. It is an inexpensive approach we can apply in our personal lives to become more aware of the things that we do have, instead of focusing on what we don’t. Once a week, write down three to five things you are grateful for. Anything from “My family and friends are healthy” to “Coffee and the Rolling Stones,” but try also to elaborate on how they impact your life in a positive way. Studies show that translating our thoughts into concrete written language has advantages, compared to just thinking about it. It makes us more aware and increases the emotional impact. In recent years, “gratitude journals” have become more and more popular, but it is important not to treat these exercises as just another item on your to-do list. Also, studies show that it is better to do it occasionally—say, once a week—than every day, to keep it from becoming a routine. (c) This, I definitely want to do. It's immensely better than the annoying 'buddies' who are supposed to drag you aaround for a week, when you start working at some fucking companies!
“We have thousands of siblings in the study—so we can remove the effect of the parents. The happier brother is going to make more money later in life.” (c)
... great public spaces—like beautiful parks, bike paths, and walkable streets—function as social blenders; as equalizers in our cities and societies. We usually meet under the same conditions of social hierarchy. (c)
Moreover, when I ask our barista for a cup of coffee, I then walk five floors up to the top of the building and back down again, and the coffee is ready. It doesn’t take any more time and, as I drink four cups a day, it means I climb the stairs of a hundred-story building every week. Similarly, every two hours in front of the computer “costs” twenty-five push-ups.
Do I get embarrassed when colleagues catch me doing this?
Do I believe it is worth the embarrassment?
I do. (c)
Shinrin-yoku literally translates to “forest bathing,” or taking in the atmosphere of the forest, and refers to soaking up the sights, smells, and sounds of a natural setting to promote physiological and psychological health. The term was first coined in 1982 but, today, millions of Japanese walk along forty-eight “forest therapy” trails, to get their dose of what I guess could be labeled “outdoorphins.” (c)
Until the US addresses this issue, according to Oliver, the only message that should go out on Mother’s Day is: “Mothers—we owe everything to them. They gave birth to us, they nurtured us, and they made us who we are. And this Mother’s Day, we have just one thing to say to all the mothers out there: Get the fuck back to work.” (c)
Try out initiatives like Tuesday-morning quiet time, which may improve your sense of freedom at work. (c) Another cool takeout to promote efficiency and satisfaction at workplace.
ENCOURAGE PRAISE AMONG COWORKERS TO INCREASE TRUSTEmployee of the week is the one who has made their colleagues shine or told other people about their achievements. (c) This is likely too la-la land to be implementable anywhere with the possible exception of some companies in some countries.
Lars AP is the son of an American father and a Danish mother and the founder of the Danish movement Fucking Flink. Flink is Danish for “kind,” “nice,” “friendly,” “good-natured.”
In 2010, he published the book Fucking Flink: Can the Happiest People in the World Also Become the Fucking Friendliest? (c)
In fact, I think there should be a word for “the joy of complaining,” so let’s invent one: Beschwerdefreude. Obviously, it has to be in German, a language that has not only given us words like Weltschmerz (literal meaning, “world pain”; sadness caused by the state of the world) and Schadenfreude (joy experienced when others are suffering) but also has a word for a present you give as an apology (Drachenfutter—literally, “dragon fodder”) and the feeling you get when you are getting older and fear that opportunities are slipping away (Torschlusspanik), and Kopfkino (literally, “head cinema”; the act of playing out an entire scenario in your mind). (c)
Let’s put a positive spin on the phrase “If you see something, say something.” If you see something that increases the happiness of you, your community, or the world as a whole, talk about it, write about it, film it, photograph it—and pass it on.
Most important, find out how you can have a positive impact on your world. On our world. We need more dreamers and doers. We need more creators of kindness, heroes of happiness, and champions of change.
The way the world is going, some might call this false hope—but there has never been anything false about hope.
And remember: there is no point in being a pessimist—that shit never works anyway. (c)
Profile Image for Christine Spoors.
Author 1 book444 followers
September 11, 2017
I am so glad that I loved this second book as much as I enjoyed The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well!

Lykke (Luu-kah) (n): Happiness

This book takes us on a treasure hunt, looking for the keys to happiness around the world. The book discusses togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust and kindness. I liked that the book still referred back to Denmark throughout as I love learning more about Denmark. This book not only helps you think about happiness, but also society, and ways in which the society you live in could improve.

I really enjoy Wiking's writing. He uses an interesting mix of facts, case studies, real stories from his life and statistics. The book is also filled with photographs and graphs which break things up and add to how cheerful and cosy it is. I'm always surprised by how easy these books are to read, despite the amount of information we get.

What I love the most about these books is that they make me think about my life. They make you take a step back and realise that there are little changes you can make to be happier. His books always leave me feeling motivated and inspired, and I love that. As everything is based on facts and statistics you learn more about the world, especially through the treasure hunt in this book.

Goodreads currently doesn't say if Wiking will be writing another book, but I really hope that he does. I'll buy it straight away!

Thank you to Penguin Life for sending me a copy to review!
Profile Image for Krystal.
1,445 reviews364 followers
February 26, 2019
What a charming little book! I read a lot of heavy spiritual books with the aim of learning how to lead a more fulfilling life and these tend to be dense and rich in material on the psyche. This was such a breath of fresh air! It was so refreshing to read about tangible ways of enhancing, not just my own quality of life, but the lives of those in my community. It's so simple!!

The writing is easy, and the facts serve to highlight, where too often statistics will overwhelm and detract from the message. This book uses evidence from studies all over the world, and even though it's inspired by the overall happiness of the Danish, it never comes across as snobbish. Rather, the intention here is simply to point out what works for different countries and social classes.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about people all over the world choosing happiness, and making small changes that have big positive effects. I loved that it suggested physical things that can be applied. I enjoyed the comparisons between cities and countries. It's just so beautifully positive!

Reading this book has made me want to go out and find little ways to do good that will bring happiness. The book's message is selfless and that's definitely rubbed off on me and inspired me to contribute more to society.

If you're someone who wants to contribute to your society, if you're depressed about the state of the world, if you feel like your life is missing something: this book is for you. And even if none of those is you, but you simply enjoy smiling? Read it. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Isabel.
51 reviews34 followers
January 7, 2018
I loved this book and I plan on reading it again, with a notebook at hand.
It made me smile, it made me think and it helped me realize what potential we all have.
Profile Image for Kristina.
851 reviews195 followers
October 21, 2017
That's literally happiness in a book form! 💞

Please, read it! I guarantee you that you'll feel inspired to do more with your life and loved ones!

I'd read anything that Meik writes in the future.
Profile Image for Scott.
259 reviews3 followers
February 6, 2018
I found this one to be pretty disappointing. The author apparently researches happiness through a think tank in Denmark. According to him, there are six elements to happiness: health, money, togetherness, trust, freedom, and kindness. Each chapter of the book goes over these elements: the meaning behind them, some studies showing some relationships within that element, and then some tips to get happier in that element. That all sounds pretty good, but in practice, I didn't find The Little Book of Lykke to be all that useful.

Firstly, each chapter felt a bit disorganized. They are mostly composed of a bunch of short sub-chapters that kind of relate to the overall super-chapter, but don't really relate to each other. Not all of the sub-chapters were particularly useful, either - often they'd just be about some study showing something too specific and non-actionable. It made for scattered reading, and made it difficult to incorporate the ideas into real life.

Secondly, many of the tips are very tough, if not impossible, to implement. A lot of chapters would just sort of say "well, in Denmark, the government's set up so you can do this really cool thing." Well... what does someone do in some other country with that information? Some of this might really be on me, though. In the Togetherness chapter, the author recommends some ways to get to know your neighbors, but his suggestions are absolutely terrifying to me. So maybe I'm just not committed enough to take good suggestions. Still, I would have appreciated some advice that was more achievable and more relevant to my situation.

Finally, I found the layout of the book to be pretty irritating. The type is really small. There are a ton of pictures that felt really unnecessary to me. And many of the graphs were poorly labeled - in particular, axes and units were not clearly indicated. If you're not going to fully explain the graph, why put it in the book?! I realize a lot of people really like the style of the book, though, so, again, maybe I'm just ornery.

There are some small things that I'm going to try to take from the book. First, I do want to exercise more, and, specifically, bike around more. This is kind of scary to me - I'm worried about getting hit by cars, and I've also had some back pain related to riding my bike - but I think really worthwhile. I think I am going to take some very small steps towards getting to know my neighbors - maybe offering cookies or something to people. I'd also like to try to eat meals more with other people. I plan to create a gratitude journal that I'll enter into once a week with three to five things that I'm grateful for. I'd like to look into joining a walking group and, in general take more walks in nature. One idea I thought was really interesting: a smile file, where you keep a record of all the nice things/compliments that you receive.

There are some nice nuggets in The Little Book of Lykke, but I think it's pretty skim-able. I wouldn't spend too much time on close reading, but use the book as a reference for some quick tips to make your life a little bit more pleasant.
Profile Image for Cody.
304 reviews69 followers
May 18, 2018
It's very interesting when you look at the world today and see it's many complexities, confrontations, and conundrums. Perhaps the innocence we once held in trying to obtain our dreams has led us to an unfortunate path of avarice of many forms. Maybe our scope of morality and justice has become distorted through the challenges we face as individuals. Whatever the psychological, sociological and political sources of today's woes, the fact that people like Meik Wiking are trying to approach these problems with proven facts and scientific knowledge is very welcoming to the conversation.

Some people may look at this book, it's author, his nationality, and subject matter and think this is a big opinionated piece on the justifications of the S word (Socialism). While certain aspects of that are presented based on how high Denmark and countries like it score in a variety of important subjects, this book isn't about that as much as it's about a need for humanity appreciate the little things in life and how in the grand scope of it all these little things really add up to something greater.

Wiking covers many subjects in an attempt to measure just what happiness can look like, from health to wealth to freedom to togetherness. It's appreciative that Wiking continued to state that Denmark and Scandinavia don't hold a monopoly on happiness as there are many countries that celebrate well-being in different but effective ways. Take the Netherlands for example, which holds a "Neighbours Day" each year to better foster friendship among it's communities, or Rio de Janeiro Brazil, which according to studies has the kindest people which are most likely to help a person in need walking down a street. And yes, there are some examples of the United States excelling in projects centered around well-being and happiness.

The differences between the United States and Denmark is quite interesting to look at in this book. Take the subject of taxes. Danish citizens are happy to pay 45% of their income towards taxes, knowing that this money will become an investment in their communities and country. Juxtapose that with an American's view of taxes. While Americans are sure to understand the importance of taxes to the U.S., they take a more combative stance due to the ingrained psychological mistrust of government bureaucracy combined with a different sense of individualism and relationship to the state. Perhaps this is an extension of the very revolution that gave birth to the nation, but it's very interesting to see those differences between the two western countries, not that either are particularly wrong or right. Can the Danish model be completely transplanted on the United States? This is a long and complicated question to answer, but in short, yes and no, but in terms of well-being there are a few examples of Danish successes that the United States can attempt.

If one could find fault with the book, it's that the examples can be too vaguely contemplated. It provides excellent examples, but sometimes the logistical probability of such examples can be daunting. What Wiking is trying to state isn't something as complex and turning every country into a Denmark clone. His real message is this: smile more, help your neighbours and friends, create a sense of togetherness, volunteer in your community, be less pessimistic, etc. These small things really add up, and hopefully down the road we are all better accomplishing them the best we can.
Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
451 reviews6,938 followers
October 7, 2017
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction

*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

Oh what a lovely little book.

Just like Meik Wiking’s other book – The Little Book of Hygge – this book is just so beautifully made. From the content itself to the design of each page, this is one of those books I can imagine myself coming back to many a time, if only to flick through the pages. Like I said with Hygge, it could be given as a gift, and just owning it is a joy.

Granted, I didn’t quite enjoy this as much as I did The Little Book of Hygge. Since this one was specifically about happiness, some of the devices used throughout the book just seemed to come across as a bit of a “self-help” book instead. If you said “tips on how to gain maximum levels of cosiness” vs “tips on how to be happy”…well, I think you can tell which one sounds like a self help book. Which seemed to throw me off a bit for some reason. I think because talking about cosiness can really bring about that overall atmosphere and comforting feeling, whereas talking about happiness didn’t quite bring about as strong a reaction from me. Think of that what you will.

That, paired with my sheer inability to relate to most of the examples given, would probably count for why I didn’t adore this one as much. A lot of the time this book talks about being a parent or having a busy working 9-5 life, neither of which I have.

That being said, it was still really interesting to read. I found the facts and random scatterings of anecdotes a nice way to section everything off, while providing a wider insight into the topic overall. While not all of the “tips” seemed achievable in my everyday life, I loved seeing the small stories of how they had worked for other people and the active changes people made throughout their lives. Just a small glimpse into another culture was enough to keep me interested throughout.

So while it didn’t quite wow me as much as The Little Book of Hygge, I would still highly recommend to those of you who have any bague interest in it whatsoever. It’s a stunning book to flip through, and you never know – you might find something new along the way too!
Profile Image for Beth Bonini.
1,291 reviews279 followers
October 2, 2017
The world definitely needs more Lykke right now . . . and one of the most profound points that the author makes in this book is that individual happiness and communal happiness are inextricably linked. Focusing on six major indicators of happiness - togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust and kindness - Wiking breaks down why some communities (or countries) are doing a better job than others in creating happy citizens. Inequality, unfairness and injustice are the 'enemy', while empathy, trust and cooperation are demonstrated to be 'the way forward'. The author Meik Wiking keeps the tone light, and he is partial to puns and jokes. It's obvious that he not only wants to make this book fun and easy to read, but he wants to 'preach' without being preachy in the sanctimonious sense. There are bright colours, cute illustrations, beautiful photography and ideas that are put forth in the most straightforward way - even though he does refer frequently to academic research. My only criticism is that it feels a little too 'shiny, happy' and bullet-pointed at times; but on the other hand, I think that the simplicity of the book is important for the egalitarian 'anyone can do it' attitude of the book. I definitely took some notes and have some take-away ideas from reading it. In truth, I would probably only rate this book a 3.5, but in the spirit of positivity which the book encourages, I am rounding up.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,338 reviews97 followers
April 24, 2020
this book had some lovely ideas about happiness and spending time with friends and family. ( which would be wonderful) But, I had trouble with all the bragging. I know the Danish people have it made, what with free college and healthcare, but do they have to rub it in? We have some cool stuff in the ol U. S of A, too. Maybe not as good as free college tuition, but cool stuff. We have baseball. We have democra...hmm. Oh, we have a president who is...hmmm. Well, we have baseball.
Profile Image for Rachel.
594 reviews28 followers
February 7, 2023
“We are spending money we don’t have to buy stuff we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.”

Lykke (Luu-kah) is the Danish word for happiness, and this little self-help manual is created by Denmark’s Meik Wiking who is a happiness researcher. It is a fairly light read with no particularly earth-shattering concepts but sometimes it is nice to be reminded to exercise more, spend more time in nature and connect with community. Wiking goes through his six elements of happiness: health, money, togetherness, trust, freedom, and kindness. Despite the references to happiness statistics and examples from places around the world it is a very Euro-centric read. There are many examples of Denmark doing well with social innovations such as 12 months paid parental leave for everyone. While some of these government initiatives are in no way achievable in many countries, I did find it interesting to learn about what is done differently there. It does make me wonder why our government has seemingly so little interest in the wellbeing of its people.

This book was a much drier read than the hygge one, with a large proportion of the book being full of statistics and the result of experiments, but I applaud him for carrying out this research, it feels a bit like going out on a limb but an important one. On a personal note, the example used about happiness in my country was about people I know: talk about a small world!

My favourite line was, “The summer solstice may be a pagan ritual, but to this day it remains my favorite tradition. The Nordic sun sets into a night without darkness and the bonfires are lit throughout the country to celebrate midsummer. Remember: Danes are the direct descendants of Vikings, so we enjoy watching things burn: bonfires, candles, villages. It’s all good.”
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,032 reviews1,424 followers
June 21, 2018
This short self-improvement book was created with the intention of guiding the reader towards a happier existence by adopting some of the facets from the Danish way of living. As much as I appreciated the anecdotes about Danish life and the multitude of data that was compiled and included to back up each of the theories towards their continuing happiness, I found little to take away from this and assimilate into my own life. Listening to a few chapters every morning was an uplifting way to start the day, but after reading a number of similar titles I found nothing that made this ultimately memorable.
Profile Image for Marieke | Marieke's Books.
545 reviews117 followers
October 11, 2017
Toen ik zag dat er een nieuw boek was van de schrijver van Hygge: de Deense kunst van het leven, wist ik dat ik dit boek ook wilde lezen. Dus ik reserveerde hem bij de bibliotheek, haalde hem op en begon meteen!

In Lykke vertelt de schrijver over geluk. Hoe kunnen we gelukkig worden? Welke dingen spelen allemaal een rol bij geluk? En hoe zorg je zelf voor een gelukkiger leven? Voor dit boek heeft de schrijver heel veel onderzoeken gelezen. En daarnaast heeft hij zelf ook veel onderzoeken naar geluk gedaan. Deze worden allemaal beschreven in dit boek, meestal met een afbeelding om het onderzoek te verhelderen. De vormgeving hiervan is geweldig, net zoals dat bij Hygge: de Deense kunst van het leven ook zo was. Maar in dit boek vond ik de afwerking iets minder goed. Bij sommige tabellen en grafieken had ik geen idee wat er precies werd afgebeeld. Soms stond dit uitgelegd in de tekst, maar soms was die informatie nergens te bekennen. En dat vond ik jammer.

De schrijfstijl van dit boek is net zo vlot als zijn andere boek. Je vliegt echt door de hoofdstukken. Door kleine anekdotes en grapjes van de schrijver blijft het boek lekker lezen. Maar er zat wel meer herhaling in dit boek dan in zijn vorige boek. Er worden 3 bladzijdes gewijd aan een voorval en datzelfde voorval wordt in de laatste bladzijde van hetzelfde hoofdstuk alwéér aangehaald. Dat vond ik toch een beetje jammer.

Al met al ben ik blij dat ik dit boek gelezen heb hoor! Het concept is enorm interessant en het boek is ontzettend mooi vormgegeven. Maar ik ben ook wel weer blij dat het uit is, want ik ging mij wel een beetje storen aan de vele herhalingen.
Profile Image for Kirsty.
2,689 reviews177 followers
November 8, 2017
Publishers certainly seem to be milking the current interest in Scandinavian lifestyle books; The Little Book of Lyyke: The Danish Search for the World's Happiest People is by the author of The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, which I found rather lovely. The intention of Wiking's second book is 'to take you treasure hunting; to go in pursuit of happiness; to find the good that does exist in the world - and to bring this into the light so that, together, we can help it spread.' It is more of a 'how to' book than anything, really, giving hints and tips for ways that we can live better lives.

I admire Wiking's intentions, and thought that the book on the whole was rather an interesting approach to tapping into worldwide happiness, but it did not quite live up to The Little Book of Hygge in my opinion. The Little Book of Lykke feels rather choppy, made up as it is of long sections with lots of very small chapters which do not tend to really link up into any kind of cohesion. The case studies were a nice inclusion, but it did not quite come together for me.
Profile Image for Jo.
3,289 reviews119 followers
August 31, 2017
I won this in the giveaways in exchange for an honest review. Following on from The Little Book of Hygge, Wiking looks at happiness around the world and talks about the studies he's done. This is a beautifully presented little book with illustrations and photographs throughout. I'm not sure if I agree with everything but we all definitely need a little more care and joy in our lives.
Profile Image for ✨ kathryn ✨.
239 reviews19 followers
August 29, 2019
More of a research publication than The Little Book of Hygge, The Little Book of Lykke gives genuine and attainable ways to be a happier person and spread some of that happiness around. I personally loved the sections on money, trust, and kindness. A cracking and worthwhile read.
Profile Image for Laurelas.
450 reviews188 followers
March 3, 2018
Chouette lecture légère, inspirante et inspirée sur le bonheur à travers le monde. Le ton de Meik Wiking est léger et drôle, et quand on referme ce livre on se dit qu'il faudrait sans doute faire plus de choses comme nos voisins danois !

Pas forcément à lire d'une traite, mais à picorer, feuilleter de temps à autres pour se souvenir de prendre le temps du bonheur...
Profile Image for Rebecca.
1,035 reviews55 followers
October 30, 2017
This was an interesting read. There was quite a lot of information about happiness and what can make people happy. I didn't love this one as much as his first book but I still quite enjoyed this one.
Profile Image for Gabriela Karadzhova.
58 reviews13 followers
September 13, 2019
Имах нужда от ударна доза ПОЗИТИВИЗЪМ ❤️❤️❤️ Страхотна книга. Бих я препопъчала на всеки. ❤️
Profile Image for Paulina│ ArbataSuKnyga.
102 reviews70 followers
June 29, 2019

Tokia šviesi, tokia naivi, tokia švelni ir tokia rėkte rėkianti apie OPTIMIZMĄ. Pirmoji šio autoriaus knyga „Mažoji laimės knyga: HYGGE“ suėjo visai neblogai – perskaičius 2017 metais įvertinau ją keturiomis žvaigždutėmis, tai kodėl šį kartą mažiau?
+ už patarimus, kurie bus tikrai pritaikyti ir naudingi. Tik pusė iš jų, nes, jei daryčiau ir kitą dalį jų realiame gyvenime, esu tikra, būčiau neteisingai suprasta;
+ už tą išlaikytą jaukumą, kuris buvo ryškus ir „Hygge“ knygoje. Toks ramumas ir jaukumas (iki tol kol jo nenustelbia šauksmingas pozityvumas) sklinda tuose tikrose istorijose – taip jauku, kaip barbenant lietaus lašams skaityti knygą, užsigeriant šilta mėgstama arbata;
- už tą rėkiantį pozityvumą, kuris iš pradžių buvo linksmokas, tačiau kūriniui irstantis į priekį pradėjo erzinti. Aš gal pernelyg pesimistė, kad mane erzina toks išsišokimas ir staigus laimės priepuolis;
- už tai, kad nieko naujo nepasakė, ko nebūtų minėjęs ir pirmoje laimės knygų serijoje. Tik daug statistikos. Naujos statistikos. Apie tai, kaip Danija pirmauja. Rimtai?;
- u�� išaukštinamąjį žodį Danijai. Pabambėsiu – taip, jau suprantau pirmoje dalyje, kaip tiesiog nuostabiai Jūs, ten Danijoje gyvenate, bey dėl Dievo meilės, gal jau gana.
Šis kūrinys labai primena tą girtą dėdę šeimos baliukuose, kuris ne tik, kad aiškina Tau, kaip Tu turėtum gyventi savo gyvenimą, bet ir naudojasi vieninteliu pusbroliu iš visos giminės, kuris, pasak jo, yra giminės pasididžiavimas, nors visa likusi giminė mato koks jis totalus lūzeris (nenoriu pasakyti, kad Danija yra lūzerių šalis, bet toks išaukštinimas priminė tokią buitišką situaciją). Patiks pozityvumo pilniems žmogeliams, kurie nuolat ieško kaip padidinti savo laimės kiekį savyje.
Profile Image for Йоана.
85 reviews6 followers
January 31, 2022
3,5* Увлекателно написана с разкошни картинки. Към края става доста подробна с примери, които не ми бяха интересни и затова намалявам оценката.
Profile Image for Biljana.
316 reviews74 followers
May 13, 2018
Nakon The Little Book of Hygge, objavljene 2016., prošla godina donijela je svojevrsni nastavak: The Little Book of Lyke, ili kako u hrvatskom prevodu glasi - Lykke - Potraga za najsretnijim ljudima na svijetu.

Lykke je podijeljena na devet poglavlja od kojih šest govore o dijelovima slagalice koji ljude čine srećnijim: zajedništvo, novac, zdravlje, sloboda, povjerenje i ljubaznost, a unutar ovih šest poglavlja nalaze se razrada teme, savjeti i primjeri drugih ljudi.

Obogaćena brojnim statističkim podacima i istraživanjima iz Danske, ali i ostatka Evropske unije i svijeta, Lykke je pravo malo putovanje u srž svakodnevnih iskustava koja nas čine srećnijim.

Moram napomenuti da se nigdje u ovim brojnim statistikama i anketama ne pominju države zapadnog Balkana, što svakako ne umanjuje interesovanje prilikom čitanja, naprotiv, Lykke nam može poslužiti za poređenje kako se druge države brinu o dobrobiti svojih građana, i koliko to utiče na kvalitet života i količinu sreće kod ljudi, što je i glavna tema.

Od predivnih korica, preko još ljepših ilustracija i fotografija, Lykke nas uči kako da budemo bolji prema drugima, a ujedno i prema sebi, i kako da svakodnevnim sitnicama poboljšamo kvalitet života.

P.S. Hygge i Lykke na hrvatskom možete naći u izdanju ''Mozaika'' ili naručiti ''Penguin'' izdanja na engleskom.
Profile Image for Ksenia (vaenn).
436 reviews207 followers
February 25, 2018
Книжка Міка Вікінга про хюґе пояснювала, як жеж бідні данці виживають посеред своєї споконвічної сірості. А оця книжечка уже про щастя взагалі - вірніше, про роботу Міка Вікінга та те, чим вона (на його думку) є корисною. Він ділиться статистикою, роз'яснює, на які критерії вони спираються в роботі Інституту дослідження щастя, докладно аналізує ці критерії, розкладає по шухлядках, аналізує реальні кейси, що в ці шухлядки гарно вкладаються - таке всяке. Заразом трішки філософствує про природу щастя та дає практичні поради на щодень. Поради місцями слушні, місцями... страшенно далекі від народу (проте Вікінг - дядько чесний, він відкрито визнає, що він працює переважно зі стадією "Уже їдять тістечка", тобто за проблеми щастя третього світу шериф не береться). А от все, що стосується соціології та економтеорії - читалося дуже захопливо. Ще тут багато гарних картинок, не дуже багато про хюґе (а от прикладів з данських реалій чимало) і лейтмотив про "В основі індивідуального щастя лежить загальне благополуччя, давайте попрацюємо над загальним благополуччям!". І з цього приводу навіть не дуже кортить понатякати на рожеві окуляри. В данців-бо справді воно якось працює.
Profile Image for Charlotte Langstroth.
98 reviews10 followers
December 10, 2017
“Everything runs smoothly in Denmark. Well, almost. Four years ago, one train did arrive five minutes late. The passengers each got a letter of apology from the prime minister and a designer chair of their choice as compensation.”
I read “The Little Book Of Lykke” on and off between being in Denmark and now - so nearly two months. A long time for such a short book but I wanted to be able to relate the content and practices in reflection to my own lifestyle.
From front to back this is like a little bible of well being. It’s full of personal stories, case studies and statistics mixed with considered photographs and illustrations. One thing that made is so enjoyable for me (and a definite ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) is that it doesn’t actually feel like I’ve read a book - it feels like I’ve been part of a conversation. Miek’s way of writing is so witty, personal, supportive - never pessimistic and never dense. Mange tak Miek 😊🇩🇰
Profile Image for Ali Caitrin.
18 reviews32 followers
September 6, 2017
I have been a big fan of Meik ever since I read The Little Book of Hygge. With that in mind, I had high hopes for his next book and it has still managed to exceed my expectations!

Meik understands that each of us are unique and I loved that he shared what can make people happy from all over the world, not just the Danes. He also didn't write this book to tells us all the answers but instead gives us a 'treasure map' to help us on our journey!

If you're looking for a read that'll make you smile and give you some motivation along the way, The Little Book of Lykke is the book you need.

Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me a proof copy in exchange for a review :)
Profile Image for Hannah.
194 reviews
January 2, 2018
The Little Book of Lykke was my first read of 2018, and it was the perfect choice to start the year off positively. I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s an excellent follow-up book to The Little Book of Hygge, full of inspiration for how you can participate in creating a kinder, happier world. You’ll want to be a better person after reading it.
Profile Image for Mollyvknize.
169 reviews355 followers
September 24, 2018
Lykke mě bavilo víc než Hygge - zřejmě proto, že mi i více předalo. Vizuálně je to opět skvost :)
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