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Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living
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Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  2,508 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Discover the Swedish ethos of balanced living with this little book of Lagom.

The Swedish concept of Lagom (pronounced "lah-gom") roughly translates to "not too little, not too much, just right." This charming book introduces readers to a new way of balanced living that promises happiness and sustainability in work and in life. Lagom provides simple solutions to juggle everyday prior
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Running Press Adult (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  2,508 ratings  ·  285 reviews

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Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweden, 2017
*** There are two recently published books on lagom with not only similar titles, but they are also similar in size and cover design. My review of Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life can be found here:

“Happiness in a sustainable sense is not about extremes.” (p 151)

Lagom is about balance, having not too little, not too much, but just enough. Linnea Dunne not only defines lagom, but captures the very essence of it in her writing on the
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
This book isn’t as good as the Hygge book but still parts of it were interesting. I wanted to read this only to learn about Swedes and how they lead a happy life. Also because of the amazing IKEA from Sweden. I really want to move to Europe after reading books like these - the quality of life seems to be so much better compared to the rat race that we are part of.
Debbie Young
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Swedish or more broadly Nordic attitude to life
Interesting insights into Swedish society and values, expounding at length the philosophy of moderation in all things and citing many ways to embrace it in our own lives.

Like last winter's books on the Danish concept of Hygge, the basic concept is a valid antidote to our over-indulgent, consumerist age, promoting a more eco-friendly and considered lifestyle.

A few details struck me as oddly untraditional, e.g. the recommendation to make your main Friday night meal tacos an
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-life
I never knew how well I would fit in with the Swedish (having no Scandavian heritage that I know of) but I found myself saying "I do this! I do this! I do this!" I even drive a Volvo, a car of practicality and quality over stylishness or trendyness. Much like Swedish philosophy. Work/life balance, sustainability, decluttering, second-hand shopping/frugality, love of fine coffee, Minimilism & living well over living large. This is all the fine Swedish art of balance. Lagom means "just the rig ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not a “profound” book by any means, but a clean-cut, tidy little book about happiness and healthy, mindful living that was a great pick-me-up in the middle of winter. I love a lot of the Swedish ideology this book promotes: taking time to be in nature, avoidance of consumerism and wastefulness, taking more time to be with friends and just BE with others...sounds like the Swedes might be doing some things right that ‘Merica’s got wrong if this book is any indication.

Illustrations: I’m a sucker f
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A bit overrated? The only thing that added value was the definition of the word lagom itself. All of the other information can be found in the brochures given in Swedish tourist information offices (which I remember doing). Recipe for cinnamon buns? Seriously (and that was in those brochures too). I would appreciate more research done on Swedish people than just WHO and UN facts.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This book talks about the Swedish concept of lagom, or just enough, seeking balance, etc. It has a few pages of text on various aspects of lagom with photos and graphics, covering food, home, community, work, clothing, and discussion of sustainability. It was interesting to learn more about Swedish culture. The Swedes have a very admirable approach to work-life balance (parents receive generous time off until their children are age 8 - up to 480 days for mothers or fathers), they leave work on t ...more
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lagom, the name for Swedish balanced living can be described as aiming for "not too Little, not too much, just right" The emphasis in all parts of life, from consuming goods, preparing food, enjoying the outdoors, communing with nature and friends is on the good of the collective rather than on any one person or group. Sweden is known to be one of the top ten countries in the world with contented, happy people. The author Linnea Dunne answers the question, why would one adopt Lagom with the answ ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
I've been a bit obsessive this year with Swedish/Danish living having read The Little Book of Hygge, The Little Book of Fika and now Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living. This one was a bit more robust than the latter two.

According to Dunne, lagom roughly translates into "just enough". It's striking the balance of life and basically, enjoying things in moderation. It's really not rocket science- working enough to live not living to work, spending time with family and friends, sustainability, choosing qual
Timandra Whitecastle
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a quirky illustrated beautiful book that I’m going to give 4.5 stars.

It’s main problem was that I read it just after finishing Meik Wiking‘s Hygge and Lykke books - and I simply liked them just a little bit more. Maybe the Danish book hangover colored my impression? So I wouldn’t give it the full 5 stars - I just didn’t love it as much - but I think it’s still a great book that embraces a certain moderate no-nonsense approach to life that really resonated with me.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found it too quick of a read with too much brand name dropping and no substance. I get that the suggestions are not viable for everyone everywhere but the tone of the book implies that the writer is unaware of that fact. Cute design and lovely illustrations. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more as a beach read where I am less likely to be cranky about basic lifestyle books.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I must admit I picked it up solely for its "looks." It's a lovely book with beautiful illustrations. As for the content... I don't know what to think of it. The book could as well be named "The Swedes Are Perfect", which is ridiculous. Plus, the whole philosophy is nothing groundbreaking, most of us already live by those "rules." I gave it 3 stars mostly for the aesthetics.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Friendly little book on the art of "not too little, not too much, just right" in all aspects of one's life
I really enjoyed it and it fit well with the book I just read on hygge. :)
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd say 3.5 stars. One of the less twee Nordic lifestyle books I've encountered, but I probably should stop now. I think there are only so many times you can read about natural-fiber textiles, Jante's Law, high-quality universal healthcare, and mandatory paternity leave without wanting to tear your own eyes out.

However, this is pretty cute. The pictures are nice, the illustrations are adorable, and the recipes seem good. People who are taking it as mad prescriptivist seem to be missing the poin
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I was interested in reading about Lagom, as Hygge has been something that has really interested me this year and I wanted to learn about this concept as well. Because it was marketed the same way (cutesy small book), I assumed lagom and hygge were very similar. While they share similar concepts I think I vibe more with lagom, as it's all about practicality and balance, something I strive for (and frankly I think it's one of my Libra traits as well, haha). I'm glad I read this book around the end ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mindfulness
Overall, 3.5.

Physical aesthetics of the book: 5 stars, absolutely. A great, minimalist feel while the embossing and matte, sturdy cover give it weight in hand. Really love it.

At the end, the author admits it’s a lightweight skimming of a deep concept and offers only a wee bit of practical advice for incorporating Lagom into the hectic, insatiable, and omnivorous melee that is American-style living... And while I loved it on the whole, it was all just too brief and almost
Melissa Taylor
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and enjoyable read

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book; it really made me think about some of the changes I could make to make my like simpler and I love the focus on community (making your neighbour a batch of cinnamon buns - why not). I am interested in learning about other cultures so this was a great read for me.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am always fascinated by these books embracing different ways of living to improve our lives. This is another beautiful book that encourages you embrace Lagom - the Swedish way of living - it is fascinating read as you read the theory behind the practice and it shares ideas about how to be just enough 'Lagom'.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bad-reads
Doesn't deserve even one star. This book is an advertisement for Swedish brands instead of a book about Swedish lifestyle. Unless you want to read about various fashion and furniture companies leave this book on the shelf. I couldn't make it past 60% of the book before I disgustedly abandoned it.
Oliver Grin
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book cover-to-cover in just about one day (it’s a quick read). The next day I picked it up again, started with the last chapter, and reread the whole thing backwards. ‘Lagom’ is a word which cannot be succinctly or holistically translated into English, and it deals with a concept which resides within extremes; things which are just right, just enough, just. Maybe this is why I had to read the book twice. Not because it was poorly written or overly complicated, but because I didn’t fe ...more
Julie K
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lagom is the word so peculiar, yet for Swedes too much familiar, even a lifestyle it will become. Nothing much, nothing less, just enough for the happy nest. When you come to Sweden, soon you will see, how people live in modesty. As the book says to us that Swedes can enjoy their lives enough. At work by fika they abide, their home in simplicity occupy and in relationships with help they divide. Instead of vacations abroad, they will take a few days in lodge and rather of using a car they like t ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was fun to read about the Swedish culture, but this book didn't really tell me anything I did not already know or do in real life. So, I'd recommend it for a story about life in Sweden (with horrible overgeneralisations - "the Swedish" do this) but not for teaching you something new about lifestyle.
Mary Mccallister
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who is interested in HYGGE, you will love this! Lagom is like life-long hygge created by the Swedish. It has beautiful photos and thorough expalnations and ideas. It's a pictorial feast for the eyes!
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great read! Love the concept of lagom - without noticing, I've been striving for this in my own life for a long time, and am looking forward to introducing more of it, as per the info/tips in this book.
Linh P. Truong
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Closed the book and I just want to pack myself up and go straight to Sweden for this dream life!!!
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this little book, the style, the size and the lagom approach to the content. Lots of good tips and inside perspective to the culture attitude of the Swedes presented in a beautiful layout.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A very quick read (1 hour?). It's like if a Swedish friend added their own commentary while you read Sweden's Wikipedia page about Culture & Life. Not terribly inspiring, but a pleasant read.
Adrianna Arleta
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a light and interesting read, and visually the cutest book I've seen.
Karolee Ryan
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a very quick read but has much to offer in the way to think about living a “Happy Life”
Elise Thanasouras
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Great tips for living, maybe I’m part Swedish.
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Linnea Dunne was born and raised in Sweden, where she started her writing career as a columnist at the local newspaper. She left for Ireland a few years later and eventually moved to London, where she studied Creative Writing and Political Communications. She now lives in Dublin with her husband and two half-Swedish kids, trying to achieve that lagom balance against all odds.
“renowned brands including H&M, Weekday, WeSC, Acne Studios, Tiger of Sweden, Rodebjer, COS, Boomerang and Filippa K. Known” 0 likes
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