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Finding Sisu: In Search of Courage, Strength, and Happiness the Finnish Way

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  608 ratings  ·  112 reviews
An engaging and practical guided tour of the simple and nature-inspired ways that Finns stay happy and healthy--including the powerful concept of sisu, or everyday courage

Forget hygge--it's time to blow out the candles and get out into the world! Journalist Katja Pantzar did just that, taking the huge leap to move to the remote Nordic country of Finland. What she discovere
Published June 26th 2018 by Tarcherperigee (first published March 22nd 2018)
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  608 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ended up ill again, put back on Prednisone, sometimes I think I can feel my bones crumbling from all the steroids I have been prescribed over the last five years. Anyway, always trying to find a different way of managing my flare ups, and so I am drawn to books that show people handling things in different ways.

Pronounced "see-su"
A Finnish concept that dates back to the 1950's.
A unique type of fortitude, of resilience, of not giving up in the face of a challenge, big or small, that anyone c
Nordische Lebensweisheiten sind ja gerade im Trend. Und kaum haben wir unser Heim hyggeliggemacht kommen die Finnen mit Sisu daher … doch was steckt dahinter? Ein weiterer Trend? Wahre Lebensweisheiten?
Sisu – der finnische Weg zu Mut, Ausdauer und innerer Stärke
..das klingt nach der ultimativen, universellen Antwort auf all unsere Fragen. (Und ich dachte das wäre 42, … egal) Doch was können wir wirklich von den Finnen lernen? Das Buch ist autobiographisch de Geschichte von Katja Pantzar, die nac
Lauris Leseecke
Autor: Katja Pantzar
Verlag: Bastei Lübbe
Genre: Lifestyle
Preis: 20,00 €
Seitenzahl: 256 Seiten

Vielen Dank an Bastei Lübbe für das zur Verfügung gestellte Rezensionsexemplar!


Sisu nennen Finnen die Haltung, auch in schwierigen Situationen den Mut zu bewahren und auf die innere Stärke zu vertrauen. Als Katja Pantzar nach Finnland zog, stellte sie auch schnell fest, dass die Menschen dort eine ganz besondere, zupackende Einstellung zum Leben haben. Neugierig machte sie sich auf die Suche na
Lada Moskalets
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
В стрункому ряду книжок про скандинавський затишок з‘явився порадник про скандинавський вихід із зони комфорту. Канадська авторка вирішує дослідити своє фінське коріння і розуміє, що спосіб життя допомагає їй вирішити безліч проблем, включно депресією. Сісу - це синонім наполегливості і впертості, які стають в пригоді, якщо ви живете в холодній північній країні.
В списку складових рецепту фінського щастя - холодне купання, близькість до природи, багато руху і здорова їжа. Головне - це включати ці
Temi Panayotova
Dec 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most boring book I have ever read on this topic. Except the pretty cover, there is nothing interesting about it...
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading about "sisu" and the various explanations on the word. Since the Finns are known to be one of the happiest populations in the world it's worth taking a look at their simple life style and maybe even trying something new such as winter biking.

Another fun fact about Finns - they are the world's leading book borrowers, with 67 million books borrowed a year from the public library system.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always keen to read books about Finland and I was really excited to read this one. I enjoyed learning about several aspects of Finnish culture that relate to Sisu and I feel like a lot of these things can easily be implemented more in my own life. I think the one thing I found a bit off-putting in this book is that the author is often comparing the Finnish lifestyle to the North American lifestyle and seemed heavily biased towards Finland. Other than that, I thought the book was really inter ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming from a Finnish parent I was interested to read this book for not only wanting to know more about my heritage but to see whether I see similarities within my own family and the Finnish community and Sisu.

Sisu is a totally different concept from hygge it is about endurance and perseverance and getting outside amongst nature and being active for a healthy mindset. I have never been to Finland but when the author described the Finnish people and their habits I saw that in my own family and co
Anna Dimitrova
Това не е най-любимата ми книга тази година, и дори на тема сису знам по-добри, но е първата книга за сису на български, която откривам. Писана е от журналист и това обяснява защо постоянно имах усещането, че чета списание, поради което не ми е любима. Обикновено ако искам да прочета репортаж от мястото на събитието се обръщам към списания и новинарски сайтове.

Но, макар че стилът не е точно моят (само на моменти), се радвам, че се превеждат все повече книги на подобни теми на български език. Има
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Not sure if it's the tiny amount of Finnish heritage I have, but I really enjoyed this book! Interesting and well written, the book discusses different aspects of the Finnish lifestyle that contribute to a healthy and happy way of life. Definitely inspiring!
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Tackling trendy Scandinavian concepts one country at a time...up now, Finland's "sisu" - a concept dating back to the 1500s defined as resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.

The author describes it as "an approach to life that is open to trying new things and new experiences, and going beyond what we think might be our physical, emotional or mental limits", and is a quality many Finns seem to share: a hardy, active, outdoors-in-any-weather, do-it-yourself approach to life.

What's n
Sara Budarz
Having a Finnish mother means that I have spent most of my life being reminded to draw on my sisu - the Finnish notion of strength and stubbornness and perseverance - to get through difficult situations. It is in fact a word so fundamental to how I define myself that I have often thought of tattooing the word on my wrist as a constant reminder of the survivor that is in all of us.

Finns often speak of sisu, and anyone who has ever visited Finland in the winter will understand why they needed it
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sisu is a combination of resilience, balance, and inner strength and is highly valued in Finnish culture. Most of what I found in this book is common sense, but then, I grew up in a place with the highest population of Finnish people outside of Finland, surrounded by the same birch trees and forests described in the book. The Nordic diet described by the author is similar to what I eat, though I would add a bit more protein. The notion that movement is medicine is not new, but it was interesting ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is really a 3.5 rating.

I like the premise of this book. I had never heard of sisu before and the the whole idea about it really resonated with me. What made me not totally love this book was sometimes the message of sisu got lost or the stretch to bring it back to the thesis seemed a bit much. Maybe I am just missing the point, but at times it felt that she was talking more about happiness than the resilience that sisu seems to be. It felt like there were really two ideas not one cohesive o
Marjorie Elwood
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although Pantzar lives where the infrastructure allows her to bike to work through the woods, to swim daily in the ocean followed by a sauna, and to forage for mushrooms, she does a good job of relating this to how those of us elsewhere can still enjoy the benefits of the Finnish Way. I particularly appreciated her discussion of the merits of movement, cold, and nature in curing pain, instead of using painkillers. And I was definitely inspired by the examples of "sisu", a Finnish word meaning "a ...more
Khattiya Homthong
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
ชอบมุมมองในการมองเหนโอกาสพัฒนาตัวเองของผูเขียน ทุกคนรูวา การไมยอทอตอปัญญาและอุปสรรคตางๆ มันดียังไง รูวาควรจะตองออกกำลังกายสมำเสมอ พักผอนใหเพียงพอ กินอาหารใหครบ 5 หมู แตนันแหละ เรามีขออางใหตัวเองเสมอ สารพัดเหตุผลทีเราเฝาบอกวา ยังทำตอนนีไมไดหรอก

สุดทาย Sisu คือการเอาชนะใจตัวเอง การไดลงมือทำ โดยไมสนใจวาผลลัพธจะเปนเชนไร
Chris Carithers
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A solid and inspiring read. The DIY mentality, democracy of design, embracing of challenge, and commitment to being in nature and exercising have me scheming and re-uping my own commitments.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes! I’m in - and seriously considering getting a sauna and signing up for some polar dips this winter in lieu of winter swimming.
I like any book that’s about being badass when you don’t think you can be. I appreciated her honesty about her depression.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Enjoyable read, perfect for before bed! Something to think about and things to implement without riling you up. I enjoyed the peek into Finnish life and wish more of the community/cultural options were available here in North America.
Hal Len
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Sometimes it is the most obvious and common to you that needs to be explained and brought into focus by someone from the outside. Katja Pantzar does just that, though she is not completely an outsider. Yet, to completely open and explain Sisu, is probably impossible. However, Katja Pantzar has a good go at it.

A Finn brought up in Canada by Finnish parents, Katja Pantzar has a good platform for this enterprise. It was not the visits to Finland as a child that pushed this search for Sisu in action
Nádia Batista
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para quem segue o meu blogue há algum tempo, talvez saibam isto: eu sou doida pela Finlândia. Desde novinha que tenho uma fascinação por aquele país, pelo romantismo do sonho que eu tinha associado a ele, por tudo. Este ano concretizei o sonho de ir a Helsínquia e é sem dúvida um destino a repetir! Aprendi várias coisas nos poucos dias que lá estive, mas uma dessas coisas foi precisamente o conceito de sisu. Mal vi este livro, sabia que tinha de o ler.

Este livro ficou um pouco aquém do que eu es
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pros: Very addicting and quick read! I related to a lot of what the author talked about and realized that I was raised with a bit of “sisu” having been raised in Minnesota. She also challenged me to want to be healthier and get out of my comfort zone.

Cons: A bit repetitive at times and some of the things she mentions do not translate to places other than Finland. For example, I can’t “Winter Swim” the same in California as I could in Finland. And living in Los Angeles where it’s terrifying to b
How I Came to Read This Book: I was curious to learn more about Hygge a little while back, so I read a book on it. This in turn led me to learn a bit more about some other similar tomes focused on different cultures, like Swedish 'Lagom' and Finnish 'Sisu'. I borrowed this one from the library.

The Plot: Katja Panzar moved from Canada to Finland (she is the daughter of Finnish immigrants) as a young woman. She ended up getting married and having a child there, all while becoming immersed in Finni
Suzanne Swift
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveway
I was extremelly impressed with the way of life of the Finnish....a healthy society does become a wealthy one in many ways I see now...the simplicity in their way of life..cold water swimming...saunas...nature walks for mental peace.....Many people could benefit greatly from reading this book and become healthier and happier...and also their educational system gives the kids such a wonderful start to life...! A blueprint to follow and imagine the world we would live in !
3.5 stars
I'm no stranger to sisu, having been surrounded by the word and familiar with its concept all my life.
It was a magnet on our refrigerator when I was a kid. It's a magnet on my refrigerator as an adult, too.
I grew up in a rural northern Minnesota region where my Finnish great-grandparents immigrated to because it was so similar to their native Suomi. Everyone on my dad's side of the family tree is 100% Finnish. Saunas, Finnish names, Finnish words, a few Finnish foods, these have all b
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sonstige
Gleich im Vorwort wird deutlich: Was Sisu bedeutet, kann man nur schwer in einen andere Sprache übersetzen, aber man kann es beschreiben. Und das bringt einem die Autorin auf den nächsten knapp 260 Seiten näher.

Nach dem Vorwort muss man das Buch eigentlich nicht der Reihe nach lesen, sondern kann gut zwischen den einzelnen Kapiteln springen, je nachdem, was einen als nächstes anspricht. Das finde ich bei Sachbüchern immer hilfreich, da es doch eine andere Sprache als in einem Roman ist.

Aber auch
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Leef met moed, kracht en vastberadenheid. De Finse manier voor een gelukkig en gezond leven door Katja Pantzar

Eerst even zeggen hoe tof dit boek er uit ziet. Leef is een boek over ‘sisu’, wat dat in het algemeen is zegt de titel van dit boek al. Wat het betekent voor Katja zie je in de tekeningen op de cover; goed gedaan hé!?

Na de boeken over lagom, hygge, en weet ik veel, is er dus nu een boek over het Finse sisu. Heb je geen zin in weer zo een knus Scandinavisch boek, lees dan toch dit.

Sisu i
Kelsey Mccluskey
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book because I like to think about "alternative" ways to live and think about the world that I interact with every day. The idea of SISU (this special Finnish quality that gives them the fortitude and grit to get them through their lives and challenges) is a the main theme of this book and how the author found hers and improves on it everyday and how we can too no matter where we live. Having the typical American upbringing with sports and driving to just about everywhere an ...more
Lea Kris
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps I’m biased with sisu being my favorite Finnish word, but I loved this book. (My family is Finnish-American and living with sisu was something impressed upon me since early childhood...) Since there is no direct English translation of what sisu means, I really appreciated the authors efforts to explain the concepts around it. I also enjoyed learning how the author has worked to incorporate it into her everyday life, as this is something that I strive to do as well. Since I was familiar wi ...more
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