Friday, 20 April 2018

The Little Book Of Hygge by Meik Wiking

The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well by Meik Wiking
First published by the UK by Penguin in September 2016.

One of my WorldReads from Denmark

How I got this book:
Won in a giveaway

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That's down to one thing: hygge.

'Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight...'

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.

I managed to overstretch myself with book reviews this month and rather than facing the problem head on by steadily working through everything that's rapidly becoming overdue, I briefly chose the Head In Sand approach by picking up The Little Book Of Hygge instead. It wasn't even on my reading list! Won while we were travelling, my sister forwarded it onto me today. Appropriately it turns out that maintaining connections with friends and family is part of Hygge and probably the aspect I am worst at. Reclining on my vintage chaise longue (complete with its hand crocheted blanket made by Moi!) in order to read a book is strongly Hyggeligt. So is drinking frequent cups of tea and eating cake (baking my own cake is extra Hyggeligt!). Stressing about unwritten book reviews is not at all encouraged. I think I have finally found the lifestyle label that actually suits how I love to live!

My difficulty in reviewing The Little Book Of Hygge is in separating my enthusiasm for the lifestyle from my thoughts on the book itself. Certain aspects such as the overall idea, the inspirational photographs, the inclusion of recipes and crafts, and Wiking's gentle humour were definite positives for me. I also liked the sort-of science which identified similar concepts across Europe and the thoughts on the history of hygge. What didn't work so well for me was the repetition of ideas. Self help books are meant to be motivational and I accept that repetition is a strong part of reinforcing new habits, but by about two-thirds of the way through I started to feel that there were rather more pages available than material to fill them!

Etsy Find!
by Made By Steffie B in
Colchester, England

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Books by Meik Wiking / Self help books / Books from Denmark


  1. This book seems to be all the rage for the past year or two :) I can't help feeling though, that it's kind of a luxury to be able to follow this way of living though (although I haven't really read it, but from what I've heard). Too bad it's repetitive, it's a slim book as it is :) but repetition is important in self help, as you said.

    1. It's interesting that we see this one differently! I love activities like cooking from scratch or rummaging in vintage shops for stuff I need and don't see it as a luxury, but there is a big time trade-off.

  2. I have been seeing this book cover around everywhere but I actually had no clue what it was about until your review. It sounds good but not amazing to me? I know what you mean about the difficulty of separating commentary on the subject matter with the quality of the book itself. That happens to me sometimes when the discussions in the book are very intriguing but overall it wasn't actually that intriguing or well executed in terms of writing.

    1. That's the case here. I think if the lifestyle idea hadn't caught the zeitgeist so perfectly, this book wouldn't be everywhere