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My summer reading - The Little Book of Hygge, The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

Updated on August 14, 2017

Denmark - A Land of Happy People

Before I took this book in my hands I was not aware of the fact that Denmark is considered to be one of the happiest countries in the world, and its people - masters of hedonism.

According to the United Nation's World Happiness Report since 2013 to 2016 Denmark was three times Nr.1 as the Happiest country in the world and in 2015. they took third place. So why is that? The Author of The Little Book of Hygge, The Danish Way to Live Well - Meik Wiking claims that HYGGE is one of the reasons why Danish people are so happy.

I never heard of term Hygge actually.

However, this book seems to be a rather interesting summer reading choice and a great conversation starter!

What would you say that it is a secret to happiness and prosperity? Why some people, although they seem less fortunate, are actually happier than other?

To be completely hones, The Little Book of Hygge, The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking actually end up as my summer reading completely by accident. I am not fan of self-help books and I was glad when I learned that this book is definitely not such reading. As I am constantly in pursuit for a good book a decided to give it a try and was not disappointed!

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

Few words about the author

For Meik Wiking, born in Denmark in 1978, this was a first book, followed with two more in 2017 with a similar thematic – secret of happiness. Some would say that Wiking has the coolest job ever – he is the founder and a CEO of Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen where he and his team of scientist explore why some people consider themselves happy and satisfied and other don’t.

During years of his research, Wiking has learned and truly believes, that Hygge really function as a trigger of happiness in everyday life.

“Hygge is appreciating the simple pleasures in life and can be achieved with very little money.”

“To paraphrase one of the greatest philosophers of our time-Winnie-the-Pooh-when asked how to spell a certain emotion, "You don't spell it, you feel it.”

— Meik Wiking; The Little Book of Hygge, The Danish Way to Live Well

So, what is Hygge anyway?

Hygge is a Danish word and it is considered to be un-translationable. As you are moving ahead with this journey of happiness, the world HYGGE somehow grows on you and with each following page you begin to understand the philosophy behind Hygge. Hygge has a lot of definitions, some say that it is an art of intimacy, some that it is a feeling of security, carefree life, complacence…and drinking of hot cocoa with candle light.

With this book the author is trying to teach you how to enjoy your everyday life and learn from the best happiness practitioners in the world – Danish people.

Today as we more and more live a rather buzzy life with tons of obligations and less time for “Seize the moment” the idea of happiness, well-being and high quality of life hidden behind a pair of worm socks, few candles and a good book may seem too romantic…However, while reading this Wikings debut, I allowed myself to keep an open mind and give this Hygge thing a chance. And while I was drinking my glass of wine at my summer deck with my husband under candle light I actually felt happy! Hey, perhaps it was only my vacation talking :).

The Little Book of Hygge, The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking has about 280 pages of light summer reading and it gives you short and understandable directions on how to include Hyyge in your everyday life. From choosing the right Hygge lighting, what food and drinks are hyggelig, how to dress to experience true hygge, all up to Christmas Hygge, Summer Hygge and Low budget Hygge.

“It is about keeping in mind that you live right now, allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have, not what you don't.

— Meik Wiking; The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

But this book is not ONLY a book about Hygge!

I found that The Little Book of Hygge is actually so much more than a how-to-be-happy book. It is a true tourist guide through Denmark and Copenhagen! Wiking is so skilfully throwing in advices on what to do and places to visit in Denmark that I have found myself already planning our Christmas holidays in Copenhagen!

In Chapter 10 of his book, Winking is taking us on a Hyggelig Tour through his beloved city. I have learned where to find:

  • hyggelige locations for easy-going city enjoyment
  • the oldest Denmark Pastry-shop with totally Hygge cake
  • gardens where you can experience best Christmas Hygge
  • how to find Hygge on water
  • old Library bar that is 100% Hygge
  • and so much more interesting facts that will just make you buy a ticket to Copenhagen!

All of this is accompanied by dozens of great photographs!

Photos of Copenhagen from The Little Book of Hygge

What do you think about this book?

Cast your vote for The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

© 2017 Ivana Balić


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