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The Art of Hygge

The centuries-old Danish tradition of hygge (pronounced “hue-gah”) comes from a country voted to be the happiest on Earth, and its special custom of emotional warmth, slowness and appreciation, is becoming increasingly familiar to an international audience. To hygge means to enjoy the good things in life with good people.

Below is a selection of our favourite books on the art of hygge, Scandinavian cooking, and the joys of living like a Dane.

The Book of Hygge

- Hardcover

by Louisa Thomsen Brits - $29.00 - Add to Cart

"The most poetic of the [hygge books]; I found myself repeatedly returning to its list-like incantation of hyggeligt habits." --Louisa Kamps, ELLEHygge (hoo-gah) is a Danish word but a universal feeling of being warm, safe, comforted, and sheltered--an experience of belonging to the moment and to each other. When life gets hectic, work grows stressful, and the days fly by, unplug and tune in.  Hygge anchors us, reminding us to slow down, to connect with place and with one another, to dwell and savor rather than rush and spend.  When you curl up by the fire with a blanket, or have a simple meal with friends, that is hygge. When you acknowledge the sacred in the secular, or focus on people rather than things, or when you express love through small gestures, that is hygge.  The Book of Hygge is an invitation to welcome abundance and contentment into your life. It is a call to live more fully by focusing on what moves you.   With beautiful full-color photographs and instructive meditations on relishing the everyday, it is your perfect guide to cultivating the coziness that has made Danes the happiest people in the world. The Book of Hygge is designed with an unjacketed, textured cover and crisp, clean interiors.As seen in the The New Yorker, a cure for SAD in book form.

Happy as a Dane

- Trade paperback

by Malene Rydahl - $19.95 - Add to Cart

For decades Denmark has ranked at the top of the world's happiness surveys. How is it that these 5.6 million Danes are so content when they live in a country that is dark and cold nine months of the year and where income taxes are at almost 60 percent? At a time when talk across the Western world is focused on unemployment woes, government overreach, and anti-taxation lobbies, our Danish counterparts seem to breathe a healthier and fresher air. Interweaving anecdotes and research, Malene Rydahl explores how the values of trust, education, and a healthy work-life balance with purpose--to name just a few--contribute to a "happy" population. From eye-opening stories about open-air vegetable stands to babies safely left unattended while parents have coffee, to very generous paternity leave policies, Rydahl provides tips that we can all apply to our daily lives regardless of where we live.

How to Hygge

- Hardcover

by Signe Johansen - $27.99 - Add to Cart

The "Danish coziness" philosophy is fast becoming the new "French living" in terms of aspirational lifestyle books and blogs. There are countless viral articles comparing the happiness levels of Americans versus Danes. Their homes are more homey; their people are more cheerful. It's an attitude that defies definition, but there is a name for this slow-moving, stress-free mindset: hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga"). Hygge values the idea of cherishing yourself: candlelight, bakeries, and dinner with friends; a celebration of experiences over possessions, as well as being kind to yourself and treasuring a sense of community. How to Hygge by chef and author Signe Johansen is a fresh, informative, lighthearted, fully illustrated how-to guide to hygge. It's a combination of recipes, helpful tips for cozy living at home, and cabin porn: essential elements of living the Danish way-which, incidentally, encourages a daily dose of "healthy hedonism." Who can resist that?

Hygge

- Hardcover

by Marie Tou Soderberg - $27.99 - Add to Cart

Other books will tell you how to be hygge. This is the only book that will show you. Though we all know the feeling of hygge instinctively few of us ever manage to capture it for more than a moment. Now Danish actress and hygge aficionado Marie Tourell Søderberg - star of BBC 4's 1864 - has travelled the length and breadth of her home country to create the perfect guide to cooking, decorating, entertaining and being inspired the hygge way. Full of beautiful photographs and simple, practical steps and ideas to make your home and life both comfortable and cheering all year round, this book is the easy way to introduce hygge into your life. 'Pretty, homey and intimate, scattered with reflections from ordinary Danes' Guardian

Knitting from the North

- Trade paperback

by Hilary Grant - $33.00 - Add to Cart

Nordic knitting projects that blend contemporary patterns with traditional colorwork for a style that will appeal to all knitters.     Hilary Grant takes a thoroughly modern approach to Nordic knitting with this collection of thirty projects. With designs that are fresh, bold, and graphic, these geometric motifs give a contemporary spin to traditional colorwork patterns. With a range of accessories and sweaters there is something from everyone here: hats, cowls, fingerless mitts, sweaters, and more.      The allure of colorwork tugs at the heart of all knitters. From traditional Fair Isle designs to Icelandic Lopapeysa and clean Nordic patterns, knitting projects that use a kaleidescope of colors are eye-catching and inspiring. Knitting from the North is the perfect entry into knitting with color, with patterns to help you keep your hands warm and spirits high.

The Nordic Theory of Everything

- Hardcover

by Anu Partanen - $34.99 - Add to Cart

A Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asks Americans to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer, happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and their children.Moving to America in 2008, Finnish journalist Anu Partanen quickly went from confident, successful professional to wary, self-doubting mess. She found that navigating the basics of everyday life--from buying a cell phone and filing taxes to education and childcare--was much more complicated and stressful than anything she encountered in her homeland. At first, she attributed her crippling anxiety to the difficulty of adapting to a freewheeling new culture. But as she got to know Americans better, she discovered they shared her deep apprehension. To understand why life is so different in the U.S. and Finland, Partanen began to look closely at both.In The Nordic Theory of Everything, Partanen compares and contrasts life in the United States with life in the Nordic region, focusing on four key relationships--parents and children, men and women, employees and employers, and government and citizens. She debunks criticism that Nordic countries are socialist "nanny states," revealing instead that it is we Americans who are far more enmeshed in unhealthy dependencies than we realize. As Partanen explains step by step, the Nordic approach allows citizens to enjoy more individual freedom and independence than we do.Partanen wants to open Americans' eyes to how much better things can be--to show her beloved new country what it can learn from her homeland to reinvigorate and fulfill the promise of the American dream--to provide the opportunity to live a healthy, safe, economically secure, upwardly mobile life for everyone. Offering insights, advice, and solutions, The Nordic Theory of Everything makes a convincing argument that we can rebuild our society, rekindle our optimism, and restore true freedom to our relationships and lives.

ScandiKitchen

- Hardcover

by Bronte Aurell - $32.95 - Add to Cart

A follow-up to the successful 'The ScandiKitchen' (published September 2015), this new book from Brontë Aurell features over 60 recipes for cakes, bakes, and treats from all over Scandinavia. From indulgent cream confections to homely and comforting fruit cakes and traditional breads, sweet buns, and pastries.  FIKA is a Swedish word meaning to meet up for a cup of coffee or tea over something delicious. It is also the word for the delicious treats themselves. Swedes traditionally stop twice a day for fika: taking a much-needed break from the daily grind. People fika with family, colleagues, friends, children, and even go on fika dates. HYGGE (pronounced hue-guh) is a word that originated in Norway but is now mainly used in Denmark. It means "a sublime state of cosiness you feel when you are with loved ones and nothing else matters". Hygge can be enhanced by the addition of a log fire, a good movie, a cup of something warm, and a sweet treat...hence the ideal combination of the two terms. Chapters are divided into Biscuits and Cookies, Tray and No bakes, Everyday Fika, Little Fancy Cakes, Celebration Cakes, and Bread and Batters. This beautifully illustrated, authentic guide is a celebration of Scandinavian baking in all its glory. It is evocative of cosy days shared with friends, slowing down and taking the time to enjoy simple, homemade, wholesome pleasures--encouraging a lifestyle to aspire to. With features on special Scandi winter celebrations, their baking traditions and how to bring fika and hygge into your life.

Scandinavian Baking

- Hardcover

by Trine Hahnemann - $50.00 - Add to Cart

A world of steamed-up kitchen windows against a frosty backdrop, delicious Danish pastries, crusty dense breads and creamy layer cakes is summoned up in Trine Hahnemann's spectacularly beautiful new book, S candinavian Baking . Cakes abound, with every kind of Danish pastry you could ever wish for, a cookie for every occasion, mouthwatering layer cakes, coffee cakes, cream buns plus snippets of baking history, so you can learn all you need to know about Scandinavian baking. Divided into two main sections on cakes and breads, sandwiched between features on Midsummer and Christmas, this is the ultimate compendium on authentic Scandinavian baking with a modern twist.

Scandinavian Comfort Food

- Hardcover

by Trine Hahnemann - $50.00 - Add to Cart

The Scandinavians excel at comfort- family, friends, a good atmosphere, long meals, relaxation, and an emphasis on the simple pleasures. They even have a word for this kind of coziness that comes with spending quality time in hearth and home when the days are short: hygge". Trine Hahnemann is the doyenne of Scandinavian cooking, and loves nothing more than spending time in her kitchen cooking up comforting food in good company. This is her collection of recipes that will warm you up and teach you to embrace the art of hygge, no matter where you live."

Scandinavian Gatherings

- Hardcover

by Melissa Bahen - $24.95 - Add to Cart

Let Scandinavian Gatherings be your hygge handbook (pronounced hoo-ga) for cozy retreats in the comfort of your own home! With this darling collection of Scandinavian-inspired recipes, crafts, and entertaining ideas, you can turn your home into a stress-free hygge oasis and embrace relaxation the Nordic way. From the creator of the popular Lulu the Baker blog, Scandinavian Gatherings illustrates the Scandinavian spirit of simple pleasures through 10 seasonal, family-friendly gatherings filled with the flavors and traditions of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland (a region regularly reported as the happiest place on earth!).   The book boasts 30 simple craft projects for entertaining and decorating, as well as 40 accessible recipes that put a modern twist on sweet and savory Scandinavian treats. You'll soon be warming your home with the comforting smells of Mom's Maple Pecan Rings, Swedish Meat Pies, Lucia Buns, Hot Chocolate with Homemade Cardamom Marshmallows, and more.   With gatherings like Nordic Brunch, Woodland Tea Party, Afternoon Fika, Lucia Day, and Christmas Cookie Exchange, you'll be able to relax with loved ones and enjoy the hygge atmosphere.

The Year of Living Danishly

- Trade paperback

by Helen Russell - $21.95 - Add to Cart

'A hugely enjoyable romp through the pleasures and pitfalls of setting up home in a foreign land' PD Smith, Guardian When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn't Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From childcare, education, food and interior design (not to mention 'hygge') to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.