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The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the…

The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish…

by Pia Edberg

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I really enjoyed reading this and having recently completed The Little Book of Hygge, the two books complement each other well. Although there is some overlap in content, The Cozy Life has more of a focus on the lifestyle of hygge, with very few references to any statistics or studies. The subjects are well organized and the drawings are cute, which adds an element of visual peacefulness. Very hyggeligt, as I am sure it was intended to be.

There is one passage in the book that sums up the definition of hygge quite well: Hygge is a very personal and individual thing, and what makes you happy compared to someone else isn’t always the same. The goal however, is to feel like you’re at “home”— safe, happy, connected, and present. Hygge is as much an internal (emotional/ psychological) phenomenon as it is external (in the way we behave and the things that we do).

Once again, I think this idea is appealing to those living outside of Denmark, especially in the US because we don't really have an equivalent term or practice in our culture. I don't feel it is something that can be directly practiced and transferred to another country though. Hygge has a historical and cultural component and it is a value that people are brought up with. It is probably a cultural norm that would only flourish in a society that does not promote competitiveness and the flaunting of material possessions. (Even if we pretend those qualities aren't promoted in the US, they absolutely are!) So having said that, maybe others can practice in the spirit of hygge or borrow ideas from it to incorporate into our own lifestyles, but it is not quite the same thing. On a personal note, I often feel the same way about other ideas that Americans have borrowed and added their own twist to, such as yoga. I may say I practice yoga on a regular basis but in my heart, I feel it is in the "spirit of yoga" or the Americanized version with an emphasis on the physical versus the philosophical.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Danish culture, hygge or someone craving a short and comforting read. ( )
  Lisa805 | Apr 6, 2017 |
It seems I'm hearing about the Danish concept of Hygge everywhere these days. So when my GR friend (thanks Dana!) gave this such a great review I picked it up. I'm so glad I did. The Danes are said to be the happiest people on earth and Hygge is what helps get them through the long dark winters.

Hygge is about discovering the joy in simple things, and being more mindful and intentional. It's about being instead of having. At my age this resonates with me. I regularly purge and feel a strong desire to rid myself of too much "stuff" which not only clutters the house, it clutters my mind. It gives me great joy to be surrounded by things that perhaps don't have monetary value, but have a deep meaning to me. Also, cozy clothes, throws, socks, a fire in the fireplace, good food, a good book, dogs curled up next to me, good friends....well, let's just say I have that one down pat and have for many years, but I need to work on disconnecting electronics ;-)

Hygge is about a spirit of togetherness, hospitality, simple food, and cozy surroundings. It's a concept that can be incorporated into our everyday lives and the author gives tips on how to do that. There's nothing earth-shattering here, just good reminders that, in the words of the author, "moments of connection, presence, simplicity, and joy are what enriches our lives at a deeper level".

It was fitting that I read this little gem while under the weather, on my cozy couch in my cozy clothes, while sipping a warm cup of tea. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this little book about hygge, or the cozy life. The author provides a basic history and explanation of hygge, then goes on to provide examples of the hygge lifestyle with suggestions on how to incorporate this into your own life. Space is provided on some pages to make your own notes so you can customize hygge to fit your life. I found this "personal development" aspect to be the best part of the book. This might be the book for you if you want a short intro and/or helpful suggestions and a pep talk to live a more intentional and contented life. Look elsewhere if you want an in-depth review of the historical or cultural aspects of hygge. ( )
  TerriB | Nov 16, 2016 |
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