I don’t know about you, but I love to read a good book or two during the summer holidays. Finally you have some extra time to focus on other things than just work and everyday things, and what better way to spend that time than relaxing with a good book (hopefully on a beach somewhere warm..) I have put together a list of books to read if you are after that Scandinavian feeling to create the ultimate hygge time on your holiday!
1 // THE NORDIC THEORY OF EVERYTHING: IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE by Anu Partanen
“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.”
In Viking Economics—perhaps the most fun economics book you’ve ever read—George Lakey dispels these myths. He explores the inner-workings of the Nordic economies that boast the world’s happiest, most productive workers, and explains how, if we can enact some of the changes the Scandinavians fought for surprisingly recently, we, too, can embrace equality in our economic policy.”
5 // MIDNIGHT SUN by Jo Nesbo
“He calls himself Ulf—as good a name as any, he thinks—and the only thing he’s looking for is a place where he won’t be found by Oslo’s most notorious drug lord: the Fisherman. He was once the Fisherman’s fixer, but after betraying him, Ulf is now the one his former boss needs fixed—which may not be a problem for a man whose criminal reach is boundless. When Ulf gets off the bus in Kåsund, on Norway’s far northeastern border, he sees a “flat, monotonous, bleak landscape . . . the perfect hiding place. Hopefully.”
The locals—native Sami and followers of a particularly harsh Swedish version of Christianity—seem to accept Ulf’s explanation that he’s come to hunt, even if he has no gun and the season has yet to start. And a bereaved, taciturn woman and her curious, talkative young son supply him with food, the use of a cabin deep in the woods, a weapon—and companionship that stirs something in him he thought was long dead.
But the agonizing wait for the inevitable moment when the Fisherman’s henchmen will show—the midnight sun hanging in the sky like an unblinking, all-revealing eye—forces him to question if redemption is at all possible or if, as he’s always believed, ‘hope is a real bastard.'”
6 // HOW TO BE DANISH: A JOURNEY TO THE CULTURAL HEART OF DENMARK by Patrick Kingsley
“Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it’s the home of The Killing and Noma, the world’s best (and most eccentric) restaurant. We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about the Danes themselves? Part reportage, part travelogue, How to Be Danish fills in the gaps—an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans politics, television, food, architecture, and design.”
7 // A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman
“Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.”
8 // THE HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT OF THE WINDOW AND DISSAPPEARED by Jonas Jonasson
“After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).
It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle.”
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.”
Have you read any of these books? I would love to hear your thoughts on them!
A month ago I started asking people on Instagram to join in and share images using my new hashtag #thatscandinavianfeeling, you can find the original post where I talk about this here. I have been so pleased to see beautiful images appearing in the feed as June went by. Its so nice to see how people add nordic elements to their life whether its with interior and styling, or simply the little things and cosy moments. I have selected 4 of the images to share and have also asked each of these lovely people to let me know just what that Scandinavian feeling means to them.
1 // @nordic_dreams
“The Scandinavian feeling to me means simplicity but warmth, neutral colours and influences from nature. It means functional design and practical but beautiful objects. I think that everything in a home should have a purpose and you should love it.”
2 // @appuntidicasa
“My scandinavian feeling is about staying close with my home and trying to create a relaxed and nice atmosphere to stay. The simplicity, with a hint of creativity and beauty, of Scandinavian interior design are key to a home that welcomes you and makes you feel good. And the brightness of the spaces and the selection of colors and materials, make everything very welcoming and valuable. Feelings that I can not do without!”
3 // @krisje____
“To me the Scandinavian feeling is everything light and easy. I absolutely adore the simplicity in the design, the neutral colours and the austere style. It’s timeless and miminalistic and I just love it!”
As this will be a monthly post, I do hope you join in and share your images on Instagram too! Its a great way for us all to get together and spread some hygge. So what is that Scandinavian feeling to you?
💚 Remember to join in and show what gives you that Scandinavian feeling. Just add the hashtag #thatscandinavianfeeling to your images on Instagram and lets spread hygge all around! I will be choosing a selection in the end of each month to share here on my blog and on Instagram.
Check out my last post for more or click the hashtag above to see what has already been shared! Some really lovely entries so far so keep them coming.
What is that Scandinavian feeling? To me it is a lot of things but at the same time hard to explain and I guess that’s why it is so fascinating and deep in my heart. I have now lived away from Scandinavia for over 7 years, but for some reason the feeling is stronger than ever. It is not about location or origin but simply a mix of cosiness & calm. It is a warm atmosphere that invites you in and makes you feel welcome, but at the same time a cool freshness that hits you like a winter breeze. It is wrapping yourself up in a nice comfy blanket with a hot drink and a cinnamon bun. It is simplicity and minimalism, focusing on the little things in life. It is wooden houses, reindeers, knitted jumpers, fjords & mountains..
So what does that Scandinavian feeling mean to you? Whether you are from Scandinavia or just have a nordic state of mind I’d love to see what you think. To join in and share what gives you that Scandinavian feeling just add the hashtag #thatscandinavianfeeling to your images on Instagram and start browsing. Can’t wait to see!
I will be collecting some images I find each month which to me shows of that perfect Scandinavian feeling and sharing them here. Hopefully it can be a way to inspire each other and discover new accounts or brands and spread hygge all around! To start it off I though I would share a selection of my images to set the mood;
💛 I’m currently loving this lip treat from Nuori, both the beautiful branding & the product inside.
Branding: So nice, fresh and minimalistic with the perfect pop of colour. The premium designed protective packaging has a simplistic expression and is easy to open. It cleverly has a start-using-by date stamped on the front of the outer packaging and the expiry date stamped on the top of the tube as a reminder. I really feel like the packaging design reflects the freshness of the product.
Product: A lovely blend of natural hydrating wonders; sweet almond & apricot oils along with shea, avocado, and cocoa butter. It really works wonders for dry lips, my lips are now so smooth and nourished after only using it for about a week. Thumbs up!
“NUORI, a new Scandinavian beauty brand, is reinventing how we view freshness in the beauty industry” – The Telegraph