How to Hygge : The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life
by Signe Johansen

Overview -

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.  Read more...

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More About How to Hygge by Signe Johansen

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?


  • ISBN-13: 9781250122032
  • ISBN-10: 1250122031
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • Publish Date: January 2017
  • Page Count: 192
  • Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.65 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Cooking > Regional & Ethnic - Scandinavian
Books > Social Science > Customs & Traditions
Books > Self-Help > Personal Growth - Happiness

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-01-02
  • Reviewer: Staff

Hygge (pronounced HYOO-guh), a Danish term loosely translated as a combination of coziness, kinship, and conviviality, is a way of life according to chef and food writer Johansen (Scandilicious and Secrets of Scandinavian Baking). Here she gives readers dozens of inspiring suggestions on how to incorporate hygge into their lives, homes and meals. Taking time out to enjoy the outdoors regardless of season, curling up with a cup of boozy hot chocolate, and creating a comfortable and uncluttered living space are sure to resonate with readers in these harried times. So will recipes for comforting dishesL whiskey-cured gravlax; coconut oatmeal porridge; roast cauliflower, spinach, and blue cheese salad with cherries and walnuts. The recipes are easy to prepare, but a handful, such as smoked venison on sourdough, can be challenging to source on this side of the Atlantic. In most cases, substitutes are offered. Most will also appeal to American palates, and many are playful, such as her Champagne and Haribo candy cocktail, which combines bubbly with peach liquor and gummi candy. Throughout, Johansens tone is an embodiment of the philosophy: she encourages readers to appreciate the small moments, taking baby steps and savoring the ride rather than racing to the finish line. Readers interested in simplifying their homes and lives are sure to find plenty of practical recipes and suggestions here that they can implement immediately. (Jan.)

BookPage Reviews

Lifestyles: Feeling the love buzz

It’s February. It’s cold and gray. What better time to “pause, play, discover, rediscover, encourage, and enrich the enchantment that is love,” writes Stephanie L. Tourles in the introduction to Making Love Potions. Filled with bright watercolor illustrations, her collection of 64 recipes for herbal concoctions to please the whole body has something for everyone—from Sip ’n’ Kiss Tea, a unique “sensory delight” that can also soothe a sore throat; to Cocoa-Chai Kiss ’n’ Make Up lip butter and numerous massage oils, body butters and balms. Many of the mixtures are formulated with easy-to-find ingredients like cocoa butter and coconut oil, and Tourles provides helpful info on essential oils and base oils, along with where-to-buy resources. I’m ready to invite girlfriends over for a “Galentine’s” potion-making party: We’ll sip Lime-Mint Fizz with Cranberry Ice (made with champagne), eat Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Turtles and whip up a bevy of treats to take home. Insert heart-eyes emoji here! 

First, let’s clear something up: The Nordic ethos of hygge (pronounced “hue-gah”) is not just about how to live happily through the darkest winter months. Maybe you knew that, but I didn’t. I understood that the word meant a “feeling of cosiness,” but there’s more. Hygge is about “being sociable and looking outward; it’s about taking pleasure in the simple things in life, in fellowship with kith and kin,” writes Signe Johansen in How to Hygge. Johansen clearly lays out the many characteristics of Nordic living, emphasizing minimalism and time spent outdoors. After all, you’ll enjoy a cardamom twist and mug of joe all the more if you’ve gone for a brisk walk beforehand, right? Such a coffee break with friends is known as “fika” in Sweden, and Johansen outlines the benefits of daily breaks from work and serves up a chapter full of appropriate sweets. Other sections include savory recipes, elements of Nordic design, tips for decorating and ideas for greater self-reliance. 

The celebrated home-design glossy domino is back—in both print magazine and book form. And what a pretty-in-pink (with butterflies!) thing this book is, indeed. In domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, editors Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver help readers discover a sense of personal style through chapters focused on seating, walls, art, flooring, shelves and vignettes, lighting and so on. These chapters are organized into three sections: an opening array of inspiring images, a “handbook” to explain the basics (look no further for a primer on shelf styles, light fixtures or types of upholstery) and “style school.” Each packs in a wealth of information, but there’s no feeling of overload as you turn the pages. The images here do a great job of teaching by example and are paired with truly useful, not fluffy, text. This is an incredibly practical book that also manages to be beautiful.


This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews