Review by Naomi Szeben, Book Critic and Writer
Blue Monday is more than just a New Order song: It’s purportedly the most depressing day of the year. Post-holiday bills come in, the warm glow of the holidays has dimmed and everyone is back at work. C’est la vie.
And so, how does one make Blue Monday less depressing? Indulging in a little hygge is a good start. The Hygge Life, by authors Gunnar Karl Gislason and Jody Eddy is a cozy primer on the basics of hygge philosophy. Hygge refers to the Danish term that translates loosely as “coziness” in English; part of its charm is that there is no direct translation, and coziness itself is subjective.
The possibilities are many: fight off the blues by inviting a friend for dinner, for example. The book contains easy recipes with lovely photographs of simple meals. Pages 41 to 48 feature a section on self care, how to make your own bath salts, and has a warming picture of a sauna as one of the many suggestive ideas to get through the worst of the winter months.
To get you through tough times, authors Gislason and Eddy have created a compilation of recipes, rituals and traditions that can be followed by any size of household, whether it be single or coupled adults. Entertainment ideas for heartfelt gatherings include tips on cookie parties, cocktail parties and recipes for easy weeknight suppers.
While the photographs have the warm hues of a Christmas card and the photos look like an edition of Kinfolk, the advice on making guests feel at home when entertaining is thoughtful and sincere. It has helpful tips on packing for a train ride, also suggestions on how to better enjoy the great outdoors.
Overall, it’s less of a lifestyle book than it is a glimpse of the Scandinavian mindset. This pick is a great way to get out of your head, if only to browse through the evocative photographs and start something new in the new year.