Hygge: Get Cozy the Danish Way

By Mary Simon

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is Danish for cozy, warm or homey. It is also a national pastime in Denmark, one that is expressed in homespun pleasures involving candlelight, knitted socks, coffee, cake, family, and friends. It's a good way to cope with long, dark winters too. Read the books on this list and soon you'll be hyggling in your hyggekrog (cozy nook).

  • The Little Book Of Hygge : Danish Secrets to Happy Living

    2017 by Meik Wiking

    Different countries have their own ideas of what makes for good hygge, but the concept is basically the same: tending to friends and family, a safe environment, and simple comforts. This book covers them all. A must read and the cover art is too cute.

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  • Have a Hygge Holiday

    2016 by B. Snow

    "Hygge creates a space to stop, slow down, and appreciate the simple—and arguably the most important—things in life,” says Line Larsen of the Northwest Danish Association based in Seattle, Washington. “This is especially valuable in the midst of stressful times.” Keep this book in mind for the 2017 holiday season or during the still hectic, stressful winter months ahead. (Tax season anyone?)

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  • The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country.

    2015 by Helen Russell

    When Helen Russell's husband took a job at a LEGO plant in Denmark, she embarked on a quest to discover what made her newly adopted country such a happy place. She found that there were many surprising reasons including higher taxes, egalitarian culture, and good design as well as the practice of hygge. Russell uses her research and experiences to create an insightful and humorous look at how the Danes succeed in their pursuit of happiness.

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  • The Food and Cooking of Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway, Denmark

    2011 by Anna Mosesson

    150 authentic regional recipes shown in 700 stunning photographs—what more do you need? This book features an overview of the landscape, festivals, and celebrations of each individual Scandinavian country including signature cuisines and ingredients found in each region. Also included are cook's tips and complete nutritional information for all recipes.

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  • Home Baked: Nordic recipes and techniques for organic bread and pastry

    2012 by Hanne Risgaard

    This book of Nordic breads is something completely different and totally intriguing. Risgaard details the many types of flours used in addition to wheat such as spelt, barley, and rye. When combined with lavender, buttermilk—even stinging nettles (available all over the Chicago area), a Nordic culinary tradition is revealed. The natural, healthy ingredients used for these breads are sure to delight. Pumpkin Seed Bread with Buttermilk is my favorite.

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  • Noma: my perfect storm

    2016 by Pierre Deschamps

    René Redzepi is the chef and co-owner of the restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has developed a cuisine that draws from the area’s landscape and culture and which sources a network of local farmers and purveyors. His dishes celebrate the region and this documentary shows how he revolutionized the world of gastronomy by infusing Nordic cuisine with a modern flare. A fascinating journey into genius and resurrection.

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  • Ebelskivers:

    2014 by Kevin Crafts

    Ebelskivers, Danish for snacks and desserts, includes forty recipes for pancakes. There are recipes for Danish pancake traditionalists and culinary experimenters alike. This book teaches the aspiring pancake artist how to fill them and what to top them with. The result is delicious sweet and savory ebelskivers that can be served and enjoyed any time of day. This book will change the way you look at pancakes forever.

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  • How to Hygge: the Nordic secrets to a happy life

    2017 by Signe Johansen

    “If mindfulness is about the self and looking inward, hygge is about being sociable and looking outward; taking pleasure in the simple things in life.” So says Signe Johansen whose book is filled with beautiful images of meals and tips for creating a “higgle home.” You'll also find ideas for outdoor activities, cultivating self-sufficiency, and taking a break during the workday to socialize and enjoy coffee and a sweet treat. The photography alone makes this an outstanding addition to the hygge collection.

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  • Scandinavian Comfort Food : embracing the art of hygge

    2016 by Trina Hahnemann

    This is one of my favorite new Scandinavian receipe books. It includes regional cuisine, classics (such as salmon burgers), and new delights as well. Living in the Chicago metro area, with easy access to Andersonville, a serious cook in need of the required ingredients will be able to find them easily in that neighborhood's many specialty stores. This book includes everything from breakfast items to desserts and smorgasbord.

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