November arrived bringing the first frosts, sleet and snow of the season to this part of the country, making it perfect weather to settle down to read Pia Edberg’s The Cozy Life with a cup of hot chocolate.
Published in April this year, The Cozy Life appears to have missed some of the attention and publicity that other books about hygge are receiving now. Hygge (pronounced hyoo-gah) is a Danish word with no English equivalent, it is often synonymous with coziness but a more faithful translation might be the sense of contentment that comes from appreciating the simple pleasures of life.
Pia was born in Denmark but moved to Canada with her family as a child, and she describes her own rediscovery of hygge as an adult in this book. Pia’s tone is conversational and enthusiastic, and I particularly enjoyed the interview with her father who remembers traditional hygge in Denmark and describes how it has changed in his lifetime.
Throughout the book, Pia offers tips on how to create a hygge home using textures, lighting and scents, simple recipes for hygge food and drinks including Jule Glogg (a Scandinavian version of mulled wine), and lots of other ways to add hygge into every moment of the day in any weather or season.
The Cozy Life is illustrated by Pia with cute little line drawings, but the inclusion of a couple of grainy photos brings down the over all presentation of the book.
The book’s greatest flaw is that Pia tries to cover too much in too short a book (140 pages), meaning she doesn’t have space to elaborate on other topics like gratitude and minimalism which she believes are relevant to hygge.
The Cozy Life is a quick read and a good introduction to hygge, but I suspect that there are other books which provide greater depth on hygge and the Danish lifestyle than Pia had space to do in this book.