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The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country Paperback – 3 Dec 2015
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'A lovely mix of English sensibility and Danish pragmatism. Helen seems to have understood more about the Danish character than I have! My only worry is that it will make everyone want to have a go and my holiday home area will get overcrowded.' -- Sandi Toksvig 'Russell is possessed of a razor-sharp wit and a winning self-deprecation - two of the things that make this book such a delight.' The Independent 'A hugely enjoyable romp through the pleasures and pitfalls of setting up home in a foreign land' -- PD Smith Guardian 'A wryly amusing account of a new life in a strange land.' Choice Magazine 'if you can't up sticks and move to Denmark... don't despair: here are a few tips and tricks I've picked up for getting a slice of the Danish work-life balance wherever you are.' 'Russell's husband takes a contract with Lego and they are catapulted into rural Jutland, in Denmark. Russell, who is a fast living journalist in London, is at first overwhelmed with the silence, the people, the sheer differences of living in a very foreign country. She then discovers that Danish people have the highest-rated happiness scores in the world... what's their secret? Why are they so damn happy? I'll let you know, it's a lot to do with something called "Hygge".' 'Giving up isn't always a bad thing; being a dropout can even change your life for the better. Helen Russell was a high-flying glossy magazine editor before moving to rural Jutland in Denmark which, despite its long dark winters, is also statistically the happiest nation on earth. While there, Helen soon discovered there's more to Danish life than cured herring and Nordic knits, as she described in her book, "The Year of Living Danishly".' 'Ever bought a book for a friend and ended up reading it yourself? I dipped into this and ended up buying my own copy so I could finish it' 'A hugely enjoyable autobiographical account of upping sticks... to the sticks.'
About the Author
Helen Russell is a journalist and former editor of MarieClaire.co.uk. She now lives in rural Jutland and works as a Scandinavia correspondent for the Guardian, as well as writing a column on Denmark for the Telegraph.
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Top Customer Reviews
Being a journalist by trade, the author knows how to research. She manages to interview a wide range of experts in diverse fields, as well as the friends which she makes along the way in Denmark. Thus, the book is loaded with facts and with comparisons to society in other countries. However, one should keep in mind that, given the fact that she relies upon a well adjusted crowd as informants, the book does not convey the complete picture of life in Denmark. Even fairytale Denmark has its bad neighbourhoods. But if you are a skilled professional moving to Denmark, chances are that you'll pick a good one.
As I mentioned, part of the story is as much about relocating across borders as it is about the country as such. Having worked as an expat for three years in a neighbouring country, I could relate to a lot of that. Denmark and the UK are similar countries in the greater scheme of things but when it comes to cultural differences, the details matter.
The book is well structured with each chapter covering a calendar month and an aspect of Danish culture, thus creating a tie between the culture descriptions and the personal story of a British girl spending a year trying to get acquainted with Denmark. Also, the names of persons and of locations are "encoded" as to extract a more general story from the specific one. The husband of the author is known simply as Lego Man and her village of residence as Sticksville-on-the-Sea. It's a neat trick which makes the story easier to relate to.
Generally, it's spot on.Read more ›
And it'll make you laugh. Out loud. At Danes. And yourself.
Above all, it is thought provoking and should encourage us all to reassess our lives, ask ourselves what is really important and help us set more realistic goals in life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love visiting Denmark and really enjoyed reading about Helen's experiences of living there and finding out if Danish people really are the world's happiest. Read morePublished 12 hours ago by Amazon Customer
An interesting read about moving to Denmark. Its a bit over chatty and occasionally irritating to read, although some of the chapters were entertaining. Read morePublished 11 days ago by working mum
Found the book very female orientated. It was like reading a Bridget Jones account of Denmark. Not that that should put anyone off buying it; but not a book I could easily relate... Read morePublished 14 days ago by GB
With all respect to the author, this book was pretty disappointing. Despite there was a few (very few I have to say) interesting parts, majority of it was very dull and believe me:... Read morePublished 17 days ago by leo
A thought-provoking book. It is written with warmth and humour while taking a critical look at a society that is remarkably at ease with itself. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Al B
This is a Wonderful book. Enjoyable and thought provoking, and now I want to go to Denmark. I have already recommended this book to a friendPublished 27 days ago by Mrs S A Phillips