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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.' Author: 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.' Source: The Independent
'A hugely enjoyable romp through the pleasures and pitfalls of setting up home in a foreign land' Author: PD Smith Source: Guardian
'A wryly amusing account of a new life in a strange land.' Source: 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.' Published On: 2015-01-29
'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".' Published On: 2016-04-29
'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".' Published On: 2016-06-01
'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' Published On: 2016-05-26
'A hugely enjoyable autobiographical account of upping sticks... to the sticks.' Published On: 2016-10-01
From the Publisher
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 and the Independent, as well as writing a column on Denmark for the Telegraph. In her spare time, she gets lost chasing her dog through unfamiliar woodland (The Killing, series one-style), attempts to sing along with the local choir, and tries to understand yoga classes in Danish. Her husband ‘works’ for Lego (Denmark’s biggest export), but seems to spend the majority of his time building 4,000+ piece models of Tower Bridge or other landmarks out of coloured plastic bricks and spending all their money on over-priced Danish design. As a Lego-widow, Helen consoles herself with the knowledge that divorce in Denmark only costs £54, wine is cheap and the pastries are out of this world.See all Product description
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I thoroughly enjoyed every page and the Danes owe her a debt of gratitude for her description (in loving detail) of their special country. At several points in the book I would briefly pause to consider the possibility of moving to Denmark, that's really saying something because I live in the Highlands of Scotland 😎
If what Helen tells us about Denmark, it's inhabitants and it's attitude to life, are true (and I have no reason to doubt her) then every other country and its people should put into practice many aspects of Danish life.
I can't think of a better way to live than the Danish way, and Helen Russell does an amazing job of explaining why this is.
My faith in humanity is well and truly restored.
This made for an amusing read, and was quite nice going into autumn to hear of the traditions and rituals Danes have to get through the darker months. This book should be taken as a light read. It is not a scientific study, more a collection of superficial magazine articles. If Helen wants to know anything, she either asks a friend, googles it, or phones an expert for their opinion. Not all three, and it often feels a bit biased.
I found it emphasised the positives, like the work life balance, and social care, oh and Danish pastries of course! But skimmed over the negatives, which according to the book are the Danes have a rule for EVERYTHING, violence against women is the highest in Europe, cancer for both men & women is the highest in the world, and Denmark has the highest use of antidepressants in Europe (no wonder they feel happy).
It was still a fun read though, and I even made cinnamon buns because of reading it - Yum!
I found this book a great read, interesting, informative and amusing. I even had a few laugh out loud moments (a new phenomenon for me after 38 years fulltime teaching and reading the work of many 7 year olds !)
I loved Mrs Legoman’s style. It is witty, chatty and informative without being overbearing. I have already recommended it to others.
The author's husband is offered a job at Lego HQ in Billund, Denmark.
Through a calendar year we follow the author and Lego Man (her husband) as they move from London to settle in a undisclosed rural part of Denmark.
As well as a vivid recollection of adventures and encounters with curious Danish traditions, the book is sprinkled with (fun) facts about Denmark.
The book as been an eye opener for me. At first I though "The Danes are not like that. I am not like that". But as I progressed with the book I came to realize "Oh my God, we are exactly like that!"
All in all the author is spot on in her description of Denmark and the Danes.
The book is humorous and well written. I would recommend this book to anyone seeking an answer to the question, How is Denmark really like?
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