Review: The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well – Meik Wiking

synopsis 2

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: Hygge.

‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

One of my most anticipated reads for this month and…. I can´t really say I was disappointed. I found this read to be gripping.

Interesting enough- This book on how the Danish live well was categorized on Goodreads under Self – Help and psychology, yet this book didn´t feel like that at all.

It felt more like a little guide of Denmark, or a guide on how the Danish live. hygge

Which is perfectly fine by me. I love to learn about different cultures and get to know what exactly it is that makes them who they are.

The word that´s focused on here is Hygge. The definition of Hygge is: There isn´t one.Hygge is a word that describes  the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Good company, family, food and… candles.

Looks like the Danish are obsessed with light. There was no shortage on the mention of candles in this read. Looks like candles are the way to live a cozy life.

Too bad I think candles are dust collectors. I prefer my cozy moments with floodlights ( because I´m as blind as a bat )

Besides the candle parts ( which are almost always mentioned ) I do love the Danish lifestyle.

Just shows that life isn´t always about work and work and.. work.

Life is about taking a step back and appreciating your surroundings. Just ask the Danish people. They obviously have it all worked out. They know how to be content.

As much as I loved this book I did find a few things  that would never work out for me, personally. The 10 inexpensive Hygge Activities, for example:

  1. Bring out the board games. I´m a bad loser. It´s been said that I´ve thrown a board game off a table once because I can´t stand losing. ( that´s only half true. I walk away when I´m losing .  And that one time when the golf driver slipped out of my sweaty hands and flew towards my husband… An accident. ) I´m competetive and can´t lose. Board games are not an option.
  2. TV Night. I used to love TV nights with friends. Now I have friends who go to bed early ( even on the weekends ).
  3. Make a fire. Not a bad idea if someone would mow the lawn beforehand.
  4. Swap Party. NO. No no no. People never want to swap good stuff. That idea just doesn´t work for me at all. I really don´t want my best friend´s self made robot.
  5. Sledding. Another nice idea if there was something to sled on. Like snow. Or a sled. I don´t even have a sled ( because we hardly ever get snow ). I thought this was supposed to be an inexpensive Hygge activity. To sled I´d have to buy one and book a vacation to somewhere where it snows. Too expensive for me.

So, as you can see… I´ll have a hard time doing typical Danish activities.

That part about spending time with friends and family… Listen, I love my friends ( and some of my family ) but I don´t want to see them all the time. Some of them are exhausting AF. They all can destroy my Hygge vibes. Lol.

What I did approve of were the stuff I already include into my daily life.

  • read ( I had to laugh at that one )
  • enjoy a hot beverage and have ceramic ( this one got another laugh )
  • food ( because food is AWESOME )
  • going slow ( because you miss out on so much when moving too fast )
  • Wool sweaters and socks ( And I have the ugliest wool wardrobe, EVER!)

 

All in all I really liked this book. Enough to want to go visit Denmark in the near future.

It´s been mentioned many times before – The Danish people are the happiest in the world. I can believe that after reading this book.

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. It´s a nice book that gives you LOTS of insight on how simple it can be to be happy and feel content with the little things in life. Also, this book gives a taste on what Denmark is about.

Would I re – read this book? Sure. It´s definitely something I´ll take a look at once in a while.

 

The Cover – 5 Stars ( The cover was the first thing I fell in love with. )

The Idea – 5 stars ( Great idea to introduce the perks of Denmark and the people who live there. )

The Writing – 5 stars ( Written by CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking. His study sounds like a lot of fun. His writing has an easy-going, joyous touch.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – On my way to join the Hygge movement.

5 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.comhygge

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Readers Copy – Then & Now

Book bloggers who interact with authors and hang around Netgalley will know what an ARC is. For the rest of the world who´s always asked themselves what the abbreviation means… I´m here to help!

You´re welcome.

 

arc banner

 

And now you´re thinking: “WOW! Those book bloggers get free books from publishers / authors directly? That´s awesome!”

You´re right. It is AWESOME.

Us book blog folks can´t really complain when it comes to receiving books before they hit the bookshelves.

But receiving ARCs comes with a price. It´s not just about getting free, yet to be published, books.

 

Granted. The price we pay isn´t necessarily high. But it´s tiresome and even taxing over time. But sometimes reading those ARCs can be rewarding.

I think it´s fair to add that there is a difference between traditional published and self published ARCs. And then there´s Netgalley, which is a whole different level of giving out unpublished free copies to readers.

Traditional published advanced copies are usually reserved for journalists, celebrities, major blogs. Of course, any every-day-book-blogger can receive a traditional published ARC, as well. It just involves a little more work and luck.

Self published ARCs are much easier to get our hands on. We either wait for an open opportunity to add ourselves to a list or an author may ask us directly if we´re interested in reading an ARC.

Or, we hop over to Netgalley and include ourselves to a list there and then hope for the best.

Either way – ARCs come with a set of rules. These rules may vary but they core of rules is always the same.

  1. Do not forward the book to a third party
  2. Must leave a review ( either before or after or directly on publication date )
  3. Include publisher / authors name
  4. Meet the deadline
  5. Don´t publish a review with less than a 3 star rating. ( not a mandatory rule, but it still pops up once in a while )

 

So, basically you get to read for free if you promise not to let anyone else read the unpublished book and if you include the publisher / author in your review by thanking them for letting you read the free copy then everyone´s happy.

 

Many book bloggers will mention that the book they´ve read was an ARC in their reviews. Sometimes it´s even asked of us book bloggers to add a small recognition line in our reviews. That might look something like this:

 

I received an Avanced Readers Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review”

 

A simple line, right? That can always be easily worked into a review before it´s published. That line might raise some questions to normal reader who´s only looking for his/her next read, though.

 

No matter how a book blogger receives an ARC the rules stay the same.

 

Don´t do shit you promised not to do! Do shit you promised you´d do!

 

 

The price we pay is truly small compared to what we´d normally spend after the ARC hits the bookshelves.

Are Advanced Readers Copies worth it?

I´d say yes and no. Yes, because it´s a fabulous way to get our hands on new books and ARCs are kind to our wallets.

No, because book bloggers tend to agree to read more ARCs than they´re able to fit into their schedule

.
Let´s do simple math that displays what I´m talking about:

2 ARCs a week = 8 ARCs a month = better have a calendar or else you´re screwed.

 

 

And then there´s that issue when you want to DNF the ARC. You have to contact the publisher or author and give details as to why you can´t continue to read.

Meeting a deadline is also sometimes exhausting.

Life is often not nice to us book bloggers. Sometimes we have to hop back to reality and can´t meet a deadline. You have to contact the publisher or author and explain why.

 

So, are ARCs truly worth it?

Sort of. Kind of. Depends on what type of person / book blogger you are.

 

ARCs Then & Now

Nowadays, 98% of all ARCs come in e-book format. Why? Because it´s much easier and quicker. There´s no hassle with printed ARCs and no shipping issues. ARCs flow from one device to another within seconds or a few hours. ARCs these days look like this:

 

arc 2
Taken from my unloved Kindle

 

Or, dare I share this little gem from Netgalley:

 

arc 3
Another shot from my unloved Kindle

 

A few years back, though, there were still publishers and authors who made a point of giving out printed advanced copies to readers.

 

arc
ARC taken from my personal bookshelf.

 

Weird, right? Hardly imaginable in the day of modern technology yet they existed. Printed ARCs were a thing and I miss them dearly.

 

 

These days, authors love to give out e-book arcs because they´re efficient. Low cost and no wasted effort.

And many authors have misunderstood the meaning of an ARC. The roots of ARCs.

What was once an uncorrected proof read turned into a nearly finished – finished project ready to hit sales.

Let´s do a quick listing of things that made ARCs different from the past and now.

ARCs Back Then

  • Uncorrected proof reads
  • No final cover image
  • Story wasn´t final
  • Paperback format came as a naked product

 

Readers gave feedback on the proof read and THEN the whole book was combed through again before it would be published, 3 – 6 months later with a cover image.

ARCS NOW

  • handed out in exchange for an honest review
  • often final product
  • often comes with a finished cover image

 

In short: readers receive a copy for review purposes and then the book gets published within 1-3 months ( or less ).
So, the idea of an ARC has changed over the years. And then there´s the time issue. We live in a fast living world. If authors / publishers don´t get said book out yesterday then the genre might go out of style tomorrow.

There´s hardly any time to send out a paperback ARC across oceans to the opposite side of the world when the same thing can be sent via technology within a blink of an eye.

Makes sense, right?

It still doesn´t change the fact that I don´t like ARCs, no matter what form they come in.

They´re added work. The story has to sound freaking special before I accept an advanced copy.

Do you like to read Advanced Readers Copies? How often do you accept ARCs?

Let me hear your thoughts! I´m dying to discuss this topic with you.

 

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

Book Review: A Court Of Frost And Starlight – Sarah J. Maas

synopsis 2

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

I wasn´t a huge fan of the first 3 books. What was there to be a fan of? Stealing major parts from other successful stories and adding them to an already good story isn´t going to win any plus points from me. ( review- ACOTAR, ACOMAFACOWAR )

So, why did I read `A Court Of Frost And Starlight`( A Court Of Thorns And Roses # 3.1) by Sarah J. MaasA Court Of rost And Starlight?

Because I have hope. That´s all.

I don´t know why but I feel like the autor is just holding back. I could be wrong, though. Let´s hope I´m not wrong. Let´s keep our fingers crossed that the author will write a book that doesn´t have Rhys and Feyre ( MCs from books 1 – 3 ) in it.

I´m not going to beat around the bush with this one.

A Court of Frost and Starlight wasn´t fully a waste of time but it wasn´t a mandatory read, either. It was a book for devoted fans of the series.
When a blogger buddy ( it was Sabrina  @5171 Miles Book Blog )sent me a Whatsapp with the cover I felt my blood pressure rise. ANOTHER ONE? Good Lord above. Aren´t Rhys and Feyre ever going to call it a day? I thought the whole story was done after book #3 – It sure felt like everything was over.

Apparently not. So, as the good blogger I am…. I didn´t bother buying the paperback and went straight for the kindle version and began reading.

The truth? The ugly truth?
This book is about exchanging presents. Nothing more. It´s less about how the characters dealt with their lives after the great war ( although that was mentioned… if only a little ) and more about what each character was going to gift the other in great detail.

A shame, really, because the author had SO many options she could have chosen from for this book to make this an exciting read.

If it weren´t for the Nesta and Cassian scenes I would have eaten my carpet out of pure frustration.
Nesta and Cassian have a really gripping story going on and their spotlight is far over-due.  Unfortunately, Nesta and Cassian´s story is an over shadowed side story at the moment.

The author created SO MANY characters… she could have easily given a few more some major spotlight. But she didn´t. And now I´m not satisfied at all.

 

Would I recommend this book? No. Because 1) it cannot be read as a standalone. One has to read the other 3 bricks to understand this read. 2) It´s basically for the hardcore ACOTAR ninjas. If you are not a fully devoted ACOTAR fan nor a fan of having to start at book 1 to understand book 3.1 then I simply cannot recommend this read.

Would I re – read this book? No.

 

The Cover – 4 stars ( My favorite cover from the whole series so far. )

The Story – 2 stars  ( Not really what I would call a story when you get to read about Faeries going shopping for gifts. Nesta and Cassian saved the day )

The Characters – 2 stars ( My feelings haven´t changed for the characters so far.  All I´m now asking for is to be able to read more about Nesta and Cassian because those are the only 2 characters with substance. I wouldn´t mind seeing a bit more from Tamlin, if I´m honest. His character has so much potential.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Feeling disappointed.

2 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.comA Court Of rost And Starlight

 

Book Review: Cry, Heart, But Never Break – Glenn Ringtved

synopsis 2

Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must. He comes gently, naturally. And he comes with enough time to share a story with the children that helps them to realize the value of loss to life and the importance of being able to say goodbye.

 

My Thoughts 2

`Cry, Heart, But Never Break` by Glenn Ringtved is truly a treasure to have.

cry heart

Unfortunately, I wasn´t the one who purchased this book. I didn´t even know this book existed until my husband brought it home the other day.

The reason for that was: My husband´s work colleague´s brother in-law passed at a young age and he wanted to explain the meaning of death to his own children. To help them understand why their uncle wasn´t with them anymore, but help them understand in a child-like way.

My husband´s colleague googled for books and found this award-winning children´s book.

The only problem was: The book hasn´t been translated in german and his children don´t understand english, yet. He asked if I could translate this book for him so he could help his children understand what had happened.

I didn´t hesitate. Translating 32 pages is a piece of cake, especially when there´s only 2 sentences per page.

First off, I would like to say that this book is, indeed, perfect for children who are confronted with the loss of a beloved family member. I´d even go so far and say that adults should take a look inside this book, too.

The cover image and illustration art might not be overly inviting for children but it fits it´s purpose.

This isn´t a book about how to sugar coat death and make children believe in something we have no proof of knowing…

There is no mention of God or Heaven. No one sits on a cloud and looks down at the people still living. That option is left for a reader to include ( should they feel the need to add that kind of spirituality at the end of the story ).

This book get´s to the point with little words. It breaks your heart and gives you a sense of warmth in a time of sadness.

Wonderful.

“What would life be worth if there were no death? Who would enjoy the sun if it never rained? Who would yearn for day if there were no night?”  – Death

Sometimes adults fail to find the right words to help children understand. But there are books like this one that´ll help in the best way possible.

 

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. For all ages. It´s important for children to deal with certain situations because there are things that can´t be prevented, such as death. I´m not one to shove the issue in a child´s face but when someone beloved passes then I´ll definitely reach out for this book and tackle the topic.

 

Would I re – read this book? Yes and no. Although beautiful, it still is sad.

 

The Cover – 3 stars ( I think the illustration is a tad gloomy but it fits the topic.)

The Story – 5 stars ( It helps small minds and makes larger minds sit back and think. A fantastic read. Perfect.)

The Characters –  ( I don´t think it´s necessary to rate Death and the children who spent time with him. This is not something where character development plays a role.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Teary. I had a hard time swallowing down the lump in my throat. But I also felt completely satisfied and less shattered than I thought I would be.

5 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.com

 

 

Book Review: Cake – Carmen Jenner

Synopsis

A hilarious new rom-com from USA Today best-selling author Carmen Jenner. 

Poppy Porter’s ex is getting married … to her ex-best friend. To land her dream job of partner in the most prestigious firm on the Upper East Side, Poppy must now pull double shifts as their wedding planner and maid of honor. And the icing on a truly craptastic cake? Leo Nass. Handsome, infuriating, womanizer, and … the best man. Despite their longstanding loathing, Poppy doesn’t see Leo coming. Literally.

One ruined cake.
One archnemesis.
One hour to save the wedding.

Can they put their hatred aside long enough to save Poppy’s job and Bridezilla’s head from exploding?

Piece of cake, right?

My Thoughts

Fun fact- I don´t like watching rom – coms. I don´t like reading rom – coms, either.

The reason for that is:  I find them far too cheesy and full of clichés. And most of them take place in Manhattan…because that´s the place for rom – coms.

You´d have a better chance catching me reading a Sci-Fi than a rom-com. If I want to be dragged out of my comfort – zone then I will most definitely not start reading romantic comedy´s.

Believe it or not… There´s a huge difference when it comes to romances. There are so many sub categories to the genre.

It´s the „I can´t live without you“ and „You had me at hello.“ that has me constantly doing the face of all faces.

I cannot, by all that´s pink and fluffy, remember what drove me to buy `Cake` by author Carmen Jenner.Cake

I remember seeing the cover on all social media platforms and reading a handful of reviews. The next thing I remember is scrolling through my TBR list on my Kindle and POOF, there was `Cake´. So, my guess is that I made a mistake.

I was in for a surprise.

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit Cake!

I actually enjoyed `Cake`. Like…really really enjoyed it.

The story? It was nothing new, or nothing I haven´t heard of a million times before. The story was the exact thing that usually bothers me with rom – coms.

Wedding planner gets a triple slap in the face when her ex wants to marry her best friend and has to co – plan their wedding PLUS be the maid of honor.

Things become interesting when Poppy, the wedding planner, has to deal with the groom´s best man – Leo, who´s also a childhood enemy of Poppy. They bump into each other more often than not.

The story takes place in New York and the Maldives ( of course! ) and cash is being tossed around as if someone had it growing on trees in their backyard.

So, why did I like this book so much?

Besides the humor ( which I fully appreciated ) it was the writing style and the way the characters were portrayed that made this read great. Poppy and Leo definitely helped me enjoy this book more than I was willing to.

Plus, there was cake. A lot of cake involved in this story. Who doesn´t love cake? Cake rules.

I couldn´t help myself. Falling for Leo and Poppy was not what I had planned but it happened anyways. Their overall chemistry was lovable.

What I also enjoyed was how movie – like this read felt. I kid you not… Reading `Cake ` felt like watching a Kate Hudson rom – com. ( I like watching Kate Hudson… not the romantic comedy´s she plays in )

The end was great. I liked how things played out for the MCs and the sub – characters.

Would I recommend this book? Sure. `Cake` is quite funny and entertaining. I don´t necessarily think that this book cured me of my dislike for rom – coms… but it did put a smile on my face more than once. That alone is reason enough to recommend this book. Maybe I´d be more open to rom – coms if they took place in Iceland or…. some other place that´s not in / near / around Manhattan.

Would I re – read this book? Not sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I have a strong feeling that this is a once – is – enough type of book. But who knows… I´m open for surprises.

The Cover – 3 stars ( The cover is nothing I´d go nuts over. And it´s definitely not the worst I´ve seen.)

The Story – 3 stars ( Uuhm… Not really unique but due to the writing style definitely highly entertaining. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Loved them. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Really happy.

4 stars

Purchase Links   Cake

Amazon.com 

Amazon.co.uk