Scandi Life Books in Review

I've moved on from being obsessed with hygge to being enthralled by the rest of Scandi culture, politics, design, and social welfare. I've read two books on the subject of Scandi life recently, one being significantly better than the other, in my opinion, but judge for yourself!


The Year of Living Danishly (above) was excellent, in my opinion. In all honesty, I wish I had a physical copy of it to loan it out to other people. Ironically, I didn't even know about this book until it was recommended via the library website. 

The book is about the author, Helen, and her husband that move from London to Jutland for her husband to work at Lego. Her writing style is entertaining as she discusses all the things she about Scandiland that threw her for a loop. Not shocking to me that they weren't going to meet many neighbors or friends in the middle of January or that they love their pastries. Hello, the people are called Danish! It was somewhat surprising that Scandis are so obsessed with organized group activities, including nude pool parties. Yea. Nude. Pool. Parties. I knew from personal experience that Scandis believe in fine lighting and leaving their babies outside if they go into stores or coffee shops but it doesn't make it any less cringe-worthy to read about the latter. When we were in Iceland over the summer I almost picked up a baby crying in a stroller outside of a store and the mother looked at me like I was nuts for showing concern. Apparently they believe it's good for children to get the fresh air but ironically, studies show that the fabric and other items they put over the stroller to protect the baby from the elements actually deprive babies of air. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, angry Scandi mom. Overall, great book. Well-researched with a wide variety of topics to covered without being boring...which is more than I can say for the book below...


Unfortunately, I lugged this book along with me on my Southwest road trip just in case my Kindle battery died or something. Funny (but really not funny) enough, my Kindle was stolen on that trip so this was the only book I had to read. At first, I thought it was going to be a great exploration of Scandi culture and politics but instead, I ended up reading over 100 pages on freaking childcare rates and how much maternity/paternity leave parents get in Scandilands. As someone doesn't have kids and who already knows about gov't provided healthcare and the cost of childcare, this was super boring. I felt like it was never going to end! She keeps giving statistics and studies facts and then goes on to talk about every person she's ever met and their experience with whatever topic she's talking about. Barf. I don't care about the specific details of your friend's spinal surgery bill. Legit-that's how annoying and tedious it becomes. If you're going to read it, read past the introduction and you'll see what I'm talking about. The introduction basically outlines her move from Finland to the US to be with her [now] husband and how she basically had a breakdown because American life is so stressful and made for strong, independent, broken-ass people who just have learned how to deal. Yup. Life's bumpy, wear your helmet, sister. If given the chance, I'd love to get my time back for having read this one.

Have you read any great Scandi books lately? Am I too obsessed? Am I learning too much about stuff without just moving there? Who knows. I'm reading about this girl who went a year without eating processed foods now so at least that's a new topic...but I'm eating salt and vinegar chips [not homemade] while I'm reading it so obviously I'm feeling a really strong influence. 

What books are you reading?!

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