Friday, October 20, 2017


Every year for the last several years there have been studies and polls which sample people from many countries in the world.  The questions range from general (how happy you are) to specific things about health, general well being, satisfaction, wages, living, safety etc.

Every year the statistics have been compiled, the Scandinavian countries (or more generally speaking, northern Europe) have ranked highest.

This charming book by Brontë Aurell on Quarto Press' Aurum imprint
explores (in a very laid back and humorous and sweet manner), just why Scandinavians are so darned happy (but not smug).

The book is surprisingly comprehensive and does a fairly good job at pointing out some of the subtler differences between Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and other cultures.  Obviously there are generalizations, no country is completely homogenized, there are regional differences, but it manages to cover the basics without being preachy, boring, or rude.

My personal journey is sort of a mirror image, I moved from the USA to Norway to study and work, and very many of the things she explains in the book, I wish I'd known when I moved here.  I personally also found that sometimes the cultural differences (and there ARE some) are semi-hidden because nearly everyone in Scandinavia speaks English perfectly fluently, so when there are cultural misunderstandings, they can be difficult to pin down.

Anyhow, it's a fun book, a very relaxed and gently humorous book.  The styles and crafts and food (MOST of the food), the breathtaking scenery and the wonderful friendly down-to-earth people are worth a visit (or a longer stay).

I know that I personally am so much happier living here and have never regretted it.

Stats:  224 pages, released 7th Sept 2017

Four stars
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.

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