Lagom – Book Review

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne

The overall theme of this book is as the title implies – the Swedish idea of Lagom.

Lagom means something akin to “not too much, not too little, just right.” Essentially, the art of living in a balanced manner. As someone who is admittedly very unbalanced but trying my damnedest to live in a more balanced way, this book was basically calling my name from the shelf.

The cover is very adorable, with my favorite color featured and cute images of what Lagom living entails.

I should preface the remainder of this review with the fact that I am completely obsessed with the Scandinavian culture (Iceland in particular) but even more so after getting my ancestry results back and finding out that the majority of my heritage is Scandinavian and Irish. So I was drawn to get this book for a multitude of reasons.

The book itself gave a very comprehensive view of what lagom living means.

A few details that stood out to me or things I realized while reading include:

  • The social benefits of lagom, obviously specifically the focus on male partner inclusion in child rearing and early fatherly support.
  • Making a full meal out of all the leftovers in the fridge.
  • Eating sweets only one day a week, which is SO HARD for this sweet tooth.
  • Eating little and often throughout the day.
  • “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.”
  • The actual philosophy of Ikea and H&M, rather than the consumeristic outlook I had previously.

And many more things, honestly too many to list.

Overall, I think this book was exactly the kind of guidance I needed at this point in my life.

I’m currently undergoing a sort of personal transformation with the way I exist in the world and how I want to continue to live. Specifically, learning to live a more balanced life. So this very cute book detailing an entire society built around a balanced life was the perfect remedy. This book detailed lagom ideals applied in work-like balance, food and exercise, environmentally conscious living, and even emotional well-being. For me,  this book provided a way to approach the different facets of my life that I know I struggle with finding balance in and offered some considerations for how I can go about making changes in my life. A sort of happy medium between the life I am living now and the life I wish I was living in my dreams. Something realistic and attainable without needing to move to Sweden to find the hidden happiness we know can be found in that country.

If you’re interested in Scandinavian culture like myself, or even just interested in considering how lagom can help improve your own daily life, I think this book is worth considering. I’ll even lend it to you because that would be a great next step in adopting a lagom lifestyle.

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