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Publisher's Summary

Derived from the Swedish phrase Lagom är bäst, meaning "the right amount is best; in moderation, in balance", langom is a deeply held philosophy closely tied to the Swedish cultural and social ideology of fairness and equality. Lagom is believed to have begun with Viking culture: at gatherings, when a bowl of mead was passed around in a circle, it was important that everyone sipped "just enough" or their "fair share" so there was enough to be enjoyed by all. Deeply ingrained in the Swedish psyche, lagom is about enjoying balance in every aspect of life - from work and leisure to family and food and everything in between.

Experienced bakers know by touch when dough they're kneading is lagom - not too moist and not too dry. At the office, professionals who work hard - but not to the detriment of other aspects of their lives - are following the ideal of lagom. In this inviting, inspirational guide, Niki Brantmark explains lagom and explains how to incorporate it into your own lifestyle, including:

  • Home: declutter, keep items you love; buy consciously
  • Work: take regular coffee breaks away from your desk, Swedish style; learn to "switch off" at home
  • Money: more isn't happiness - live within your means and be thrifty without sacrificing quality
  • Body and mind: exercise that fits your life and healthy habits that make you feel better (starting with more sleep)
  • Food: enjoy that slice of cake, but remember, portions in moderation
  • Vacation: make the most of holidays and time off
  • Leisure: get out in nature - take a hike in the woods or a dip in the sea
  • Family: keep it simple and organized
  • Friendship: form bonds that will last a lifetime
  • And much more

In an interconnected world filled with goal-oriented perfectionists, Lagom reminds us to slow down, to decompress and destress, to be mindful of sustainability yet not deny ourselves pleasure. But lagom is not a rigid set of rules - sometimes you need more, sometimes you need less, and that's fine, too! With this idea-filled guide, you can learn to find greater balance, well-being, and harmony - and, most importantly, make time for the things that matter most in life.

©2017 Niki Brantmark (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Not For Adults

It's the new year and I thought this book would be a fantastic way to recenter my outlook on life. After finishing, I was trying to imagine who this book was written for; I suppose a 10 to 12 year old is probably the best audience. It's a collection of self-evident lists strung together with some kitschy advice. As a grown up it's a little bit condescending - actually super condescending. At a much younger age, maybe just exiting Elementary School, the lists of advice might be just right!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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This book inspired me to live a little better

I really enjoyed listening to this book. A peek into Swedish society - and all the little things that make it tick. I loved hearing the new to me - Swedish words pronounced. It sure is filled with lists and suggestions - most of which we have all heard already but it was a great gentle reminder that every small step adds up to a wonderful journey. This book did not admonish, it did not preach that we all should be doing this or else - it was optimistic and positive. Makes me immediately want to listen to it again, and then probably again in a few weeks for a gentle nudge of how I want to raise my kids.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not at all as interesting as I'd hoped...

I don't believe there was a single insight here that I haven't heard a hundred times. just because a person moves to a nordic country doesn't mean that person has anything valuable to say about the traditions he or she has adopted. this felt amateurish. Very. and the narrator's monotone voice didn't help. only took it from annoying to boring and back again. Shame, because I know many Swedes and their traditions are quite interesting. If this is one's first exposure, it would be hard not to walk away feeling empty. believe me, it's the book, not the Lagom!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Mostly common sense.

Some ideas were good. We all need reminders to rest. But there were several things that she suggests that are impractical. “Simplify your life” is a much better read with more applicable suggestions.

If you want a pretty book to make your home decor pop, this would be a great piece. But if your looking for some life altering advice, look elsewhere.

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More of a Buzzfeed list than a real book

I wanted to like this book. I though that it would be kind of a combination of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and The Almost Nearly Perfect People about Scandinavian culture. There is a little bit of cultural anthropology here as the author plays the removed British observer, but in my opinion the book trends too much toward a Martha Stewart how-to book with directions for making homemade Christmas decorations and other knick knacks. It ends up being just a general self-help book with a Swedish theme. And many of the recommendations are just kind of laughable. Sure, I'll be sure to go for a brisk ocean swim every day before work! Or not. I'd love to bike to work if I didn't have to travel on four-lane highways to get there. Swedish people are unique because Sweden is a pretty unique place. I'm more interested in that fact than a bunch of platitudes about getting enough sleep.