We’re in the last month of 2019, and I have come close to documenting the books, movies, TV shows, podcasts and other forms of entertainment I have loved, month by month. The end of November slipped by me as we enjoyed family gatherings for Thanksgiving and then moved right into Jayda’s birthday on Dec. 1.
But even though we are 17 days into December, I haven’t been able to write about anything else until I write my monthly wrap-up of what I loved. So, let’s get right into it.
THE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE
The cold, dark months of winter are my nemesis, leaving me constantly in search of a way to make these short days more meaningful. I thought it would be fun to read a book I heard about a few years ago, called The Little Book of Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga). It turns out, this was just what I needed to help me reframe my outlook on the frigid darkness.
Hygge, it turns out, is a word very specific to Danish culture to describe a way of life in a climate that is cold much of the year. Hygge is a Danish word to define a lifestyle that values a mood of being cozy and comfortable. It involves fireplaces, candles, warm drinks, cozy clothing, big scarves and lots of cake and cookies. People in Denmark get together with close friends to cook together, play games or even read books together. When you wrap all of this together, you have hygge.
The book describes how hygge is such a part of Danish culture that the word is used as an adjective to describe almost anything that fits into the cozy comfortable lifestyle: a hygge cafe, a hygge restaurant, or a hygge evening at home. Reading about the way Danish people embrace hygge has given me a good excuse to find the value of staying snuggled at home near the fire, lighting candles, wrapping myself in a blanket and reading a book. (As if I needed an excuse.)
If you want to get inspiration to put on your most comfortable outfit and spend the next few months indoors, then you should definitely read The Little Book of Hygge.
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro is a memoir about a writer who whimsically submitted her DNA to a genealogy web site, only to disrupt everything she thought she knew about herself. Raised by strict Jewish parents, Shapiro unravels the mystery surrounding her true identity and tries to come to terms with what makes her who she is after discovering her biological father wasn’t her father at all.
The book was a quick read that becomes even more of a page turner when she tracks down her biological father. He also has to contend with ethical questions to decide whether to open his heart to his daughter — a complete stranger he didn’t know existed.
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS
I had been on the waiting list since April to get to download Nine Perfect Strangers as an audio book from the library. So, you might say my expectation for this book was pretty high. It was an entertaining book, but I’m not sure it was worth the seven-month wait.
Nine people buy a 10-day spa package that promises to completely change their lives. They spend the first part of the retreat in silence, only allowed to eat specially-formulated food designed for their dietary goals. But the nine participants find they will have to work together to outsmart the neurotic owner of the resort.
The premise of the book lacks believability. There are so many characters that it’s very difficult to follow. The book was entertaining on audiobook, but I don’t think there’s any way I could have finished it in print.
If you haven’t seen Baby Yoda by now on Disney Plus, are you even alive? Our whole family has been looking forward to Fridays when we get to watch a new episode of the Star Wars-based series. Are you watching?
And Frozen 2? I loved it!
I had to wrap that up as quickly as possible because it’s almost time for me to write about what I loved in December! But before this month ends, I would love to hear what you’ve been reading or watching! Let me know about your favorites!