I am such a fan of the Danish concept of hygge, which was very popular during 2016, that I was immediately interested in reading about the Swedish lagom. Rather than revolve around comfort and cosiness as hygge does, lagom addresses a lifestyle balance. Its blurb states:
‘Live Lagom is a guide to life based on the Swedish philosophy of lagom, meaning `not too little, not too much, just right’. Celebrated author of Fika and Nordic happiness expert Anna Brones explains the practice of Lagom in traditional and practical terms, and includes advice and tips on how to find your happy medium. Lagom helps you to achieve balance in everyday life and in all areas including home, work and health. Learn how to save money, feel less stressed, reduce your environmental impact, and create your ideal home and career through the way of life practised in one of the happiest and most satisfied countries in the world. Discover for yourself the trend that Elle described as `the more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle we’ll all be wanting in 2017.’ Lagom allows you to enjoy the moment, and not only accept what you already have but also to make the most of it.’
I knew little about its details before I began to read Live Lagom: Balanced Living, the Swedish Way, and honestly do not feel much clearer after finishing Brones’ book. There is an awful lot of waffle here, and I found the writing very awkward in places; indeed, I thought it had been poorly translated at first, before realising that the author had been brought up in the United States.
Whilst the photography in Live Lagom was lovely, and I appreciated the inclusion of recipes, the text became quite repetitive, and a lot of what Brones tried to put across seemed highly obvious. The concept is interesting, but this book did not work for me at all.
Considering the heart of the concept, Live Lagom strangely lacks any balance, and a lot of the chapters felt quite superfluous. What did interest me was the section on nature and the environment, which was undoubtedly the strength of the book for me. I can only hope that other tomes which explore lagom are more… well, balanced.