Move over hygge and meet the latest Scandinavian lifestyle export: lagom, a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount.” Emphasizing comfort, order, and balance, lagom is a natural fit for readers seeking solace in challenging times.
New books on the subject include Niki Brantmark’s Lagom (Harper Design) and Elisabeth Carlsson’s The Lagom Life (Ryland Peters Small), both of which pubbed at the beginning of October. Careful readers will notice that the titles of these books, as well as forthcoming ones, hew closely to the “just enough” lagom spirit by sharing about a half-dozen words among them.
(Running Press, Oct.)
Published in the U.K. by Octopus imprint Gaia earlier this year, Lagom is divided into chapters spanning all the ways to incorporate the concept into one’s life: how to eat (indulge, but in moderation), what to wear (upcycled comfy-chic statement pieces), how to socialize (staying in is the new going out), and more.
The Little Book of Lagom
Jonny Jackson and Elias Larsen (Andrews McMeel, Jan. 2018)
Another British import—Summersdale published the book in the U.K. in August—this title offers a combination of recipes, quotes, craft projects, and tips to help readers reduce food waste, decorate with recycled materials, and balance their needs with the needs of the larger community. The pair are also the authors of 2017’s The Joy of Hygge (Skyhorse).
(Ten Speed, Jan. 2018)
Swedish-American writer Anna Brones—coauthor with illustrator Johanna Kindvall of 2015’s Fika, an ode to the Swedish coffee break (Ten Speed; 12,000 print copies sold)—offers actionable tips in the areas of work, health, and home, with a holistic approach to mind and body. The book includes simple recipes and examples of Swedish design, as well as thoughts on the persistent phenomenon of always being too busy.
Live Laugh Lagom
Lola Akinmade Åkerström
Emphasizing the importance of having not too little and not too much of anything, Åkerström, who is editor-in-chief at the website Slow Travel Stockholm, offers advice on taking a lagom approach to reduce stress, save money, build stronger relationships, and more. She also gets grammar-nerdy, delving into the subtleties of lagom and showing how it can be used, for instance, as an adverb (“Maten är lagom saltad”: “the food is salted just right”) or adjective (“Min lägenhet är lagom”: “My apartment is adequate for me”).