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If you're interested in energy saving tips (LED lights vs. incandescent - wow who knew?), tips to buying at flea market (bring cash!) or other equally obvious suggestions, give it a listen. There is actually very little about how the concept of Lagom informs Swedish life both positively and negatively. About a magazine article's worth. The rest of the book is filled with the author's tedious lists of suggestions, most of which you are probably already aware of unless perhaps you've been living in a cave for the past 10 years.
The narrator's voice is easy to listen to and is very clear. The problem is that in a book with only the slightest bits of humor, her very straightforward delivery only emphasizes the book's unrelenting sense of being lectured to by a self satisfied bore. To be fair, it was hard to judge how much she could do to overcome the book's own failings.
I had to stop listening after long minutes of water saving tips. Enough!
I assume this was published because of the success of a book like The Little Book of Hygge, a book filled with interesting perspectives and a wonderful sense of humor. Too bad the publishers of Lagom didn't try and find something with equally real content.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Essentially, this is a "book" of WikiHow stapled together. Everything is stated as, you should do this, you should do that, here is a list of things you haven't done but should. When she realizes she's being too imperative, her last resort is, "Why not do" this and that. Seriously no other sentence structure. I listened to the first 30 minutes and am sick and tired of this. What kind of a book is this?
Second, she seems to view the Swedes as gods and attribute all things nice to the Swedes (not bad if you're a Swede but the kind of blind endorsement is tiring). The other half of the book can be summarized as, "Swedes do this, why don't you copy them?" "Swedes of course do this." "This is of course the Swedish way."
In some cases, she makes it sound as if you have nothing to do all day but to sit around thinking about home decor.
The book is simply dry, like reading a manual of how to copy the greatest Swede gods of the earth. I'm looking more of a book with stories to enlighten this way of life, as opposed to an collection of Instructables.
I'm going to search for a different Lagom book, there are dozens out there.
I confess I do envy the Scandinavian way of life, outlook, politics, culture, but this book was everso dull. A bit like all the good intentions you had ever had rolled into one long pious narrative. And obviously targeted at a different demographic as chapters on raising young children not at all relevant to me. I dont think my teenager would be very interested in leaf rubbings, for example, but I would be interested to know about approaches with young adults and intergenerational care in Sweden. Dull as pleasantly scented dishwater, in my humble opinion.
This was very much in the vein of Dominique Loreau’s ‘L’art de la simplicite’, Marie Kondo’s ‘The life changing magic of tidying’ and Meik Weiking’s ‘The little book of hygge’. If you liked those books, it is worth giving this book a go. A good Christmas listen as you potter about the house.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful