The Year of Living Danishly – Book Review

The UK version , the DK version and the US version of the front cover.

This book has accompanied me during my dreaming ride of making Denmark my home, and while I still work on that, here’s a well deserved review of one of my now favourite authors’ first book: “The Year of Living Danishly”!

354 pages of a continuous surprise; Helen Russell is a great writer with an amazing irony that will make you laugh during the entire reading (And that’s a great bonus!)
The book is divided in 13 chapters, one per month plus one all about Christmas (Because, well, it’s Christmas! ), each highlighting a few main characteristics of living danishly. It’s an amazing adventure journal by a couple of explorer in a foreign land.

As in love I am with Denmark, this book was my first choice when looking for reading material to delve in a brand new mentality. Said so, this book is not only a good reading for those who love the land of Vikings, but also for anyone who’s curious to know more about one little piece of Scandinavia. Helen Russell gives the perfect ID of Denmark.


Helen’s husband lifelong dream is to work for Lego. When his dream finally comes true, the couple is brave enough to change everything in their lives and move to the isolated region of Jutland, Denmark, discovering not only Legoland, but also a country which is so different from the UK (And so much colder!)
Moving to Denmark, Helen discovers (among sooo many interviews) the secrets of the happiest population in the world, steals their secrets and starts living her own danishly life.

The first thing that surprised me is that a married couple, already settled in London, decided to move to a place much less comfortable than their internationally loved British city. Moving, especially abroad, is not easy, but it’s even harder when the place you are moving to doesn’t seem better than the one you live in.
The other main characteristic that made me fall in love instantly with this book is its author’s irony. She’s not only telling you a story, she’s writing about hard times and a difficult decision, with laughs and smiles. This is what makes a book good.
In 12 months, the author discovers the wonders of Hygge, the shorter working days of Danesstarts exploring one of the hardest languages on the planet, together with weird traditions, danish flags and delicious pastries, survives the Scandi winter and much much more.

I loved this book so so much. It was an unique adventure that really took me among Danes, taught me so many new things and helped me too being a little happier. 

Here’s Helen’s conference about her book, living Danishly and how to get inspired about the world’s happiest country in the world 2016 (Norway stole the 1st place this year, but just for a bit! )

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