curtis logo
home | my account | catalog

Hygge at the Library

Posted by sarah brown on February 7th, 2017

In the past year, this concept of Scandinavian coziness has made inroads with an international audience. At least six books about hygge were published in the United States, with more coming in 2017.

“The Little Book of Hygge” claims that ”the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark.” Why is Denmark the happiest place on earth? The answer, says author Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge (pronounced Hue-ga) is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

There are many elements to hygge, all of which encourage coziness and togetherness: candle-lit dinners on a snowy night, warm cookies from the oven, intimate conversations, family game nights, a handmade afghan folded over the bed. Hygge isn’t about having or doing more, but rather focusing on activities and objects that offer a sense of gentleness and quiet contentment. Its broad definition means you are free to interpret as you see fit, and engage in elements of hygge and daily activities that are meaningful to you. To me, it’s about connections, conversations, and comfort, about building sanctuary and community.

So I would argue that the happiest place on earth is THE LIBRARY! When walking through the Library’s 1904 fireplace room recently, I realized how the Library could be hygge too. Snow was falling heavy out, but inside, the fire was crackling and folks were curled on couches with a book, tapping away on their laptop, or browsing the latest New York Times, steam rising from their cups of “free-coffee-Friday” libations.  This brought a wonderful warmth and sense of hygge to my librarian heart. These were my peeps – my tribe. And THIS is my happy place.

If you’re in pursuit of hygge…. Our suggestion? Grab a friend and head to the library. Strike up a conversation with one of our friendly staff members, and grab a book while you’re at it. Snug up fireside and read. Fuzzy slippers optional, but encouraged!

To help get your hygge on, check out these books:

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking (2017).

How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life by Signe Johansen (2017).

The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell (2016).

The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen (2016).

The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits (2017).

Scandinavian Gatherings by Melissa Bahen (2016).

Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte (2015).

Slow Family Living: 75 Simple Ways to Slow Down, Connect, and Create More Joy by Bernadette Noll (2013).

The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of A Neglected Pleasure by Catherine Blyth (2009).

The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts and Other Homemade Adventures by Adrianna Adarme (2015).

Tea & Cookies: Enjoy the Perfect Cup of Tea— with Dozens of Delectable Recipes for Teatime Treats by Rick Rodgers (2010).

Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar (2013).


The Year of Hygge: the Danish Obsession With Getting Cosy,” by Anna Altman, New Yorker, December 18, 2016.

“‘Hygge’ at Home: 5 Ways to Cozy Up to the Trend” by Vicky Hallett, The Washington Post, January 30, 2017.

The Art of Hygge” by Hannah Baker, Director, December 2016/January 2017.

Move Over, Marie Kondo: Make Room for the Hygge Hordes” by Penelope Green, New York Times, December 25, 2016.

I Practices Hygge and It’s Kind Of the Best Thing Ever” by Anne Rodrique-Jones, Self Magazine, January 21, 2017.

New Titles Added to Bestseller Express

Posted by Pamela Bobker on January 18th, 2017

Hurry in to the library – we have the hottest bestsellers!


Buried in the Country by Carola Dunn

Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Kill or Be Killed by James Patterson

No Man’s Land by David Baldacci

The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

Transit by Rachel Cusk


All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas Friedman

The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed our Minds by Michael Lewis

Sponsored by Curtis Friends, Bestseller Express titles are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be checked out for 7 days. Exclusively for Curtis cardholders, they cannot be reserved or renewed so you’ll have the best access to new titles, but you will have to read fast. The Bestseller Express books are located in the New Books Room, across from Lending Services.

2016 RIP

Posted by Pamela Bobker on January 3rd, 2017

If you visit our display “2016 RIP,” you will find books, movies and music CDs related to celebrities who died in 2016 – notable actors Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, athletes Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali, and many others. I want to make note of a few authors who died this year.

elie-wiesel-9   harper-lee    trevor    brookner    eco

Romanian-born Jewish writer and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel wrote fiction and nonfiction works to compel the world never to forget the Holocaust. Among his important fiction is the Night trilogy: Night, Dawn and Day, beginning with Night, an autobiographical work about his experiences with his father in Nazi German concentration camps.

Harper Lee, author of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird published in 1960, and  Go Tell a Watchman, written in the 1950s, which was published as a “sequel” in 2015 but later confirmed to be a draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. She is also known for assisting her good friend Truman Capote in researching his book In Cold Blood. The character Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird is based on Capote.

William Trevor was a prolific Irish novelist, playwright and short story writer, considered to be one of the elder statesmen of the Irish literary world.  Notable works include Felicia’s Journey, Death in Summer and Two Lives.  British author and art historian Anita Brookner was best known for Hotel du Lac, winner of the Man Booker Prize.

Italian novelist Umberto Eco was best known for his intellectual mystery The Name of the Rose, a novel that combines biblical analysis and intrigue, set in an Italian monastery in the year 1327.

American author Pat Conroy wrote The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini and others novels, usually set in the South.  Jim Harrison wrote poetry, essays about food and novels, best known for Legends of the Fall, a novella about three brothers and their father struggling to survive in early 20th century Montana.  Gloria Naylor wrote stories and novels centered on the lives of African-American women, including The Women of Brewster Place.

Finally, Alvin Toffler, American writer known for Future Shock, the 1970 international bestseller about how the stress of society transforming into a super-industrial society is overwhelming people, popularizing the term “information overload”.

conroy        harrison        naylor      toffler

If you are interested in reading or re-reading works by any of these authors,  click on their names for catalog availability.