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BOOKS

NORTHERN COMFORT: THE NORDIC ART OF CREATIVE LIVING

edited by Gestalten and Austin Sailsbury, Gestalten, $74

Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Åland and the Faroe Islands – are marked by a remoteness and, often, a hostility that seems stifling. Yet, in it, the Nords have, which taps into the ideas and values of this reputed ‘Nordic dream’. The effect is twofold. The tome is moreish, not only for the delectable pieces of insight into the better-known hygge, the Danish practice of cosiness, and the lesser-known lagom, the Swedish pursuit of balance. Also included are more rare offerings – notably, a guided walk through the home of famed architect and furniture designer Finn Juhl and a rumination on the nations’ ongoing love affair with liquorice. At the same time, though, its text and images, as if under the spell of lagom, find a careful balance: “there’s not too much, not too little but just the right amount”, to borrow the words from Swedish author Niki Brantmark.

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