Special to the Times Vedette

Recently I have been reading about hygge. Hygge is a word used in the Danish and Norwegian languages, and according to Webster’s Dictionary, it is a “cozy quality that makes a person feel content and comfortable. During the long, dark winters when Danes retreat inside their homes, hygge is what brings them a great sense of comfort and joy.”

Maybe as a result of being confined in our homes during the pandemic, or maybe people just long for simplicity, there seems to be a multitude of sources promoting hygge. There are books about how to achieve hygge and Facebook pages and magazine articles promoting hygge in one’s daily life. Candlelight and fires, cozy warm drinks and snuggly blankets all are promoted as hygge things. Ultimately, though, it seems hygge is about creating a warm atmosphere and spending good times with good people, making time to slow down and enjoy things in life that bring joy.

Although hygge is something that one does year-round, we often think of it during weather like we have been enjoying the past couple of weeks. During the winter, when it is dangerously cold and the snow drifts so high we are forced to stay inside, it can be a time to enjoy hygge. Should you be looking for ways to create hygge in your life right now, the Mary J Barnett Library can help you out with this.

One of the most hygge things for me is to curl up with a warm blanket, a mug of hot tea, and a good book. While hygge is different for everyone, we have such a wide selection of books that you will be able to find something that feels like a comforting thing to read. Many people enjoy a genre of books called cozy mystery — crime novels that keep violence, sex and cursing to a minimum. These mysteries are often light, infused with some humor, and generally feel comforting to read. A couple of new cozy mysteries at MJB Library include “Death by Foodtruck” and JoAnne Fluke’s “Pink Lemonade Cake Murder.”

For others, rereading childhood favorites, or sharing favorite books from our youth is very hygge. The “Little House on the Prairie” books, “Harry Potter,” “Anne of Green Gables,” “Peter Rabbit,” “Winnie the Pooh,” or “The Wind in the Willows” are feel-good books.

If current best-sellers are a source of hygge, we have that covered, too. “Tom Lake” by Ann Patchett, “The Villa” by Rachel Hawkins, “The River We Remember” by William Kent Krueger, “The Housemaid” by Frieda McFadden, “The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell” by Robert Dugoni, “Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Novel” by Shelby Van Pelt are some new books that have been flying off our shelves. “Oath and Honor: a Memoir and a Warning” by Elizabeth Cheney is a popular nonfiction book for anyone missing the political scene.

For those who like to curl up and thumb through a magazine, MJB Library has a great selection available for checkout. People, Consumer Reports, Quilter’s World, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, Sports Illustrated, and Family Handyman are a few of the many options the library offers.

If cooking is hygge for you, we can help with that, too. In addition to Taste of Home Magazine, we have several new cookbooks including “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinner’s Ready” by Ree Drummond and Winemakers “Guide to Winemaking.” For those who are eager to be able to garden, check out “Vegetable Gardening Made Simple” by Resh Gala.

Another aspect of hygge is spending time with people who bring us joy. Family game night could be a lot more fun with some different board games; stop in and peruse our collection of games available to check out. While you’re here, take a minute to look at our jigsaw puzzles that can be checked out, too.

Winter is a good time to catch up on what’s out on DVD. MJB Library has a fairly extensive collection of movies and popular series.  We have the “Yellowstone,”  “1883,”  ”1923,”  “George and Tammy” and “Tulsa King” series. We have everything from “A Man Called Otto” to “Cocaine Bear.” “Silent Night in Algona” is a new movie based on a true story set in Algona in 1944. The story centers around an injured farmer who comes up with a plan to save the corn harvest by using German POWs. The story is relevant to modern times in that the story illustrates that despite our differences, people of all backgrounds are really very similar.

The MJB Library also has an ongoing book sale if you’d like to shop for reading material or if you want to use old books for craft projects.

MJB Library is a very hygge place for people who are tired of being home and want a cozy getaway for a bit. Stop in, get a cup of coffee, and sit next to our fireplace and read the newspaper or put a puzzle together.

Cookbook Club

Stop in and choose a recipe from this month’s selection “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinner’s Ready” by Ree Drummond. The Cookbook Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15. Bring your prepared dish to share with the group.


Lunch and Learn

Be sure to pre-register for the Wednesday, Feb. 14 Lunch and Learn presented by the Guthrie County Extension Office. Meghan will be highlighting the Spend Smart, Eat Smart program and also will share some recipes including a Valentine’s Day snack. A light lunch will be served; the event will last from noon until 1 p.m.

After School Programs

Guthrie County Extension will be presenting a STEM program after school on Monday, Feb. 12 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. In addition to reading a story, the program allows participants to build a catapult to try to knock down a structure. Boredom Busters will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. to make a craft project.


Trivia Night

The second annual Friends of the Library Trivia Night will be Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Guthrie Center Activity Center. Tickets are $35 per person and include dinner catered by The Cabbage Rose, as well as the trivia entry fee. Team sizes can be up to eight people. Stop in the MJB Library today to register your team and buy tickets. You will not want to miss this fun evening.

These are snowman jar projects from the January Boredom Busters after-school programs. Boredom Busters is open to young people who want to make creative projects. They meet monthly from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The next workshop is Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.