Better Happier Book Club

a gentleman's guide to staying in

Robert takes a moment to weigh in on hygge 


January finally brought Philadelphia a big beautiful pile of fresh snow, perfectly timed up with a slow Saturday morning. We took the opportunity to avoid making plans, stay indoors and unwind. Growing up in a very snowy city gave me a love of the colder months, the picturesquely snowy days in particular. Lately we've been thinking a lot about the trending topic you've undoubtedly read at least one article about this winter- the Danish concept of "Hygge". Time spent indoors during the cold winter months is meant to be savored, coziness, celebrated. 

Hygge (“heu-gah”). The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Celebrating the everyday.


There's no better way to touch on hygge, or coziness than with the beloved book delivery service Quarterlane. You might remember this post from October, focusing on taking time to unwind, unplug, and slow down with a good book. A new offering from their winter collection that immediately caught my attention is geared towards the men in our lives. Even the pickiest would find something that catches their eye in this roundup.

Robert is an avid reader, finishing books at a startlingly fast pace. He's always reading something interesting that I haven't heard of yet, or can't wait to get my hands on when he's finished. He is also the perfect example of one who would much rather stay inside during the frigid Philadelphia winter, and given that we are already such homebodies this concept fits seamlessly into our winter plans. Below, he shares his thoughts on this new offering from Quarterlane, and what staying in looks like for him. 

To say that I wasn't built for winter is an understatement. Although born and raised on the east coast, with four years spent in the winter wonderland of upstate New York, I'm in my happy place when wearing boat shoes, shorts, and hopefully no shirt required. I don't think I have to spell it out much further that winter isn't my favorite season, but- to make myself warm to the idea, and to fight the perpetual cold, I subscribe to the following mantras:

1. When it comes to heat, more is more.

More layers, more pairs of thick socks, more degrees on the thermostat - energy bills be damned. 

2. Snow is at it's best when admired from indoors

under a blanket, and ideally a roaring fire nearby. Also, with bourbon. 

3. Fire of any sort is key

- whether's its found in the fireplace, at a campsite, or even from a candle. There's something about a live flame that helps one feel warm.

4. Diets be damned.

I'm all for healthy eating, but cold weather calls for comfort food. Stews, braises, roasts and of course the occasional plate (or two) of pasta.
I'm partial to our Fettuccine with Caramelized Onions & Swiss Chard , or this Beer Simmered Cottage Pie.  

5. Cold weather calls for brown liquor. 

Save the clear stuff for when you can justifiably wear short sleeves outdoors. Whether it's bourbon, añejo tequila, or in my case scotch - keep a bottle handy all winter long. A quick dram can go a long ways to warm the body and mind. If you're jonesing for something more complex, try our Smoky Scotch & Cider Cocktail.