Hygge: An interview with guest bookseller, Rikke!

Winter Institute just rolled through town, and it was a blast! Hundreds of booksellers and publishers from around the country–and the world–visited Minneapolis for a weekend of bookselling education and networking.

Magers and Quinn was fortunate to host Rikke, a bookseller from book store Kristian img_1003F. Møller in Denmark, and show her the inner workings of the store for a day. She was an absolute pleasure to have with us, and she is a great sport, because we couldn’t help but ask her a bunch of questions about the most recent book trend, exploring the Danish concept of “hygge” (pronounced hu-gah).

M&Q: In your own words, please describe hygge.

Rikke: Hygge for the Danes can come in many forms. Often it is about sharing a home-cooked meal with friends or family. Very often we have coffee and cake (we love coffee and cake!) with each other. Hygge can also be a great way to make everyday life a little more cozy and warm for yourself. You light a candle, have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee (again with the coffee :)), read a great book under your favorite blanket – care about yourself and your well-being, in other words.

M&Q: Were you familiar with our fascination with hygge? Do Danish people consciously think about Hygge in their day-to-day lives?

R: The Danes are all a bit surprised by the sudden hype about hygge. We have always had it but never really conceptualized it. People here in MN and in the US in general to hygge as well. You are friendly, welcoming, and love coffee and cake as we do.

M&Q: Were you familiar with the trend and the books? Any we have that you would recommend?

R: I know some of the hygge books, yes. We have some in the store in Aarhus for the tourists and the natives who want to know what the fuss is about.

Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge is really nice. And Trine Hahneman’s Scandinavian Comfort Food has some of our favorite dishes and treats.

So there you have it – the official word on hygge from our new friend!

Another book on the subject just out this week, The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits.


Magers and Quinn Presents: Max Porter and Marlon James










Last month, British novelist Max Porter visited us from across the pond and was joined by Marlon James. Minneapolis-based Marlon read from his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, which is the most recent winner of the Man Booker Prize. Then Max read from his novel Grief is the Thing With Feathers, one of our staff’s favorite books of 2016.

In the Q&A portion, Max talks about crows on YouTube, his wife’s reaction to the novel, and the importance of both high and low culture, with input from Marlon. Listen through the audio file below, or get the episode from iTunes – search “Magers and Quinn Presents” in the podcast store.

About Grief is the Thing With Feathers: A grieving husband and father is adrift in the wake of his wife’s sudden, accidental death. He and his two sons struggle to face the unbearable sadness that has engulfed them. The father imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness, while the boys wander, savage and unsupervised. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow–antagonist, trickster, goad, protector, therapist, and babysitter. This self-described “sentimental bird,” at once wild and tender, who “finds humans dull except in grief,” threatens to stay with the family until they no longer need him.

Part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief, Max Porter’s extraordinary debut combines compassion and bravura style to dazzling effect. Full of angular wit and profound truths, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers is a startlingly original and haunting debut by a significant new talent.

Recorded at Magers and Quinn Booksellers on June 23, 2016.