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Cozy: The Art of Arranging Yourself in the World

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The New York Times bestselling author of Happens Every Day, Isabel Gillies, presents a fresh and inspiring look at the subtle art of cozy—part manifesto, part lifestyle guide, part memoir—that shows fans of The Little Book of Hygge that true comfort comes from within. When we talk about being cozy, most of us think of a favorite sweater or a steaming cup of tea on a rainy d The New York Times bestselling author of Happens Every Day, Isabel Gillies, presents a fresh and inspiring look at the subtle art of cozy—part manifesto, part lifestyle guide, part memoir—that shows fans of The Little Book of Hygge that true comfort comes from within. When we talk about being cozy, most of us think of a favorite sweater or a steaming cup of tea on a rainy day. But to Isabel Gillies, coziness goes beyond mere objects. To be truly cozy, she argues, means learning to identify the innermost truth of yourself and carrying it into the world, no matter your environment. Starting when she was young, Gillies has gradually learned the art and subtle beauty of creating a life where you feel safe, steadied, and at home in the world. From old family recipes and subway rides to jury duty and hospital stays, in Cozy Gillies shows readers that true ease stems not with throw pillows and a candle, but from opportunities to feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and learn to make ourselves at home no matter where we are. Simple choices can make a hectic life or an uncomfortable situation just a little more comfortable—you just have to know what to do. Just as Marie Kondo offered a philosophy for how to tidy, Gillies offers a new way of occupying the spaces we live in. Starting with yourself, then broadening to your home, your community, and the world at large, Cozy will show you how to bring the truth of who you are into any situation, easy or challenging. As Gillies says, “Cozy isn’t something that just exists. You have to make cozy happen.” Written with profound warmth and featuring hand-drawn illustrations, this wise, necessary book is call to action for each of us to seek out those often-missed opportunities to care for ourselves, and to begin living a more intimate and authentic life.

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The New York Times bestselling author of Happens Every Day, Isabel Gillies, presents a fresh and inspiring look at the subtle art of cozy—part manifesto, part lifestyle guide, part memoir—that shows fans of The Little Book of Hygge that true comfort comes from within. When we talk about being cozy, most of us think of a favorite sweater or a steaming cup of tea on a rainy d The New York Times bestselling author of Happens Every Day, Isabel Gillies, presents a fresh and inspiring look at the subtle art of cozy—part manifesto, part lifestyle guide, part memoir—that shows fans of The Little Book of Hygge that true comfort comes from within. When we talk about being cozy, most of us think of a favorite sweater or a steaming cup of tea on a rainy day. But to Isabel Gillies, coziness goes beyond mere objects. To be truly cozy, she argues, means learning to identify the innermost truth of yourself and carrying it into the world, no matter your environment. Starting when she was young, Gillies has gradually learned the art and subtle beauty of creating a life where you feel safe, steadied, and at home in the world. From old family recipes and subway rides to jury duty and hospital stays, in Cozy Gillies shows readers that true ease stems not with throw pillows and a candle, but from opportunities to feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and learn to make ourselves at home no matter where we are. Simple choices can make a hectic life or an uncomfortable situation just a little more comfortable—you just have to know what to do. Just as Marie Kondo offered a philosophy for how to tidy, Gillies offers a new way of occupying the spaces we live in. Starting with yourself, then broadening to your home, your community, and the world at large, Cozy will show you how to bring the truth of who you are into any situation, easy or challenging. As Gillies says, “Cozy isn’t something that just exists. You have to make cozy happen.” Written with profound warmth and featuring hand-drawn illustrations, this wise, necessary book is call to action for each of us to seek out those often-missed opportunities to care for ourselves, and to begin living a more intimate and authentic life.

30 review for Cozy: The Art of Arranging Yourself in the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Cozy romanticises the little things in life we find small pleasures and comfort in but may fail to take note. Having recently graduated from high school and fallen into a reading slump following my final exams, this book reminded me of habits and traditions I have as a child in relation to reading books. Gillies’ carefully points out little things, making the reader wonder, “what cozy things make me tick?”. I found myself reading this book during my commute increasingly, finding something cozy i Cozy romanticises the little things in life we find small pleasures and comfort in but may fail to take note. Having recently graduated from high school and fallen into a reading slump following my final exams, this book reminded me of habits and traditions I have as a child in relation to reading books. Gillies’ carefully points out little things, making the reader wonder, “what cozy things make me tick?”. I found myself reading this book during my commute increasingly, finding something cozy in being amongst strangers, present but lost in a book. However, my one criticism of the book is that at times it is highly reflective of a upper-middle class income and although it offers some snippets of coziness which does not require a financial investments, I would have liked to see more if it within the book as well. Overall, Cozy is an easy to book to enjoy and encourages its audience to find joy in the small things and reflects that cozy is not so much about your physical environment but the way you engage with it. *Thank you to Edelweiss for providing a free Advanced Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.*

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I have no idea why this book was written and I have no idea how I got to 71%. I just read a section on why London is so cozy. What? Is the point of this book? Freal though. So far I have gathered that literally anything can be cozy and there is no rules or limitations apparently. And did I really need someone to point out that blankets and sunshine are things people enjoy? I thought about giving up a few times but was kinda bored and in a daze and kept reading and now that I am at 71% I can't gi I have no idea why this book was written and I have no idea how I got to 71%. I just read a section on why London is so cozy. What? Is the point of this book? Freal though. So far I have gathered that literally anything can be cozy and there is no rules or limitations apparently. And did I really need someone to point out that blankets and sunshine are things people enjoy? I thought about giving up a few times but was kinda bored and in a daze and kept reading and now that I am at 71% I can't give up

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tasya Dita

    I received an e-arc of this book from publishers through Edelweiss plus in exchange for an honest opinion DNF at 21% I'm sorry, I really tried to make it to the 50% mark at least, but I just couldn't. This book really did not speak to me, it felt pointless and long winded at times. I love the concept of cozy being things that we find inside ourselves instead of something we create, but the way it is explained just completely lost me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melchshake

    This book is a total rip of the Danish book Hygge.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ann T

    DNF at 18%. I really wanted to like this book but I could connect with the way it was written.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dixie

    I like the overall theme and the many excellent examples of finding coziness no matter the situation.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    3 and half stars. Seeing a few other reviews here, that to me, seem drastically negative, where people remark that this book was too fluffy, or too silly, or too cloying, etc. Or that they just have no idea why the author wrote it. I am wondering what exactly these people thought a book titled Cozy was going to be about? I expected it would contain friendly unassuming suggestions about how one might make oneself feel a bit more at ease. a light respite from so much ugliness we are all currently 3 and half stars. Seeing a few other reviews here, that to me, seem drastically negative, where people remark that this book was too fluffy, or too silly, or too cloying, etc. Or that they just have no idea why the author wrote it. I am wondering what exactly these people thought a book titled Cozy was going to be about? I expected it would contain friendly unassuming suggestions about how one might make oneself feel a bit more at ease. a light respite from so much ugliness we are all currently facing on multiple fronts. And that is essentially what it turned out to be.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Edling

    @isabelgillies checked out your new book, COZY, and was struck by how accessible your concepts are. Reminds me of my man Marcel Proust's "Madeleine Moment" 🍪 thanks for sharing your talents with us ✌ @isabelgillies checked out your new book, COZY, and was struck by how accessible your concepts are. Reminds me of my man Marcel Proust's "Madeleine Moment" 🍪 thanks for sharing your talents with us ✌️

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca B

    This was the perfect book to curl up with over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Anyone who knows me knows that ‘cozy’ is one of my core tenets, so it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed this book immensely. Isabel Gillies takes us on a tour that explores coziness in the home, in nature, and in the midst of some of life’s most difficult moments. The book centers around the notion that "cozy" is about more than external factors, but is something that must be carried inside to be fully experien This was the perfect book to curl up with over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Anyone who knows me knows that ‘cozy’ is one of my core tenets, so it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed this book immensely. Isabel Gillies takes us on a tour that explores coziness in the home, in nature, and in the midst of some of life’s most difficult moments. The book centers around the notion that "cozy" is about more than external factors, but is something that must be carried inside to be fully experienced. From this idea, Gillies lays out a path helping readers to seek out and project their own sense of cozy in their home and other environments, so they can capture this essential feeling anytime it’s needed. Filled with advice, anecdotes, and plain good sense, Cozy is a quick, vivacious, and enjoyable little book that will appeal to those who rode the hygge wave and those who simply love to spend time thinking about and crafting their own little nook in the world (wherever that happens to be). Both well written and accessible—I’m a librarian, so I’m all about accessibility in literature—my one criticism is that the pages do come off a bit navel-gazey at points, though I’m not sure how you’d be able to create such a deeply felt and thoughtful book like this without filtering it through the lens of one's own experience. Readers will be the richer for it, especially when they bring the experiences of their own life to bear on Gillies’s ruminations.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Young

    After seeing the Gillies interview on the Majority Report with Sam Seder, something about it made me want to read this book. Maybe it was the idea of finding inner piece in a turbulent time, or just the seeming bubbliness that made this woman obsessed with the idea of 'cozy' even in the worst of places that intrigued me. Admittedly, when I got to the page (9) that said this book germinated during a divorce, I laughed out loud and said, "I knew it!" Only that type of trauma could have one pushing After seeing the Gillies interview on the Majority Report with Sam Seder, something about it made me want to read this book. Maybe it was the idea of finding inner piece in a turbulent time, or just the seeming bubbliness that made this woman obsessed with the idea of 'cozy' even in the worst of places that intrigued me. Admittedly, when I got to the page (9) that said this book germinated during a divorce, I laughed out loud and said, "I knew it!" Only that type of trauma could have one pushing to find the best in the worst situations, whether it be fleeing from genocide, or coping with your life as you know it crumbling around you. How does one move on and find happiness? Or coziness? I am unfamiliar with the idea of hygge, so don't have that foundation to start from. For me, this seemed like finding gratitude in small things, things we take for granted. They can be personal, like things you own or the nature of your home, or shared like nature, or the local pub or coffee shop. The idea of really picking out things that you appreciate, while hard work, does seem to lead to increase of encountering things that make you feel cozy, as you naturally gravitate towards them. It's like the secret, for internal happiness, but probably more practical, and attainable, depending on your goals. The book is fairly light, and maintains a cheerful lilt throughout, even in the final sections where it deals with harder life scenarios. Was an enjoyable read; definitely not for everybody. A common mistake people will make is trying to make things that are cozy for other people cozy for themselves, without recognizing that they are separate people. Cozy is self-defined, a mentality more than specific objects.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    I wanted to love this book so much, and I did most enjoy parts IV & V (Journey and When It Feels Hard), but for the first 50% of the book I kind of just wanted to get on with it. Here are my favorite excerpts: "...coziness can’t be defined by one standard; it only aligns with what is inside of us. What we know, what we love, what we feel connected to and familiar with." "So much of cozy you can touch with your hands—a book, bathwater, a mug—but a lot of cozy responds to the ether, the mystic, I wanted to love this book so much, and I did most enjoy parts IV & V (Journey and When It Feels Hard), but for the first 50% of the book I kind of just wanted to get on with it. Here are my favorite excerpts: "...coziness can’t be defined by one standard; it only aligns with what is inside of us. What we know, what we love, what we feel connected to and familiar with." "So much of cozy you can touch with your hands—a book, bathwater, a mug—but a lot of cozy responds to the ether, the mystic, the ritual and spiritual." "Pepsi ice cubes and peach cobbler do not change the reason you are in the hospital, but they or something like them, like the blanket-warming ovens, might make the experience more breathable—even, in moments, enjoyable." "Coziness is not about lying around. It’s the opposite. It’s the fuel you need to engage." "that is sort of the point of the book: finding connection with anything—even if you don’t like it." "Coziness, whatever that is to you, is life. It’s life at its greatest."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    I liked the premise, and have looked for things that make me cozy (identified them, and sometimes seeked them out in a new place) since reading this book. However, I felt the book’s structure could’ve been stronger. For example, Gillies references certain things that make something cozy, like control, but these things are only mentioned every once and awhile and never clearly defined and outlined thoroughly in the beginning. It seems like they should be if they are the key points backing up what I liked the premise, and have looked for things that make me cozy (identified them, and sometimes seeked them out in a new place) since reading this book. However, I felt the book’s structure could’ve been stronger. For example, Gillies references certain things that make something cozy, like control, but these things are only mentioned every once and awhile and never clearly defined and outlined thoroughly in the beginning. It seems like they should be if they are the key points backing up what the book is about. There is also a lot of apologizing at the start of chapters. While I admire Gillies’ efforts to acknowledge how varied the world is, sometimes it’s best to just say what you want to say. I found a lot of it weaving in all different directions, but my favorite parts were the lists of things that make someone cozy, especially the list at the end of the Acknowledgements. All in all, I think it’s worth reading enough of the book to get the premise of it, and to make you reflect on what makes you cozy personally. That is definitely a nice result of reading the book :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    "We're all different, but I'm pretty sure we all want to hold on to something." So much truth in this statement. I adored this book. I found it incredibly life changing and soul provoking. This book took us into the world of Cozy and what it means to find coziness within yourself and in all of the little things that make up who we are. We can't control our circumstances, but we can control how respond to the things that happen to us. We can control what we focus on and how we allow it to impac "We're all different, but I'm pretty sure we all want to hold on to something." So much truth in this statement. I adored this book. I found it incredibly life changing and soul provoking. This book took us into the world of Cozy and what it means to find coziness within yourself and in all of the little things that make up who we are. We can't control our circumstances, but we can control how respond to the things that happen to us. We can control what we focus on and how we allow it to impact our lives. Living with a chronic illness, life has been anything but cozy lately. Hospitals, doctors appointments, scans, scans and more scans. Things have been rough and life has felt so dark, but this book was the spark that I needed to shift my perspective. I gave it 5 stars because I feel like this book has an important message for everyone. Read it, you won't regret it, I promise.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    “...in every time of personal upheaval and reckoning, the smallest parts of life have been the only things powerful enough to pull me through.” Full disclosure: I know Isabel and think she is fabulous. But I swear I wouldn't give it a 5 star rating unless I really felt it deserved it. It was a great read - lots of amazing moments. Best of all, it made me think a lot about all the coziness in my life and where I can bring even more cozy into it. It's a beautiful book. Well done, Isabel.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    The book looks nice and has a good concept, but it is ramblings about how everything you touch can be cozy. I was hoping for something more along the lines of hygge, but instead it’s the author going on about every item she owns being cozy. I skimmed the majority of it because it wasn’t interesting or relatable at all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Lomazow

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A lovely book a book about family traditions holidays where traveling to be together crowding on the couch laughing eating being cozy,New yorkers will identify how taking the train reading your book brings happiness & yes making your bed with your husbands help lovely.A wonderful warm book highly recommend,

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Delightful! Easy to read and comfortable so I plowed through it. Underlying cozy is absolutely mindfulness-thinking more about the why of things and simplicity of some daily tasks. It made me smile throughout.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    The idea of the book is a good one, but the execution failed. This would have made a really nice article in any number of magazines, but as a book, it meanders around too much . At times, the entire thing went off the rails.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I read this while watching the snow fall, with several cups of tea. Everything about it soothes me, and I actually wanted to toss aside my strict rule of not dog-earing the pages. A very thoughtful and centering read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn

    Perfect escape and perspective for nightly reading. Loved it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sinead

    This book spoke to my soul! Cosiness becomes a type of mindfulness if you let it and this book is full of ways to make your life more cosy. A self help book I can completely get on board with!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michele Kroll

    Both informative and comforting. I was sad to see it end.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Bradley

    I wanted to love this one but it fell sort of flat for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mcvalens

    Perfect for me right now, when I struggle to find comfort in my world. Comfort and cozy work for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    E G

    It was okay. We didn’t intersect on “what makes us feel cozy” very much. And that was a good thing; maybe I’m too sick of winter to be in the mood for this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Kane

    2 1/2 stars. Lots to love and heaps to hate.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Sauers

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sam Fitch

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

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