Magazine Monday: Your Serenity (bookazine)

There’s a fondness now for magazine pulishers putting out thicker, heavier versions of magazines, sometimes focused on one area of life, and calling it a ‘bookazine’. I suppose because it’s as cost-effective to produce as a magazine, but gives you more information on the subject, as a book would.

I have, in the past, bought them on subjects as diverse as computer programming, crochet  and car maintenance, but a lot of them seem particularly aimed at self-care and emotional development. I know Breathe (I featured issue 26 as my first Magazine Monday) is very good at creating these: journals for happiness, lists, mindfulness…. they’re usually beautifully illustrated and demand a degree of input from the reader as well as providing inspiration in the topic covered.

Today’s Magazine Monday is a bookazine I picked up in W H Smiths over the weekend. It’s called Your Serenity, and is focused on helping you create a happier life through crafts, food, gardening and generally integrating a more mindful, balanced approach to life in your general living.

Your Serenity bookazine How to Hygge the British Way

At 145 pages,and printed on good quality paper rather than magazine-thin paper, it’s a good-sized magazine, and gives the impression of quality as you handle it. It’s more of a magazine than a book, though, with a collection of separate articles rather than a coherent, flowing structure to the content.

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You can see from the list of contents here that it’s not purely theoretical or practical: there’s a good blend of ideas to think about and actions to implement. The articles are well-written and often have action points or lists to consider. I like having a takeaway from a book or a magazine, so I found these very useful as starting points.

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The practical pages are clear, with good instructions for the recipes and clear craft patterns. I particularly liked the instructions to crochet a striped hot-water bottle cover, how hygge would that be? And the spiced apple cake is a definite must-bake this next weekend, when I hope to do very little but clear, clean and tidy my kitchen.

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Gratitdue features high in the magazine, with a couple of separate page spreads dedicated to it. You know I am a passionate advocate for gratitude as a positive mood-boost. Like Monty Python, I’d rather look on the bright side of life, but realistically we all know that can be difficult. I liked the practical advice on finding even the smallest thing to be grateful for, and on keeping a gratitude diary. (I keep my gratitude lists on memo notes in a jar on the welsh dresser; I can never find my diary when I need it)

Once you start consciously seeking things you are grateful for, you suddenly start to realise how much good there is around you

Julie Bassett

This is the second edition of Your Serenity and was released in November 2019, so it has a winter focus to the articles. Resolutions, shopping, thanksgiving celebrations and winter gardening advice may be seasonal, but there are nuggets that apply year round as well. It is always good to get out into nature, always great to take time off from technology and always, always a good idea to have friends round to eat, whether that is al fresco wrapped up against the cold or inside on a wet summer Sunday.

I’ll look forward to see if another edition is planned, and possibly would buy a monthly magazine based along the same lines. I like the blend of practical and personal development, and there was enough in this to keep me happy dipping in and out again for a long weekend in Durham.

You can buy Your Serenity at most major magazine stockists in the UK, or online at My Favourite Magazines  as long as you’re prepared to pay postage.

If you’d like to support me….

My new book, Cosy Happy Hygge is available as an ebook or a paperback on Amazon now. As you know, I do the whole kit and caboodle myself, from writing to proofreading to designing and I’m very proud of this one. It’s about using rhythm and ritual to make your life a gentler, kinder place. Writing it has been an important part of my mental health recovery.

Cosy Happy Hygge

I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I  point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.

That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the whole content of the book without paying the extra for paper production, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.

3-Have Yourself A Happy Hygge Christmas

If you already have my books, or just want to support me as an independent writer, you can always just send me the price of a cup of coffee as a friend, to paypal.me/HyggeJem . I tend to use a lot of my spare cash on books that I review for the website, so every penny donated goes towards building my happy hygge life.

My first three books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way  was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.

How to Hygge Your Summer, in Paperback and Kindle form, has lots of good ideas for the summer months. I strongly believe that hygge is so much more than throws and warm drinks.

Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

I have three Christmas books,

Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.

A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.

Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.

Happier on Amazon

If you buy any of the books or some of the items through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, as an Amazon Affiliate, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.

Truthfully, I’ll probably never make a living as a writer, but I do make a little extra income that gets ploughed back into books and magazines. One obsession feeds the other…

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