by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles (read by Naoko Mori)

Random House Audiobooks

Hygge has had its day, it seems, because the Japanese term ikigai is increasingly popping up in discussions about how to live well. Roughly meaning “purpose in life”, it is one of those exotic concepts that can be explained only with knowing smiles and not a little teeth sucking. It’s apparently also what Okinawans say is the reason for their long life expectancy. The authors say work is an ikigai, making retirement a no-no. Also important is hara hachi bu (eating only until your belly is 80 per cent full) and being part of a moai (community group with common interests). But, it seems, any number of behaviours can be related to ikigai, which is where a problem lies. The authors have not presented a picture persuasive enough to warrant an entire book.