Orion is predicting the next lifestyle trend after "hygge" will be kindness, after acquiring two books on the topic: A Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness and The Little Book of Kindness.
The first is a "warm, feel-good" novel by Laura Kemp, publishing in mass market paperback and e-book in February 2018. It follows protagonist Ceri Price as she arrives in the small seaside village of Dwynwen in West Wales; intending only on spending a couple of nights to scatter her mother's ashes, she however winds up staying to help the "down on its luck" village rebrand itself as "the Village of Love".
Clare Hey, publishing director at Orion Books, bought UK & Commonwealth rights to the book, plus one further novel from the author, from Lizzy Kremer at David Higham Associates. She said, "In times like these, we all need some kindness in our lives", adding of the "warm hug of a novel": "Laura writes about real people and gives them the happy ending they might not dream of in real life."
The second book, a work of non-fiction, is The Little Book of Kindness, publishing as a hardback and e-book on its sister imprint Orion Spring in September 2017. Olivia Morris, commissioning editor, bought world rights from Darin Jewel at The Inspira Group.
The book will be "a thoughtful exploration into the theme of kindness". Its author, Bernadette Russell, pledged to be kind to a stranger every day for a year and started a blog to document her journey. Ultimately she found kindness makes a person "happier and more connected to everything", prompting her to share her experience to inspire others. The book is packed with "fun ideas" and interactive exercises to encourage people to try and change the world "one act of kindness at a time".
If Orion's prediction bears fruit, kindness could be competing with "lagom" (pronounced "lah-gom"), a new concept all about balance that publishers including Ebury, Octopus and HarperCollins are positioning as the Swedish answer to Denmark's "hygge" lifestyle trend.
The "less seasonally specific" concept of lagom, meaning "not too much and not too little, but just the right amount", has already inspired forthcoming books including: Live Lagom: Balanced Living, the Swedish Way by Swedish-American writer Anna Brones (Ebury, August), Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well by journalist Lola A Åkerström (Headline Home), The Little Book of Lagom: How to Balance Your Life the Swedish Way by Jonny Jackson and Elias Larsen (Summersdale, August), Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne (Octopus, September), Lagom: Not too little, not too much; just right by Niki Brantmark (HarperCollins, September) and The Lagom Life: A Swedish Way of Living by Elizabeth Carlsson (CICO, October).