This article, “The New Wave of Social Saunas” by Gabrielle Anctil, refers accurately to The Great Good Place and its premise. Saunas with a pub atmosphere – what could be better?

In Finland, love of the sauna is nothing new. It’s common there to spend the evening sweating it out with your family, friends, or colleagues. Want to catch up with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while? Chances are you’ll meet at the sauna. The Finns have even installed a sauna in their embassy in Washington — and it’s no surprise that the diplomatic events they hold are among the most popular in the U.S. capital.

Of course that statement might seem strange to someone who grew up in a sauna culture, since the sauna is fundamentally social. Only in countries where saunas are novel, and often exclusive, do people sit in rigid lines staring into space. I see this now and then in the sauna I go to at Simon’s Rock College, but for the most part it’s quite a friendly place. And I’d already decided to include saunas, and other types of bathhouse, in the new book.

I’m now checking out the Sauna Times!