Thursday, December 7, 2017


It's Thursday and time to look back.  As the year draws to a close, I have been looking at what I have read in 2017 and trying to find a favorite (or two).  

In 2017 I discovered Fredrik Backman.  I don't know much about him except that he is Swedish, a blogger, a columnist, and now a novelist.  For this, I am most grateful.  

A trusted reading friend recommended A Man Called Ove by Backman.  I picked it up several times on my trips through Barnes and Noble and always ended up laying it aside.  When my friend took me on my birthday jaunt to the bookstore, she picked it up and added to the haul her gift card provided.

From Booklist:

At 59, Ove is a grumble Gus of the first degree. Rules are made to be followed, signs are meant to be obeyed, and don’t even get him started about computers and mobile phones. In truth, Ove has been this way his whole life, but he’s gotten worse in the last four years since his wife, Sonia, died, taking with her all the color in a world Ove sees as black-and-white. Ove has decided life without Sonia is not worth living and plans to join her in the next world. But a young couple and their two children (a third is on the way) move in next door, his oldest friend and most feared enemy is about to be forcibly removed to a nursing home, and a street-scarred cat insinuates itself into his life. Suddenly, Ove’s suicide plans get delayed as he helps solve neighborly crises large and small. Though Ove’s dark mission mitigates any treacly upstaging by animals and small children, readers seeking feel-good tales with a message will rave about the rantings of this solitary old man with a singular outlook. . --Carol Haggas

I sat on my balcony with a cup of coffee and the book.  There had been several occasions that caused me to laugh.  Neighbors walking by with their dogs looked up, smiled, and waved.  But by the time they were on the way back home, I was sobbing. (quite loudly).  I called my friend and could barely catch my breath as I begged her to tell me it would end happily ever after.   I had a good deal left to read.  She hung up chuckling.  I will only say "I love that book."  I love Ove.  I want to live in his neighborhood.  I want to share his friends.  I love that book.

I vowed to read all Backman's books.  They are now downloaded on my kindle.  Yesterday as I browsed the "Books Recommended for You" section, I found "The Deal of a Lifetime."  Wow!  A Christmas book.  A mere 96 pages, this is the story of a man who has sacrificed his family for money and success.  Now, he has a chance to make it right, but it is a drastic plan.  The story moves from present to past and back.  This is not a religious Christmas story, nor is it a pop culture look at the holiday, but readers will walk away with a feeling of redemption and the true meaning of love.

Have I told you how much I love Fredrik Backman?

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