Every once in awhile, I read an author by happenstance and then want to read everything published by that author. Sometimes, it doesn't even matter if I read the books in the order in which they were published, I just want to read them.
Reluctantly, I read A Man Called Ove and fell in love with Fredrik Backman. I say reluctantly because usually if a book is a best seller or everyone is raving about it, I can't relate to it or don't like it. Which is really embarrassing when I read a lot and review all of the time. Being out of sync in my thoughts with others usually ends in their disappointment in my opinion or somehow I fall short in their idea of what a good book should be. The book, The Shack, falls into that category. It is equally frustrating when I love an author or book and friends are "meh" about it.
However, I totally relate to Backman's characters, his stories, his portrayal of people who exhibit OCD characteristics and his sense of humor. Maybe because I am of a certain age and can understand how Britt-Marie wants to be remembered. Britt-Marie sees everything as black and white. Everything and everyone has a place and there is an order to her universe. Some of her conversations with the unemployment office made me laugh out loud. She once read about someone who died and wasn't found right away, this story and her sister's death has a profound impact on her. I love the ending of Britt-Marie it is extremely satisfying and just right.
I read Britt-Marie Was Here before my grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry and was informed by a friend that I should have read Britt-Marie second. Yes, that probably would have been helpful, but they can be read out of order and still make sense.
my grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry is a Narnia like story of a special bond between a grandmother and her eleven-year-old granddaughter. Out of all of his books, this one was a slow starter for me, maybe because of the Narnia feel and how much I love those books. The fact that it is a story of hope, love, and the cycle of life told in Backman's style elevated it to mythological proportions with the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas.
I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books and was sorry when they ended. However, I have Beartown on reserve at the Public Library and look forward to reading it as soon as it becomes available.
Fredrik Backman's stories have been published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. His most recent novel is Beartown.
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