"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, January 25, 2024


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Beginning quote:
Ove is fifty-nine. He drives a Saab.
Friday56 quote:
She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations. (Publisher)
Review: Back in April of 2017 one of my book clubs chose A Man Called Ove as the book of the month. Everyone in the club loved it, though some members like myself, said it took a few chapters to warm up to a book about an old cranky curmudgeon. But by the mid-point of the book all of us were in love with it, the characters, and pulling for Ove to share his feelings. Why is he so unhappy? We finally learned the back story and it just about broke our hearts. It just wasn't what any of us expected. It was much, much more poignant and touching than the opening and the cover suggested. It was also an introduction for most of us to the author Fredrik Backman. In 2020 my second book club read A Man Called Ove, too, and loved it just as much as my first group and had a very similar initial reaction to it. I've seen the international (Swedish?) movie of the book but I have not seen the Americanized version starring Tom Hanks in the film renamed as "A Man Called Otto."

At some point in 2022 I decided to hyperlink all past book club selections to my Goodreads reviews/posts and was shocked to learn that I had never reviewed this little gem. At the time of the first reading I was still working as a teen librarian and thought of my blog as more of YA book blog so I often wouldn't write up reviews for adult books I was reading. I confess A Man Called Ove would certainly have cross-over appeal to older teen readers, so I should have reviewed it then. I determined in 2022 to not only write up a review for this one but for nine other books that deserved a review I'd never written. I called the project "Super Past Due Reviews". Now I'm even overdue on the past due reviews! (8 done, two to go!)

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As many of you know Freda over at Freda's Voice hosted #Friday56 for many years. On September 7th she told us she was going through some personal stuff and could no longer host. I've attempted to reach her but have had no reply. So I will host The Friday56 until she comes back. Help me communicate with past participants so they can figure out where and how to find me, please post this post's URL on your blog. Thanks.

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