Thursday, May 4, 2017

On book clubs, and A Man Called Ove (Fredrik Backman)

I enjoy my book club, I really do. But my favorite book club day is the first one of each year, where we choose the books for the rest of the year. It's sort of all downhill from there: the actual reading of the required books, with a deadline, leaves me wanting to clean out my compost container, make dreaded phone calls, or file my nails on a chalkboard, rather than read. And my book club is Serious Business. Nobody blithely saunters in announcing that they didn't read the book.

I don't think I've actually finished a book in time for book club in a year. (Shhh....don't tell them)

Until now! I finished this one. Thanks to a public transit study I was helping with, which gave me extra reading time while bus-waiting and such, and then the Readathon, which gave me the excuse to sit down at home and read for hours at a stretch. Also, it helped that I liked the book. At first, not so much, but as I got into it, I really loved it.

My one complaint is that it says on page one that Ove is 59 years old, but I forgot that and decided in my head that he was a grumpy old man in his 70s or 80s. Fifty-nine is not old! And is there seriously a 59 year old who doesn't know what an iPad is? I was under the impression that Sweden was not a backwater country where 59 is old and iPads are new-fangled inventions, but maybe I'm wrong.

With that complaint out of the way: I liked grumpy Ove. I liked his neighbors, and the cat that moved in with him against his better judgement. And, I liked the ending--which, have I mentioned, I read?

Here's a hot tip for you: book club discussions are more interesting when you've read the book. Who knew?

Playlist:

One of my favorite groups is First Aid Kit, a sister duo from Sweden. I think their song Emmylou is a good pick for this book.