Today's author spotlight is on Swedish author, Fredrik Backman. He has quickly become one of my favourite authors and he has a new book coming out on September 8, that I am so excited about.
Fredrik Backman was a columnist when his debut novel, A Man Called Ove became a best seller. This book still sits on my shelves unread, but highly anticipated. I have seen the Swedish film which I adored and there is an American film starring Tom Hanks I have yet to see..
Backman’s books have been translated into several languages, including English. I’m so glad because I love his characters, his writing, and his humour. He's even funny on Twitter and Instagram.
Most of his books are fiction novels, but he has written novellas or short stories and one non-fiction.
The first book I read by Backman was My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes. This book was also published in English with the title: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. Different title! Same book!
This is a story about Elsa who adores her grandmother. They have a unique bond. Even though her grandmother is a bit nuts. It is only when Elsa is with her grandmother that she feels accepted and she can be herself. Her grandmother encourages her to use her imagination and doesn’t make her feel different or silly.
When Elsa’s grandmother dies, you can imagine that Elsa is devastated, but her grandmother leaves her a bunch of letters that she wants her to deliver to people. Elsa’s adventures are quite interesting as she meets a variety of characters and in the process learns more about her grandmother and herself too.
It’s a delightful read.
Britt-Marie Was Here, I believe was his next book. It isn’t a sequel to My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologizes but it carries on with one of the characters who made a brief appearance. Here, Backman again, has written unique quirky characters and in this one has written another older main character. Britt-Marie is a quirky character who leaves her husband after 40 years of marriage and gets a job as a caretaker at a recreation centre. Circumstances make this laugh out loud funny and also emotional which is something else Backman does well.
Beartown is the first book in the Beartown series. I have written a review for it which you can see here:
For me, this is the book that solidified my love for Fredrik Backman’s writing and he quickly became an auto-buy author for me.
After reading Beartown, it didn’t take long to pick up Us Against You which is the sequel to Beartown. I wrote a review for it as well, which you can check out here:
Backman's writing is top notch in this one too. This one was more emotional for me and confirmed that Backman is definitely a favourite author of mine. These two books do need to be read in order since the story builds and continues.
The Deal of A Lifetime and other stories is a collection of three short stories. He did write a novella called And Every Morning the way Home Gets Longer and Longer but it is included in this collection. I have yet to read these stories, but they are coming up soon on my reading pile.
His nonfiction book is Things My Son Needs to Know About the World. I’m looking forward to reading this too as I’m sure it will be funny. There’s always interesting stories when it comes to parenting and child/parent relationships.
Backman’s most recent book which will be published in Canada and the US on September 8, is called Anxious People. Because I am such a fan of Backman’s I pre-ordered it and was thrilled when NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada sent me an e-arc to read ahead of time. This book goes back to Backman’s funny story writing and quirky characters. Like in A Man Called Ove, somehow he is able to have serious topics like suicide alongside humour.
Anxious People is about a bank robbery that goes very wrong. Instead, it becomes a hostage situation in an apartment. The apartment is open for viewing and the hostages are the people that have come to see the apartment. The police involved have somehow lost the robber. The story goes between the people who were in the apartment being interviewed by the police and what happened in the apartment during the viewing and hostage situation.
Again, the writing, the dialogue and narrative are so well written. There’s a feel of stream of consciousness to it. The characters are quirky; some of them are a bit annoying. They are developed well and I like that the reader learns a little bit about them over time and how some of them are connected. This is one of my favourites of Backman’s books so if you get a chance to read it when it comes out, I definitely recommend it.
Enjoy the reading adventures!