“You only need one ray of light to chase all the shadows away.”

18774964Brown Baggers met on October 20 to discuss Fredrik Backman’s wildly popular debut novel A Man Called Ove. The book follows a recently widowed and retired 59-year-old man who is a bit of a curmudgeon while he figures out what to do next with his life. It has sold nearly three million copies worldwide.

Most readers enjoyed Ove and his adventures. While some felt the character was too curmudgeonly, most liked his bad attitude and after a discussion, decided he might fall somewhere on the autism spectrum and be a bit OCD.

Readers thought this book was poignant, and said it had them laughing and crying at the same time — a rare occurrence when reading a novel. 

They mused over Sonja’s motivations in marrying such a thorny character as Ove. Maybe she liked how odd he was. But most decided she needed to be needed as completely as Ove needed her. This was also reflected in the career she chose, as a teacher for difficult and special needs children.

The novel skips around in time, but it didn’t bother readers. They enjoyed how the author used this device to set up his big reveals and slowly unfurl Ove’s backstory.

Readers who had seen the movie adaptation felt it was remarkably well done and approved of the casting. News had recently been released that Tom Hanks would play Ove in the American adaptation, which stirred more discussion from the group.

More Information:
Author Bio
Interview with author
Other works by author
Swedish film adaptation

Other Titles Mentioned:
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Brown Baggers will meet next on Thursday, November 16th at noon to discuss Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. The following meeting will be on December 21st at noon to select books for the next 12 months. Join us for a holiday potluck and some lively voting.

Have a Hearty Harvest

Use the recipes in these new cookbooks to make something delicious out of the last produce of the season.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball (formerly of America’s Test Kitchen)

The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 New Recipes From The Natural Foods Restaurant That Revolutionized Eating In America

Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman

Sweet: Desserts By London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh

Trim Healthy Table: More Than 300 All-New Healthy and Delicious Recipes From Our Homes To Yours by Pearl Barret & Serene Allison

New Historical Novels

Looking for a new read featuring characters from history? Here are a few recently received historical novels about women.

The Other Alcott – Louisa May Alcott’s younger sister May, perhaps the inspiration behind Little Women‘s Amy, is the protagonist of this novel.
All That Makes Life Bright – Follow the life of Harriet Beecher as she meets her future husband and builds her life as a writer.

I, Eliza Hamilton  – Alexander Hamilton is all the rage right now, so if you’d like to learn more about that period grab this novel that has his wife Eliza as the strong-willed main character.

Caroline: Little House, Revisited  – This tale is told from the point of view of Laura Ingall Wilder’s mother Caroline, as she sets out west while pregnant.