Here at RCM, we love books. We also love any opportunity participate in an awesome book club. So we decided to smoosh the two together and create the virtual Rocket City Mom Book Club! More info about our next title is below, and you can request to join the conversation here. Happy reading!
This month’s RCM Virtual Book Club title is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Join us virtually on Thursday, October 26 at 8:30 PM CST. If you can’t make it at THAT time, check back in throughout the week to keep the discussion going. Big thanks to The Snail On the Wall Books for sponsoring our title selections, and Shannan for her review below!
A Less-Than-Stellar Start…
I had successfully avoided Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove since 2012. I am not sure why. I think it was because everyone I knew, in real life and online, loved it. I don’t normally love the books that “everyone” loves. I am not everyone. A lot of these same people expressed that they liked to cry into their books. I do not like to cry into my books and so decided that A Man Called Ove was not for me.
So when, through the democratic process, the book club decided that they wanted to read it this month, I must admit, I wasn’t thrilled.
And I remained less than enthusiast through the first ¾ quarters of the book. I disliked Ove. Everyone else was irrelevant. And I chugged along because I had to. If I really enjoy a book and start to care about the characters, I am known to skip to the end to see what happens. Then I can read the rest of the story relatively stress-free. I did not do that this time. Frankly, I didn’t care.
But Then the Tides Turn
I did find Fredrik Backman to be an excellent writer. That being said, I know that this book was translated into English from Swedish and I wondered if it was Backman or the translator. Turns out, in Swedish there are only 2-3 synonyms for most words which makes for a simpler translation process and so our book maintains the spirit and style of Backman’s original work. I thoroughly enjoyed his turn of phrases which helped me turn pages.
Without warning, 0n page 289 at the end of the chapter entitled, “A Man Called Ove and an Inspection Tour that Is Not the Usual”, I became interested and hurtled through the last 48 pages of the book. I finished while the Buddy Man was eating his breakfast with tears streaming down my cheeks. I hid them from the Buddy, as I sat in my chair in amazement wondering what just happened.
A Man Called Ove has turned into one of my favorite contemporary novels. I am still trying to figure out why and I haven’t started reading another novel. Am I suffering from a book hangover? I am so thankful that the Rocket City Mom Book Club voted to read it.
I hope the movie starring Tom Hanks as Ove comes out in 2020 as planned. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
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Shannan Moore Malone squeezes in the time to write while taking care of the Buddy Man. As you already know, she loves books but she also loves great movies, running, and is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a foodie. Though generally more on the quiet side, you can get her talking by mentioning living authentically, the importance of clarity and organization, and enjoying life, which she occasionally writes about on her blog her blog and posts about on Instagram @shannanenjoyslife.