We Found The Perfect Book Club Book, And It’s SwedishJuly 27, 2018
Ah, the book club. A coordinated effort to actually read an entire book and then talk about it with people so you don’t forget what you just read.
A couple weeks ago, one of our writers was discussing the vibe of book club selections. The woman she was talking to was looking for a book club book, and she explained what that meant to her – a relatively easy read. Nothing too sad or philosophical. Probably not a biography (unless it was a fun and funny female comedienne’s memoir).
It made our writer think: What is a good book club read? And for our readers: What’s a good Swedish read?
Luckily, our latest read would be perfect for any book club, and it just so happens to be written by a Swedish author.
Most people know Fredrik Backman as the brilliant mind behind “A Man Called Ove”, which is a phenomenal read and one we recommend to everyone, but it’s Backman’s 2016 novel “My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” that we currently are in love with. It is an absolute gem and perfect for a mother-daughter book club, lady friend book club (and really anyone).
The novel is about seven-year-old Elsa, a witty little girl who is wise beyond her years but a bit different. She struggles to fit in at school but has found a best friend in her grandma. Her grandma is crazy, but the good kind of crazy, and every night before bed she tells Elsa stories about The Land of Almost Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas. The two of them are inseparable partners in crime until Grandma passes away.
But Granny had a couple more stories left to tell.
Elsa is tasked with finding and delivering important letters to people in Granny’s life. And with each letter, she learns more and more about Granny’s somewhat mysterious past and the people she and Elsa share an apartment complex with.
What impressed us the most about the novel is the voice in which it was written. Backman’s writing completely reflects that of an intelligent seven year old, and it draws the reader in to the fairy-tale world he has created. The character development rolls out slowly and steadily, so readers are invested until the very end.
A wonderful read, the stories within the story are thoughtful, endearing and just a little sad at times.
(Editor’s note: Our Umgås writer did not cry reading the novel, and she is a sucker for a good teary read or movie. Proceed without fear of crying every 50 pages.)
We were pleasantly surprised to find pages of discussion prompts at the end of the book, but even without the prompts, there is so much to discuss about relationships, storytelling, family, individuality and life.
Email the book club now. Grab a cozy corner on the couch. Get reading.