Last year, the HPB Book Club read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which I considered to be the best book I read last year. Needless to say, I was excited when I learned our April/May Book Club selection was Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here! While I don’t know yet if it will be the best book I read this year (as the year is far from over), I will say it’s the best book I’ve read so far this year. Backman’s ability to write a typically dislikable character into someone the reader not only likes but also can’t help but cheer for is masterful. When you meet Britt-Marie in the unemployment office, her judgmental, prudish attitude makes you sympathize with the clearly astonished employment office worker, but as the book progresses and you learn more about Britt-Marie and how she became the way she is—as well as immerse yourself in the community of Borg, “of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it”—you can’t help but love Britt-Marie for all the things you disliked about her before.
If you, like me, loved Britt-Marie Was Here, here are a few other books you may also love:
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Of course, don’t forget to read Backman’s other books:
A Man Called Ove
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Bear Town (released April 25)
The Scandal (to be released August 24)
So, what’s your next read? Join the HPB Book Club at hpb.com/bookclub.
Julie is Traffic Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.