Sunday, February 19, 2017

Book Reviews


It can be difficult to write book review.   You want to put across the idea, the themes, the characters, the events but some of that would fall in the category of spoilers.    But without detail, the review becomes a series of platitudes about what a meaningful, inspired, insightful read it is.  

Then, of course, it depends upon what you are looking for in a book.   Something to make you laugh or something that will make you feel sad and maybe bring forth a few tears.  Black ink on white paper is somehow able to do both, sometimes.  But not for everyone.

There's no accounting for taste as some might say.  You might wonder in amazement that particular book or series sold in the thousands, millions even.   To you, even though you might not have read it, the book is trite, boring, crude, pablum, insulting . . . you get the idea.

I hesitate to recommend books because another person may end up with completely difficult feelings about the book.  Do they feel obliged to read the entire book?   Will they confess to me that they didn't care for it?  Will I feel guilty that they spent the money based on my recommendation?  (I won't do that again!)

Do some books, like movies, have something for (almost) everyone?   Many people liked/loved the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.   I certainly did.   I even travelled to New Zealand in large part because of the movie and went to see some of the filming sites.   (most don't look anything like the movie version--that's CGI for you).

I recently finished A Man Called Ove.    There are lots of reviews on-line on Amazon or Goodreads with many spoilers so consider yourself warned.  It's stayed with me as the best books or movies do.
You can probably order it through your library or its inter-library loan.  

Here's the blurb:   (this way you can't blame me if too much is disclosed)

Read the New York Times bestseller that has taken the world by storm! 
Meet Ove. He s a curmudgeon the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? 
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents association to their very foundations. 
A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. If there was an award for Most Charming Book of the Year, this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down (Booklist, starred review)."

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