A Scandinavian Trio

These three bestselling novels by Swedish author Fredrik Backman demonstrate how the small, everyday human encounter can have the grandest of repercussions in the world. Get ready to laugh and cry as you meet Backman’s charming characters, and immerse yourself in his whimsical narrative style.

A Man Called Ove: A Novel

Ove is an unlikely hero; curmudgeonly, eccentric, and unusually meticulous. After his life is turned upside down by the death of his wife, he attempts to retreat into his comforting routine, maintaining neighborhood cleanliness, owning the right model of car (a Volvo, of course), and judging other people who don’t conform to his exacting standards. But his sense of order is continuously disrupted by his boisterous new neighbors, as well as by a mangy and insistent cat. This intimate portrait of everyday human relationships is quirky and charming, reflecting on the stories of love and loss that connect us all.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Seven-year-old Elsa is different. She doesn’t fit in at school, and her best and only friend is her eccentric seventy-seven-year-old grandmother. Together the two travel on magical night-time adventures to the Land of Almost-Awake, the fairytale kingdom where no-one is normal, and where the battle between good and evil is ongoing and intense. But Elsa’s real adventure begins after her grandmother dies, leaving her a series of letters and apologies to be delivered around the city. As she meets real-life monsters and heroes, Elsa discovers the power of stories to make friends, provide comfort, and heal lives.

Britt-Marie Was Here

After she is forced to acknowledge her husband’s ongoing infidelity, the long-suffering Britt-Marie decides to take control of her life again. She starts a new job as caretaker of a condemned recreation center in a dead-end town, and finds herself confronted with an unruly children’s soccer team, a variety of miscreants and drunks for neighbors, and perhaps worst of all, a rat. Undeterred, the fastidious Britt-Marie begins to tidy and clean, and grows new friendships in unlikely places. An endearing character, Britt-Marie shows how even the gentlest and most unassuming of heroes can have the power to make a real difference in the world.