The book selection for February 17 is En man som heter Ove or in English, A Man Called Ove, by Swedish author Fredrik Backman.
Mr. Backman's protagonist is a lonely, grumpy widower who the author considered old at 59 (maybe because the author himself is only 35?). And it appears that Mr. Backman identifies to some extent with Ove as he has said, “I’m not very socially competent. I’m not great at talking to people." The author, who was a college dropout, worked as a forklift driver at a food warehouse, taking night and weekend shifts so that he could write during the day.
The novel was rejected by numerous publishers but was finally published in 2012 and became one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports, selling more than 2.8 million copies worldwide. Its popularity in the United States was primarily due to independent book sellers and word of mouth.
All are welcome to attend what promises to be a rousing discussion about grouchy old men. You can enjoy the story in print version--or on audio or DVD. If you have not arranged interlibrary loan, contact your local library for a copy!
See you next month!