“Things My Son Needs to Know About the World” by Fredrik Backman – Book Review

“Words matter”

The short personal essays in this collection will tug at your heartstrings. They will make you laugh and cry, and, they will make you examine your own parenting strategies.

With an essay devoted to ‘poop’ and another to ‘following the arrows at IKEA, with yet another expounding on what sleep deprivation does to new parents, the author writes humorously, candidly, and with empathy.

“Follow your passions. Find someone to love. Do your best. Be kind when you can, tough when you need to be. Hold on to your friends.”

The month of August 2014 was a happy time. That was when I first discovered Fredrik Backman and read “A man called Ove“. Since then he has delighted me with another six outstanding fiction reads. This time out, he has ventured into non-fiction with this compilation of short, humorous, and very heartfelt essays on what it means to be a father in this day and age. Wow!

As usual, while reading Backman, my emotions took a roller coaster ride. Laughing aloud one minute, shedding a tear the next. He does that to me…  I found the timing of this read especially poignant because my son is expecting his first child (a boy) within the next month.

The author’s deep love for his wife and children fairly shines from the pages.

I particularly enjoyed the essay where Backman discusses inter-generational conflicts and lists the differences between people of his generation and the one of his parents.

The author’s education in philosophy has made me understand a bit more about why I love his writing. He is a thinker. A philosopher. It is my belief that in generations to come he will be revered. His wisdom far exceeds his years.

I’m in my early sixties and I think Fredrik Backman would be perfect as a son. If I was in my thirties I think Fredrik Backman would be perfect as a husband. And, finally, and more importantly, if I was a little boy I think that Fredrik Backman would be the father I would want. Backman is… quite simply…. everything.  (But I never gush, LOL, so disregard the last few sentences if gushing annoys you.)

Highly, highly, recommended!

Thanks to Atria Books/Simon & Schuster who provided me with a complimentary digital copy of this book via NetGalley. Now I’m off to the order a paper copy to give to my son…

Fredrik Backman is a Swedish columnist, blogger and writer of the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called OveMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s SorryBritt-Marie Was HereBeartownUs Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries, in more than twenty-five languages. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

Connect with him on Twitter @BackmanLand or on Instagram @backmansk.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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27 Responses to “Things My Son Needs to Know About the World” by Fredrik Backman – Book Review

  1. carhicks says:

    Gush away Lynne. I loved this book and loved your review. I read it in Florida and still haven’t written my review (I think I will have to reread it). It is a must read for new parents, especially dads. My son is a great dad, but I still want him to read this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. *flails* I love Backman so much and was so excited to see this come out! I figured you’d be reading and doing a review of it, so I was watching. 😉 This sounds so good! I’m glad to hear that it lives up to what we’d expect from Backman. He really is such an amazing writer. I’m gonna have to go order this one. Thanks for the review!


  4. Kim Rogers says:

    I loved your review! Looks like I need to add this one to the TBR!


  5. Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says:

    Awww how lovely! It’s not often we see memoirs from men about fatherhood, it seems to me, or at least not ones that focus on caring and relationship building and those parts of parenting that are more often associated with “maternal” instincts. I hadn’t even heard about this one before your review, thank you for sharing!


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  7. Abby says:

    Lovely review! This book has classic stellar Backman writing, and I enjoyed it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My goodness- this sounds so wonderful- I’m glad it’s upto Backman’s usual standard!! Excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post! I need to read more from this author 🙂


  10. Jee Wan says:

    Loved Ove too! Glad you enjoyed this read! He’s quite a looker too! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mini says:

    Great review. A Man Called Ove has been my best reads of this year. I’m adding this to my TBR as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Allie Bock says:

    Loved your review. I am so glad you are gushing! I love reading those kind of posts. I definitely want to read some of his work.

    Liked by 1 person

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