lost years of pages: a man called ove

I am an avid reader. Or, I was, like most, until about 5th grade. I read bits here and there but maybe never read more than 10 (overestimating probably) books per year after that last semester in elementary school.

So! The challenge for me now is to catch up on all of those books that I’ve missed out on. The lost years of pages. I am no writer, but I can become a reader. Now is the time!

The second book I got was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

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Oh my goodness this book had me a bawling mess.

I think we usually categorize old people as either super nice or super grumpy. Ove would be one of the latter. He has a hard time being nice to anyone and it’s insanely hilarious how bitter he is. That is, until you see his life.

The book transitions between chapters titled “A Man Called Ove and …” (about his current life) and “A Man Who Was Ove and …” (about his previous life). He’s had so many heartbreaks in his life that you can’t help but feel depressed vicariously, only to be uplifted by the angry charm that he has. That charm was beautifully brought out by a foreign pregnant neighbor, a homeless cat, and suicide attempts gone wrong.

I actually only picked this up after being inspired by a TED talk to read more books around the world. I found this Swedish book that had incredible reviews so I had it in my Amazon wishlist for months, until I was browsing my bookstore and found it!

I’ve only cried for a book once before in my life, and that was The Book Thief. But Ove had me crying for an hour in a cafe. I was a mess in a corner while my boyfriend next to me hugged my shoulders without knowing why tears were falling.

I highly recommend this book for literally anyone. Ove is so wonderfully lovable and his transformation from grouchy fool to empathetic friend is beautiful. I loved this book and it will stay in my heart forever. It’s a novel that teaches you to not to judge others in a heartwarming way. Please do yourself a favor and pick it up!

Summary

Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Page Count: 337 (in my paperback version)
Why: Because it’s hilarious and heart wrenching and amazing and you will just fall in love Ove. Guaranteed.

 

lost years of pages: the art of racing in the rain

I am an avid reader. Or, I was, like most, until about 5th grade. I read bits here and there but maybe never read more than 10 (overestimating probably) books per year after that last semester in elementary school. 

So! The challenge for me now is to catch up on all of those books that I’ve missed out on. The lost years of pages. I am no writer, but I can become a reader. Now is the time!

My first book that I picked up was The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

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The Art of Racing in the Rain (feat. my sleep bunny)

I was going on a book-buying binge to start my resolution and I came upon this novel as an easy, but fulfilling read. The main selling point of this book, however, is that it’s the life of a racecar driver as told by his loyal dog, Enzo.

The racing aspect of it was not too appealing for me at first, but I realized in the first few pages that Enzo had much more insight, enough to give some to everyone in the world. Being able to see our lives from someone who doesn’t share all of our views is actually quite fascinating.

I felt strangely anxious that day, in a very human way. People are always worried about what’s happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have. (p.188)

The story begins as Enzo and his owner/friend Denny live alone, content. That is, until Eve comes into the picture and now the family has grown to three. Eve and Denny have an adorable daughter, Zoe, who is too young to really understand the world, but Enzo is there to help her out.

The whole book is absolutely wonderful and I really got jumpstarted back into the reading process. It’s an easy read that will make you both laugh and start thinking about how life can be viewed through a different lens. I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone. If you are like me and want to start reading but can’t find the book to start, please read this. If you are already a reader but you haven’t read this, please pick it up. It might feel childish, but I promise, you won’t regret it.

So basically…
Title: The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Genre: Fiction
Page Count: 321 pages (in my hardcover version)
Why you should read it: It’s the cutest book ever written by a dog (!) who has some real insights on human life.