Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review of Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

Read for: Recently Added & Audio Book

Synopsis: "Things My Son Needs to Know About the World collects the personal dispatches from the front lines of one of the most daunting experiences any man can experience: fatherhood.

As he conveys his profound awe at experiencing all the "firsts" that fill him with wonder and catch him completely unprepared, Fredrik Backman doesn't shy away from revealing his own false steps and fatherly flaws, tackling issues both great and small, from masculinity and mid-life crises to practical jokes and poop.

In between the sleep-deprived lows and wonderful highs, Backman takes a step back to share the true story of falling in love with a woman who is his complete opposite, and learning to live a life that revolves around the people you care about unconditionally. Alternating between humorous side notes and longer essays offering his son advice as he grows up and ventures out into the world, Backman relays the big and small lessons in life, including:

-How to find the team you belong to
-Why airports explain everything about religion and war
-The reason starting a band is crucial to cultivating and keeping friendships
-How to beat Monkey Island 3
-Why, sometimes, a dad might hold onto his son's hand just a little too tight

This is an irresistible and insightful collection, perfect for new parents and fans of Backman's "unparalleled understanding of human nature" (Shelf Awareness). As he eloquently reminds us, "You can be whatever you want to be, but that's nowhere near as important as knowing that you can be exactly who you are."

My Review: I have really been enjoying Fredrik Backman's books and knew I had to read this one right away. I listened to the audio book, and while I enjoyed it, I think the print book might have a format that is best read as a physical or ebook. I loved the humor throughout the story, sprinkled in with some great advice, both about little things like following the arrows in Ikea and bigger life lessons about having a band of friends. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and can't wait to share it with my son when he gets a little older (even though I am mom and not dad) and maybe bond over it together.

My Rating: I definitely laughed a bit and got a little misty eyed a few times while reading this one. It was a quick and really enjoyable book, it would be great to listen to on a road trip with kids a little older than Munchkin, maybe a good conversation starter.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!


  1. I might have to check this out. I loved Ove.

    1. I loved Ove so much, I have been working my way through Backman's backlist of titles and trying to keep up with his new releases as well. Other than Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, this might be my other favorite of his (besides Ove anyway).