Apr 062021

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

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.”

I’ve loved every Backman book I’ve read and now this book joins the others in that category.

The author talks about his love for his wife and what it was like for him to be a first time dad. We get to know the man behind the author. After reading this book I get the impression that he is just as good a husband and father as he is an author. Besides being funny, there were a few times in the book that were very touching.

I laughed out loud many times while reading this book. I also said “Yes!” many times, because I’ve experienced the same things with my kids.

There was a chapter where he wrote about IKEA and all the things his son should know before going to that store! Cracked me up! Some of what he said was 100% true and others were what many of us who shop there think. And just like when I read Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix, I’ll be thinking about that chapter during my next few IKEA trips, only this time it will be with laughter, not shivers.

I could tell you more of my thoughts but I think you should read the book yourself and see what you think. I definitely don’t want to take away from your reading experience.

If you are a fan of Fredrick Backman and haven’t read this book I urge you to get a copy. It’s a short read and so very good.

 Posted by at 4:21 PM

  20 Responses to “Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman”

  1. This sounds like a really good book. I could do with laughter in my reading!

  2. This sounds very good. I didn’t know he wrote a book like this one. Just fiction.

  3. Thanks for sharing because I don’t remember hearing about this book. I would expect his usual humor!

  4. Sounds wonderful! Anxious People was the first Backman book I read and I’ll definitely go back for more. Thanks for the review.

  5. Hmmm, I think I read all but, this one. I’ll look for the audio – thanks Vicki glad you enjoyed it.

  6. I have never read anything by this author or shopped in IKEA, but I’m very glad you had such a great time with this book 🙂

  7. Great review Vicki. I’ve only read one of his books and I don’t know if it was just the wrong time because I didn’t like it as much – Anxious People. However I really would like to give this author another chance. I did watch the film of A Man Called Ove and loved it so definitely need to revisit this author!

  8. Doesn’t this sound great?! How wonderful to share thoughts and perspectives with your son.

  9. I love his books and just added to this to my TBR list. I may even have to buy a copy instead of borrowing it from the library. It sounds delightful!

  10. Looks perfect for my book a day reading 🙂

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