Advice from the Real World | Review of Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman

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My Thoughts

As a huge fan of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, I was excited to see this title! This book was a sheer delight to read. Backman does an excellent job of providing advice to fathers that is both hilarious and practical. While the books is written from a father to a son, it was also extremely relatable to me as a mother. I found myself crying-laughing at certain points and taking a moment to let a profound truth sink in at others.

Backman’s advice runs a wide range her from how to function as a human in IKEA (“If everyone wasn’t going in the same direction inside IKEA, there would be chaos, do you understand that? Civilization as we know it would collapse into a furious Judgement Day inferno of shadows and fire.”) to how treat a woman always and forever (“And I hope that you’ll never get into your head that just because women deserve every opportunity you do, you have to stop holding the door open for her when you can.”) I’m always afraid when I pick up a book like this one that it will be high on humor and low on meaning, but that was not the case here. Backman provides both profound truth and laugh-until-you cry-humor.

On a practical note, this is a perfect gift for Father’s Day. The chapters are short and quick to read. If you are in for a good laugh with some deep truth about parenthood mixed in–this one is for you.

From the Publisher

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove shares an irresistible and moving collection of heartfelt, humorous essays about fatherhood, providing his newborn son with the perspective and tools he’ll need to make his way in the world.

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.”

Thank you so much to Atria Books for the ARC of this one! This book hits the shelves today. You can check out Amazon and Indie Bound to pick up a copy.

My Rating:

Thanks for stopping by to read my review of Things My Son Needs to Know About the World. I would love to know what you think about this book or my review. You can comment here or find me over on Instagram at stephy_reads.

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