A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman is my favorite book that I have read so far in 2016. It’s a story of Ove, a curmudgeonly old man, who is honest to a fault (he will never give anyone a false compliment), adheres to strict principles (“You can tell the character of a person by the type of car they drive”), and insists on following rigid routines. (He starts every morning by doing an inspection of the neighborhood.)
When we meet Ove at the beginning of the novel, nothing in his life is proceeding as planned. His beloved wife has just died (he was supposed to go first) and he has lost his job. To compound matters, the new neighbors ran over his mailbox trying to back up their moving van. As the novel progresses we learned that Ove has experienced much sadness and has overcome much adversity in his life. With the help of his outgoing, chatty, and big-hearted new neighbor, Ove finds himself forced to engage in life.
I both laughed and cried as I read this book while falling in love with all of the well-developed characters.