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review 2016-11-06 22:07
Britt-Marie Was Here
Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel - Fredrik Backman
ISBN: 9781501142536
Publisher: Atria 
Publication Date: 5/3/2016 
Format: Other
My Rating:  4.5 Stars 


From the extraordinary author and Swedish storyteller, Fredrik Backman, with his award-winning debut, A Man Called Ove, delivers another zany character, BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE — A heartwarming, witty celebration of second chances, unlikely friendships, and the power of one person to make the world a better place. 

Britt-Marie is age 63. Amusingly unconventional and idiosyncratic. Some may say eccentric. She does not like a mess. Her husband Kent said she was aggressive-passive. Known as nag-bag. All she ever wanted was a balcony. She wanted a husband who did not walk on the parquet floors with his golf shoes. If he could only put his shirt in the laundry basket and would say occasionally he liked the food.

She likes an organized cutlery drawer. Clean windows. Newly mopped floors. Her favorite “go to” must have cleaning tool of choice “bicarbonate of soda.” It wipes always all the flaws. Clean and new. Kent said she was “socially incompetent.” They were past their sell by date. She had enough. There were limits. She was leaving.


Britt-Marie likes things clean. An obsession. A need for order. Would be nice to be appreciated. Be noticed. She was critical, hard to please, judgmental, excessively particular about details. Easily disgusted. She is flawed, zany, funny, and possesses a great heart. Her compulsive tendencies are explained by her tragic past and history of being neglected and diminished by those around her.

Leaving her husband, she starts a new. She finds herself in Borg, a tiny, economically depressed “community built along a road.” Most of the town has been shut down, most of the residents have left, and the ragtag bunch remaining includes orphaned children, a criminal, a former star of the local football team (now blind), and the proprietor of the only business in town—who's in a wheelchair, and most likely an alcoholic. Plus her relationship with a rat (hilarious).

As a caretaker, her new job is a perfect fit!. She cleans and cleans. The defunct recreational Center in the fictional European town of Borg. With an array of interesting off-beat characters including two young children—Vega and Omar.

But behind the passive-aggressive, socially awkward misfit, is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart than anyone around her realizes. Love can be found in the most unexpected of places. A place of belonging.

Equally witty and poignant; Hilarious, insightful and moving, an inspiring story about truth, second chances, and rediscovery. Best of all, another important life lesson.


On a personal note, Britt-Marie is so much like my dad. At age 85, he is still a cleaning machine. Never get in the way of his cleaning. Heaven forbid you should come to the door after the floors have been freshly vacuumed. You will not be allowed to enter. Never interfere with his schedule.

I listened to the audiobook and Joan Walker's performance was amazing! A perfect entertaining Britt-Marie.

Highly recommend Backman’s latest novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer The small book with a Big powerful important message and loads of heart! Top Novella of 2016.




The Man Behind ‘A Man Called Ove,’ Sweden’s Latest Hit Novel


NY Times Oct 29, 2016 



About the Author

Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.


Fredrik Backman: Staying Grounded

Q&A with Fredrik Backman, courtesy of Shelf Awareness

You used to drive a forklift. How did that evolve into writing books that are loved around the world?


I don't know. It's still a mystery to everyone who knows me. I always viewed writing as a hobby, not a career choice, and, to be honest, I still do. My dad keeps telling my wife she needs to "treat the money as if Fredrik won the lottery, because this probably won't last!" I think he's got a point. I think I'll eventually go back to having a real job, and I don't really think I'll be any less happy than I am now.


Read More  



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/06/17/Britt-Marie-Was-Here
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review 2016-10-19 17:16
Book Review - Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency
Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency - Kitty French
This book initially caught my attention with its fabulous front cover.

I’m so pleased I decided to give it a try, as it was such fun to read. This light-hearted story was just what I needed to sort me out after the tissue consuming monster of a tear-jerker I read just before it. Plus, it gets extra happy points for mentioning Robert Downey Jr. who I've absolutely adored since I was about 13.

Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency is witty, full of quirky characters, ghostly shenanigans and a bit of cheeky romance thrown in too. I could happily live inside this book.
Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1703010351
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review 2016-09-09 20:38
NetGalley Review - Even Stranger
Even Stranger - Marilyn Messik

Having thoroughly enjoyed Relatively Strange, which was the first book in this series, I was really looking forward to reading Even Stranger, and I’m pleased to announce it did not disappoint.

I love the characters that Marilyn Messik has created for this series, and not just because they manage to make me feel less strange. It was great seeing a more mature and confident Stella a few years on from the first book too.

Although, overall, I wouldn’t describe this book as particularly scary, I think it needs to come with the following warning:

“Remove all potentially creepy dolls (and even the cute ones, if you wish them to remain cute in your mind) before reading this book.”

One part of this book spooked me so much, I think it knocked a few years off my life. I almost had a heart attack when I looked over at my beautiful doll, Betony, while I was reading, only to discover she had moved position and was staring straight at me! I was on the verge of jumping out of the upstairs window, until I remembered I moved her for the first time in ages, just a few days earlier to show her to my friend. Phew! She still gave me the creeps though, as she was giving me the look, while I stared at her suspiciously. I was even suspicious of her the following night, but we’re back on good terms again now, thank goodness.

There were parts of this story that made me giggle and one part that left me craving aniseed balls for about two days. Now I’ve reminded myself about them, I’m craving them again. They are one of my dad’s favourite sweets, so I grew up eating them, and adore the smell and taste of aniseed.

You will need to read Relatively Strange before reading Even Stranger, but if you enjoy the first book, then I highly recommend reading this book too.

I would like to thank the publisher, Troubador Publishing Ltd for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1628081073
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review 2016-09-08 04:32
The Jolly Coroner: A Picaresque Novel - Quentin Canterel

Full review closer to release date. (November 2016)


For now, strange & quirky are words I'd best use to describe this book. I didn't always enjoy the strangeness either. Had its moments. Didn't care much for the characters. In all honesty, I'm probably, definitely NOT the target audience. 





*NetGalley provided me with a DRC in exchange for review.

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review 2016-09-01 11:05
Why stay in the grid when you can colour across?
InterWorld - Neil Gaiman,Michael Reaves


This is a work of fiction. Still, given an infinite number of possible worlds, it must be true on one of them. And if a story set in an infinite number of possible universes is true in one of them, then it must be true in all of them. So maybe it’s not as fictional as we think.


Best tag end ever *grin*


Also, Gaiman has this ability to write things that defy genre, or mix and twist them. Fantasy and horror gets you Coraline; myth, epic and magic realism gets you American Gods; fairy tale, comedy and a dash of tragedy gets you Stardust. Science Fiction and Fantasy get you Interworld. The balance has to be maintained after all.

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