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Doing Something During Quarantine – Day 3

To do: Read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.


What I will need: A copy of A Man called Ove; speed reading techniques; more than 24 hours in a day, maybe 40?


I will be honest; I did not finish this exercise in a day’s time. I could not. I am no good at speed reading and 40 hours in a day is just wishful thinking! Also, considering I started reading the book only after noon, there was no way I was going to finish the book and write about my experience by the end of the day. Still, I thought to myself that maybe by some stroke of luck I would be able to achieve my goal. That was until Sandeep, the friend who recommended the book to me said, “Take your time with it. It’s a nice book.” That was all I needed to hear. Plus, it does not make sense reading a book just to finish it. Might as well not read it, right? So, I took my time with it.

It really is a nice book. It's about Ove, a man in his fifties who comes across as angry and bitter. He is a no-nonsense sort of person with unwavering loyalty for his car company. All his life, he has only owned Saab cars and considers anyone who owns cars of a different brand as incompetent. He is also involuntarily funny, with his sarcastic and witty remarks at anyone who gets in his way because all Ove wants to do is get to his wife. His neighbors, however, knowingly or unknowingly stop him from getting there everyday. Along the way, Ove starts forming new and mending old relationships. And, in this process, he puts off going to his wife...for a little while.


The book is like a hug to your heart. It is warm and funny. It made me chuckle and smile at numerous occasions. Mostly, it is about love. Love that Ove, although seen as a bitter person, feels for his wife, Sonja, who is quite the opposite of him. The last two chapters of the book are beautifully written where the author talks about love, life, and death. I particularly loved reading them.


Again, this is a highly recommended book. What can I say? I have friends with good taste in books!


I am going to leave you with an excerpt from A Man Called Ove because it is just so simply beautiful!

“Loving someone is like moving into a house. At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren’t actually supposed to live in a place like this. Then, over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfection, but rather its imperfections. You get to know all the nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when it’s cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them, or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without their creaking. These are the little secrets that make it your home.”
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