Things My Son Needs to Know About the World [Book Review]

April 12, 2019

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

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World Review

Genre/Categories: Non-Fiction, Essays, Humor, Parent/Child

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Thank you to #NetGalley #AtriaBooks @AtriaBooks for a complimentary eARC of #ThingsMySonNeedstoKnowAbouttheWorld by Fredrik Backman upon my request. All opinions are my own.

My Summary:

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World is a collection of humorous and poignant essays Fredrik Backman wrote to teach his son about life. Essays range from short and light (how to beat Monkey Island 3) to poignant and deep (why a dad might hold onto his son’s hand just a little too tight). Underlying it all are thoughtful themes including those of unconditional love, a desperate desire to not fail at fatherhood, falling in love, and friendship.

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

My Thoughts:

Are you a Fredrik Backman fan?! Full disclosure: Although I have my favorites, I read everything Backman and appreciate his creative, magical sentence crafting, risk-taking style. I’m on board the Backman Band Wagon and committed to reading every word he writes. I was especially thrilled to receive an advanced reader copy of Things My Son Needs to Know About the World. (Pub Date: May 7, 2019)

I have journeyed with Backman as we traveled the paths of loss (And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer); competition, passion, assault, and intolerance (Beartown, Us Against You); the important things in life (The Deal of a Lifetime); lovable and mature quirky characters (A Man Called Ove, Britt-Marie Was Here); and a tender grandmother/granddaughter relationship (My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry).

In Things My Son Needs to Know About the World, standup comedy meets poignancy in an easy-reading stream of consciousness format. It is a delightful and entertaining reading experience to be inside the mind of Backman and see life from his perspective. I appreciate Backman’s characterizations, humor, creativity, honesty, transparency, and his ability to craft perfect phrases. One of my favorite topics is the sports chapter because I’ve experienced how the love of a sport is passed from father to son in my own family. I’ve seen the importance, the bonding, and the life lessons. I also appreciate the last chapter in which Backman details his traumatic brush with death and lingering anxiety. Overall, this book is humorous, insightful, creative, and appropriately poignant. You will laugh and cry.

Recommended for fans of Backman, for readers who love humor and personal essays, for parents, and for those who appreciate creative and thoughtful writing. For readers choosing the book because of the title, my reading experience is that the book is less poignant than the title might suggest.

This might make a thoughtful Father’s Day gift.

My Rating: 4 Stars


Things My Son Need to Know About the World

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World Information

Meet the Author, Fredrik Backman

Frederick Backman

Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty-five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog:, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.

Let’s Discuss!

Are YOU a Backman fan? What is your favorite title by Backman? Have you read Things My Son Needs to Know About the World or is it on your TBR?

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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