Bookish Themed Hanukkah: Second Candle: Two of You #eightcandlebooktag

December 23, 2019

 Celebrating a Bookish Hanukkah With Our Jewish Friends: Second Candle–Two of You


Image Source: The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I’m linking up today and for the next few days with Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog (information on the meme link up here) to celebrate a bookish Hanukkah with our Jewish friends.  #eightcandlebooktag  Join us! (find my first candle here)

Happy Hanukkah to my friends, followers, and book buddies who are celebrating!



1 candle

1 candle

Second Candle: Two of You

A book both you and someone special to you have really enjoyed.

My husband and I sometimes buddy read a book. I asked him which book he enjoyed the most of all of our buddy reads, and he was torn between two: News of the World (soon to be a movie with Tom Hanks!) and Beartown. Finally, he decided on Beartown as the one he enjoyed the most. I loved it too because Fredrik Backman is my favorite author. So the reasons we both enjoyed the book are quite different. My husband enjoyed the sports aspect: the rivalry, the coaching, the small-town commitment to the kids, the importance of hockey to the town, and the town’s investment in sports. I enjoyed the multi-layered drama and masterful writing. We enjoyed discussing the book and its plot, characters, and themes. Beartown is a great book for husbands and wives to buddy read!


The following is my brief review of Beartown that was published earlier on this blog:

Amazon Summary:

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

Amazon Rating (December): 4.5 stars

My Brief Thoughts:

As the author develops characters and establishes the setting in his unique style, tension builds like the distant rumbling of an approaching severe thunderstorm.
The action is a bit slow in the beginning but once it picks up the tension is sustained as the story plays out. Hockey fans will find this story particularly enjoyable! Filled with fascinating characters and infused with complex and important themes of family, parenting, competition, loyalty, courage, community, belonging, friendship, small town struggles and values, hope, and a girl’s “no,” I’m predicting that this powerful story will be one of the year’s best reads for me. Thoughtful and challenging on multiple levels, this will make a terrific book club selection. Highly recommended for hockey enthusiasts, men (my husband enjoyed it) and women.

My Rating: 5 stars



Beartown Information

Meet the Author, Fredrik Backman

Frederick BackmanFredrik 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. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog:, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.


Have you read Beartown

Can you think of someone who would like to buddy read it with you? Or if you’ve read it and liked it, do you know someone who also loved it?


I have finished my Fall TBR!
(just in time to begin my Winter TBR!)

Winter 2019 TBR

My Nonfiction November Posts:
2019 Nonfiction Reads
Nonfiction and Racial Injustice
Nonfiction/Fiction Pairings
Favorite Nonfiction Books
2020 Nonfiction TBR
Finding Chika by Mitch Albom

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Let’s Get Social!

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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

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

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.


  1. My husband and I also often buddy read. Of course, the poor fellow gets held back from reading any of the ARCs I received that I haven’t gotten to yet! We’ve read ALL of Backman’s books (although I don’t think he read the non-fiction one), and we love him too! Beartown was hard for him to get into, though (he’s British and doesn’t know Hockey at all), but he came around in the end. Thanks for participating!

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