I’m taking a step outside my box today, people. I read a lot of middle grade, teen, picture books, and more graphic novels, too, as time goes on, but I’ve moved away from most adult fiction other than mysteries. The last several “big” books have been a disappointment, you see, and the ones that are supposed to be heartwarming are often just kind of saccharine and annoying.
However. Just when I get to be a little bit of a snob about something – as I’ve noted in recent posts about the body count heading up some middle grade and teen books – I can be blown back by books that work for me. Books which might seem on the face to be set up to trigger warm and fuzzy feelings about quirky and/or crotchety characters. Who knows? Maybe the timing was just right and I’m a sap.
Sometimes, though, the way that books land in your lap or your ebook bookshelf is just serendipitous, as it was with both The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (Katarina Bivald) and Britt-Marie Was Here (Frederik Backman). Both have socially awkward, female main characters. Both find themselves in a new community without understanding all the rules and expectations. Both make mistakes, a lot of them, and develop relationships with other outsiders. Both finally find a home.
If you made an outline of these two books, they might not look much different. Maybe their similarities would put you off from reading them one after the other. Perhaps I just needed a little connection with some women taking uncomfortable chances and finding out who they really are after years of being told what they are. Whatever the reason, I’ll carry them both in my heads for at least a little while, and I’m grateful for that.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (Katarina Bivald) and Britt-Marie Was Here (Frederik Backman)