Books on the train: A man called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

About the book:

There is something about Ove.At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots – neighbours who can’t reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d’etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents’ Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.But isn’t it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible…

The word-of-mouth bestseller causing a sensation across Europe, Fredrik Backman’s heartwarming debut is a funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step – and less ready to judge on first impressions a man you might one day wish to have as your dearest friend.

Books on the Train: Sympathy, by Olivia Sudjic

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About the book:

An electrifying debut novel of obsessive love, family secrets, and the dangers of living our lives online

At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, a Japanese writer living in New York, whose life story has strange parallels to her own and whom she believes is her “internet twin.” What seems to Mizuko like a chance encounter with Alice is anything but—after all, in the age of connectivity, nothing is coincidence. Their subsequent relationship is doomed from the outset, exposing a tangle of lies and sexual encounters as three families across the globe collide, and the most ancient of questions—where do we come from—is answered just by searching online.   In its heady evocation of everything from Haruki Murakami to Patricia Highsmith to Edith Wharton, Sympathy is utterly original—a thrilling tale of obsession, doubling, blood ties, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age.

Books on the Train: First Person, by Richard Flanagan

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About the book:

Six weeks to write for your life… In this blistering story of a ghostwriter haunted by his demonic subject, the Man Booker Prize winner turns to lies, crime and literature with devastating effect

A young and penniless writer, Kif Kehlmann, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious con man and corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl proposes a deal: $10,000 for Kehlmann to ghost write his memoir in six weeks.

But as the writing gets under way, Kehlmann begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. As the deadline draws closer, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghost writing a memoir, or if Heidl is rewriting him—his life, his future. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: who is Seigfried Heidl—and who is Kif Kehlmann?

By turns compelling, comic, and chilling, First Person is a haunting journey into the heart of our age.

Books on the Train: You Be Mother, by Meg Mason

I recently started taking a train instead of bus, hence change of the series 🙂

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About the book:

What do you do, when you find the perfect family, and it’s not yours? A charming, funny and irresistible novel about families, friendship and tiny little white lies.

The only thing Abi ever wanted was a proper family. So when she falls pregnant by an Australian exchange student in London, she cannot pack up her old life in Croydon fast enough, to start all over in Sydney and make her own family. It is not until she arrives, with three-week-old Jude in tow, that Abi realises Stu is not quite ready to be a father after all. And he is the only person she knows in this hot, dazzling, confusing city, where the job of making friends is turning out to be harder than she thought. That is, until she meets Phyllida, her wealthy, charming, imperious older neighbour, and they become almost like mother and daughter. If only Abi had not told Phil that teeny tiny small lie, the very first day they met…

Imagine the warmth of Monica McInerney, the excruciating awkwardness of Offspring and the wit of Liane Moriarty, all rolled into one delightful, warm, funny and totally endearing novel about families – the ones we have, and the ones we want – and the stories we tell ourselves about them. ‘Rare and delightful … a beautifully crafted novel about female relationships. I couldn’t put this book down.’ Clare Press, Fashion Editor-at-large, Marie Claire ‘You Be Mother is the kind of book you pick up…and never want to put down … you will fall in love with this book.’ Lauren Sams, author of She’s Having Her Baby.