Book Review: Beartown

A short recap of my history with Fredrik Backman.  I’ve read two of his books — A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry — and loved them both!  That’s it.  That’s my history.  Told you it was short 🙂

I saw Beartown on a list of the best books of 2017 and was on board right away.  That being said, this book was a bit different for Backman.  There’s no curmudgeon!  Unless you count the town barkeep, but as she’s one of like 30 “main” characters, she doesn’t get a ton of airtime.

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Basically, this book is about a small town that eats, sleeps and breathes hockey and an incident involving the star player, Kevin, and the General Manager’s daughter, Maya.  What happens challenges everyone to question their own loyalties and morals.  It breaks the town but then remakes it.

The entire time I read it, something felt off but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I tried to explain it out loud to Joey.  Backman jumps back and forth between characters SO MUCH.  Every paragraph revolves around a different character.  In the beginning, I figured we were just meeting everyone, but it went on like that for the rest of the book.  There’s also SO MANY stories from the characters’ pasts (before the book takes place) included.  Again, in the beginning, this was fine but it continued on throughout the book, to the point where you spend more time hearing about things that happened in the past than you spend with the characters in the present action of the book.  It was wholly strange and it gave me an unending feeling that I didn’t really know the characters at all.

That being said, what you will get, and what I’ve come to love about Fredrik Backman’s novels, is a great deal of heart.  There are certainly many characters who are bad people with bad morals but there are just as many characters who know right from wrong, who show fierce loyalty and unfaltering compassion towards those they love and honestly, that’s enough to keep me reading.

Have you read Beartown (or anything by Fredrik Backman)?

What are you reading right now?

Weekend Things & Things I Need More of in 2018

More cocktails.  More trips to new restaurants.  More sister time.  More joy in cooking at home.   More reading.  More Sunday matinees.  More pizza.  More chill.

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Trail mix and some very good cocktails at The Family Jones which has that familiar Edible Beats feel in the best way possible // Pasta with Mushrooms, Crispy Sage & Garlic Bread Crumbs from The Savvy Cook that we will definitely be making again // Get Out was NOT what I thought it would be but in a good way.

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Call is a new mini cafe/grab-and-go/restaurant in RiNo and I’d been lusting over pictures all week, so we headed there first thing Saturday morning // The details are an Instagram dream // Sourdough English Muffin and baby’s first cortado ‘tado // Drake playing inside that can!

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Back at home with a new candle and a new book // Later, gym and grocery then sister manis! // Cooked steak and our very favorite potatoes // The King and I was INCREDIBLE — maybe went home and tried to re-enact the “Shall We Dance” scene before realizing our house is too small for that.

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Sunday pancake leftovers + catching up on Top Chef (they’re in Denver this season so I had to watch!) // Saw I, Tonya and loved it, then had lunch pizza at Denver Central Market // Drunk Oscars! — “Oprah for President!” is less of a joke and more of a deadly serious plea.

A Note of the Golden Globes: How inspiring was it to hear all those female forward speeches?  Also loved James Franco winning and bringing his “Franco brother” up on stage with him 🙂  Frances McDormand was great and I’m so glad Lady Bird got some love, despite the snub for Greta Gerwig as director.  I just love movie award season so much ♥

For the sake of authenticity, I wanna disclose that I’ve been feeling incredibly indecisive lately.  Do I want to go see a movie or stay in and rent one?  Do I want to eat breakfast at home or go out?  Do I want to go to the gym or a yoga class?  And for some reason, these decisions feel like they will make or break my week/weekend/life.  My brain is like “CHILL!”  But my anxiety says “OBSESS!”  So if you need me, I’ll be over here working on that.