A Man Called Ove, by Swedish author Fredrik Backman, has got to be one of the sweetest books I've ever read, without being at all maudlin or saccharine. It is refreshingly straightforward and real, packed with a sort of humor, pathos and wisdom that connect story and reader as if with an old fashioned hard line - the kind that used to plug into the wall by the phone stand. Backman strikes a natural, easy friendship with the reader, much in the manner of Mark Twain in his own time, seeming to link arms and share both winks and tears as we walk through the narrative together. For people of my own generation, Ove - cranky, curmudgeonly, yet lovable despite himself - a man of principle and common sense - is our common father; and it is a blessing to know him once again, and more truly yet. I loved this book, and I'm going to miss Ove's company as I travel from one coffee shop to another.