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In this utterly delightful debut by Swedish author Backman we meet a grumpy, opinionated curmudgeon who thinks he has nothing left to live for after the loss of his wife and his job.

His attempts to end his misery are continually thwarted by the annoying new neighbors who drag him begrudgingly back to his life and into theirs. This bittersweet tale might well make you cry, will definitely make you laugh, and may even make you want to drive a Saab for the rest of your life.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman ($26, Atria Books), recommended by Tony at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC.