The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove shares an irresistible and moving collection of heartfelt, humorous essays about fatherhood, providing his newborn son with the perspective and tools he’ll need to make his way in the world.
Things My Son Needs to Know About the World collects the personal dispatches from the front lines of one of the most daunting experiences any man can experience: fatherhood.
As he conveys his profound awe at experiencing all the “firsts” that fill him with wonder and catch him completely unprepared, Fredrik Backman doesn’t shy away from revealing his own false steps and fatherly flaws, tackling issues both great and small, from masculinity and mid-life crises to practical jokes and poop.
In between the sleep-deprived lows and wonderful highs, Backman takes a step back to share the true story of falling in love with a woman who is his complete opposite, and learning to live a life that revolves around the people you care about unconditionally. Alternating between humorous side notes and longer essays offering his son advice as he grows up and ventures out into the world, Backman relays the big and small lessons in life, including:
-How to find the team you belong to
-Why airports explain everything about religion and war
-The reason starting a band is crucial to cultivating and keeping friendships
-How to beat Monkey Island 3
-Why, sometimes, a dad might hold onto his son’s hand just a little too tight
This is an irresistible and insightful collection, perfect for new parents and fans of Backman’s “unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness). As he eloquently reminds us, “You can be whatever you want to be, but that’s nowhere near as important as knowing that you can be exactly who you are.”
Swedish novelist Backman (A Man Called Ove; Beartown) addresses his young son in a series of delightful, thoughtful essays on fatherhood. In "What You Need To Know About Motion-Sensitive Bathroom Lights," Backman explains how his life "revolves around the logistics of poop," and tells of a funny struggle with a shopping center baby-changing station that, he writes, "was my Vietnam." In one of the shorter anecdotes, "This Is Not Going Well. I'm Aware," Backman contemplates explaining the birds and the bees to his son, but concludes: "I had sex with your mother. You're gonna need a few years to process this.... I really should have just told you about storks." A moving essay on "What You Need to Know About Soccer" is less about the sport and more about Backman's desire for his son to not experience the feeling of "being left out" and of his own fear that someday Backman will feel left out of his grown son's life. All of the essays are connected by Backman's belief that children should grow up "to be better than us... kinder, smarter, more humble, more generous, and more selfless than we are." Parents especially fathers will appreciate Backman's witty and touching lessons.