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Things My Son Needs to Know about the World

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  10,245 ratings  ·  1,726 reviews
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 fat
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Atria Books (first published August 27th 2012)
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Lori It's autobiography. He's a very private man so I was thrilled to get a glimpse into his carefully-guarded life. (You won't find a photo of his wife an…moreIt's autobiography. He's a very private man so I was thrilled to get a glimpse into his carefully-guarded life. (You won't find a photo of his wife and children anywhere on the internet. And on his Instagram, no photos of their faces but you'll find several versions of the sandwich LOL.)(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  10,245 ratings  ·  1,726 reviews


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Angela M
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t often think about the personal lives of authors of the books I read . Once in a while I get a glimpse of something from their life if they mention it in a note usually related to why they wrote that particular book. I’ve read a couple of memoirs by writers, but mostly they remain separate from their work for me. I try not to think about Fitzgerald or Hemingway after reading their biographies, choosing to focus on their books that I love . With Fredrik Backman, this will be different.

I h
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Julie
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman is a 2019 Atria publication.

I knew I loved this author for a reason!

Fredrik Backman stole my heart with “A Man Called Ove” but he has been keeping it in safekeeping ever since.

This is Backman’s first non-fiction book, a series of essays about parenting that nearly anyone who has children, no matter what age they are now, or cared for them, can relate to. His musings are laugh out loud funny, chronicling the insanity an infant can s
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Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
Once again, Fredrik Backman has managed to nestle his writing deep into the souls of parents everywhere with his latest book, Things My Son Needs to Know about the World. He manages to cover a lifetime's worth of wisdom in under 200 pages, but that's just icing on the cake. I managed to devour this tiny powerhouse in a single sitting today, and I can say that in that time, I laughed, I cried, and I received all of the warm fuzzies. Even if you're a parent who doesn't have a son, this is a deligh ...more
Susanne  Strong
4.25 Stars* (rounded down)

Fredrik Backman - throughout every single essay in “Things My Son Needs to Know About the World” I felt your immense love for your son (and of course your wife!). It bursts forth like the air escaping out of a balloon: whoosh!! It’s mad, crazy, fabulous love!


Reading this, I laughed hysterically at times, where I felt my whole body convulsing with laughter and then there were moments, where I felt my eyes fill and I felt tears at the back of my throat and I knew that yo
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Merphy Napier
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book got me in my heart. Some of the letters didn't do much for me. But man, a lot of them hit me hard. Will be rereading this soon and forcing my husband to read my favorite parts. YOU READ IT TOO!
Larry H
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Over the last few years, Fredrik Backman has been one of my favorite authors, with Beartown, Us Against You, A Man Called Ove and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer capturing my heart and winding up on my year-end lists of the best books I've read. So when I had the chance to get my hands on his new collection of essays, Things My Son Needs to Know About the World , I jumped on it, despite not having a child.

Once again, Backman's writing is imbued with tremendous he
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Elyse  Walters
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was the small kid in school. Everyone was taller.
My mom use to tell me, “great things come in small packages”.
It’s true.....”Things My Son Needs To Know About The World”.....is a great small package.
It’s only around 200 pages. Some pages only have a few words.
A father loves his son. ....is the most important message in this great little package.
“Because we love you.
That’s all this is about. We want you to be better than us. Because if our kids don’t grow up to be better than us, then what
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Diane S ☔
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019, lor-2019
Finding and reading a book that makes one laugh out loud, is to me priceless. Anyone who has parented, knows how easy it is to get overwhelmed. Even if you have watched someone close to you become a parent you will be able to relate to many of the incidents in this book. Some go on a little to long, some are sharp, ironic conversations, but the majority are just too funny.

When I read a book that shows some insight into the life of a favored author, I often find myself wanting a little more info
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Lori
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, own
This is a hilarious and tender collection of short pieces from my favorite contemporary writer, addressed to his son. It includes tales of diaper fails and other screw-ups. Pieces include "I think of you a bit like I think of the T. Rex in Jurassic Park" and "Baby clapping ironically." He writes of how he met his wife (readers of "A Man Called Ove" will recognize some of her traits in Parvenah) and wry little bits about their marriage. He speaks to his son of sports and video games, friendship a ...more
Matthew
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Goofy Dads
Man! Backman is bitter and cynical about being a Dad! While he has put a lot of humor in this memoir for his infant son to read later, he is often frustrated, annoyed, messing things up, and just being a general dumpster fire of a Dad. To all this I ask . . . how is it possible that his experience raising kids is so much like mine?!

This is a very “Dad humor” book for Dads who appreciate a self-deprecating approach to parenthood. While we often feel like we cannot possibly be any worse at doing
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Carol
4.5 Stars.

Laughs....lots of laughs, words of wisdom....oh so true observations....and mishaps, can't forget the mishaps!

THINGS MY SON NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD brought back so many, now laughable, memories from when my son was a baby and toddler. Although times have greatly changed, some things just don't....like poop!

Backman begins with poop....lots of poop....all different kinds and colors of poop. When will it arrive, always at inopportune times, of course, (will never forget the explo

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Liz
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I am a huge Frederik Backman fan and love his fiction. This collection of essays, written to his 18 month old son, is his first nonfiction. Like his fiction, these essays are sweet. They’re cute. They bring a smile, not necessarily a belly laugh. Although the little mini-chapters, the just sayin’ ones? They’re spot on hysterical as he admits this parenthood thing isn’t nearly as easy as it looks. And no matter the point he’s making, what shines through it all is the love he has for both his wife ...more
Cheri
!! NOW AVAILABLE !!

This is, in part, a memoir of Backman’s own life, a reflection on love in the romantic sense, the marital sense, and the parent-child / father-son sense; a reflection on life, and all the small (and large) life lessons we need to learn along the path from infant to adulthood; and on religion in a somewhat broad and sweeping sense that allows for this being a choice one eventually makes, one way or the other. Overall, it is a life manual - love letter for and to his son, shari
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Jennifer
Funny, emotional, and incredibly heartfelt. This collection of personal essays is a winner. It consists of a father's advice to his infant son about things both random and sincere.

The chapters are themed with the following topics:

-What you need to know about motion sensitive bathroom lights
-What you need to know about IKEA
-What you need to know about soccer
-What you need to know about stuff
-What you need to know about being a man
-What you need to know about God and airports
-What you need to kno
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Esil
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fredrik Backman rarely disappoints me in his fiction. It turns out he’s pretty good with non fiction too. This short book is a funny, self-deprecating and loving letter to his two year old son. It is an apology of sorts for Backman’s character flaws and for loving his son too much. It is advice on a panoply of useless and not so useless life issues and skills. The bottom line is be kind to other people, don’t be an arse, adore your mother, forgive your father for his flaws but understand how muc ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tucker by: Atria Books

Many thanks to Atria Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

A lot of people say that the bible is God’s love letter to us (which is great because there is nothing more love letter-ey than rape, murder, and mass genocide) and likewise, Things My Son Needs to Know About The World is Fredrik’s love letter to his son. A love letter that, in my opinion, shouldn’t have and didn’t need to be published.

Firstly, it felt like I was reading a diary or email thread. Throughout the ent
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Bianca
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My review disappeared, as I was trying to change it to a different edition, so here I go again.

I didn't expect Backman's latest to be this enjoyable, this good, which is ridiculous given that I loved each and every one of Backman's books, but there you have it ... surprised. I read it in one seating, I can't remember the last time I did that.

It charmed me from the very first page and it kept me entertained with its humour, self-deprecation and observations on parenting, relationships and a few
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Malia
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Fredrik Backman is an auto-buy author for me. I'll read just about anything he writes and though Things My Son Needs to Know about the World book was a little different from his fiction, he brought to it similar wit and humanity, which made it an enjoyable, moving read. I liked that this wasn't a read guide, but rather a reflection on life and how being a father has changed that of the author. I wasn't sure what to think when this fiction author turned to a different genre, but he did so well an ...more
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, this book did not impress me much.
I loved the first few pages. And I absolutely loved the last chapter on love.
In between, I really couldn't stay on track because of the all the titbits which it seemed were unnecessary and written just to stretch the writing.

Each chapter would start with a topic but I felt like the topic was left behind and the author got caught up with so many things that he actually forgot what he was writing about, or just to be on point.

The author seemed really distrac
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Dennis
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dennis by: Lori
Hands down my favorite author of our times.

When I think of Fredrik Backman I usually think of his two Beartown novels. There’s just nothing else that stayed with me for quite so long. Still is staying with me, actually. But those are seriously dark and emotionally draining novels that make you want to rage and scream. In a good way. I almost forgot that this guy can also make people look at you like you‘re Bill Murray on that cross trainer in Lost in Translation. In other words, he can make you
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Kristy K
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, netgalley, 2019, arc
Backman’s foray into non-fiction show a more humorous and light side to him than I’m use to with his fiction books I’ve read. He perfectly balances humor and heartfelt moments. It’s cute and funny with moments of poignancy. The love Backman feels for his son (and wife) is evidently clear and his passion for life shines through as well. I loved his vignettes about life, love, and everything in between. A great, short read.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest revi
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Kayla Dawn
This was unfortunately my least favorite Backman (so far) but still a pretty enjoyable read. It felt a bit repetitive and forced at times but I enjoyed the writing style overall.
Jane
*Sigh.*

I am one of Mr. Backman's biggest fans. Even those books of his that aren't my all-time favourites still hold a special place on my bookshelf and in my soul. So it's very difficult for me to say that I did not like this book very much.

I really adore the concept of this book: a collection of essays and other tidbits that Backman has written to his young son. Some of the anecdotes included within are certainly amusing. I really enjoyed the quick notes between the longer essays.

But I strugg
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Heather
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of Things My Son Needs to Know About The World by Fredrik Backman in exchange for an honest review.
I was thrilled to be able to get my hands on this book early. I put off reading this book for as long as I could because I knew it wouldn’t take me long to read it and I wanted to have it to look forward to. I will read anything Fredrik Backman writes. His writing is honest and vulnerable and you can just FEEL the emotions he was f
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Moonkiszt
HILARIOUS!!!! This book should be given to every parent ever. Perfect shower gift. Perfect book for those who want to laugh, and cry, and enjoy the remembering of the raising of their babes. So funny, and poignant and dear.

Fredrik B is a treasure. That's all there is to it.

Totally re-readable. Still funny 2nd time through.

Warning: Stereotypes present, celebrated and heavily depended upon; however, all are pertinent and, IMO 150% appropriate.

5 stars from this grandmother of 8, mother of 5.
Hamad
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“Words matter. Be better.”

🌟 This was kind of a short book and so will be this review! The book is just 200 pages but as expected from Mr.Backman, those 200 are funny and very important.

🌟 Mr.Backman has such a wonderful writing style that I think makes his book such a success. He also has a kind of an acquired taste of humor that is very similar to mine and that’s why I find his books very relatable and enjoyable.

🌟 A
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Liza Fireman
May 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I started as a huge fan of Fredrik Backman. He was a very unusual writer that masters in writing about super grumpy old people who hide a heart of gold inside. I loved A Man Called Ove and really enjoed Britt-Marie Was Here. I also liked his novelas and especially The Deal of a Lifetime.
Then he became different I didn't loved as much Beartown and even less Us Against You. Maybe he had too much pressure to publish, but the magic was fading.

In this book he writes to his son, about fatherhood mostl
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Karen R
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clever streams of conscience and words of wisdom as Backman prepares his son to face the world we live in. I love Backman’s style, how he transfers his thoughts about fatherhood (and at times, husbandhood) onto the page. He’s got a unique sense of humor. As with his last non-fiction book, “And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer”, I breezed through this one. It tugged at my heart. I chuckled often and became contemplative at times thinking about my own sons. A quick and good read.
Edward Lorn
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the funniest books I've read. You don't need to be a parent to enjoy it, either. Little slices of life, some admittedly too comedically perfect to be true, especially the elevator bit, but still vastly enjoyable. Highly recommended for everyone.

Video review: https://youtu.be/tSzCm3Ohs4E
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Silvia F.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
This book was SO REAL.

Being a new mom I completely related to this book. My son is 1 and I wish that I wrote him something like this that he could read when he gets a little older. This is my first book by Backman that I’ve read and I completely adored it. The way he describes the fatherhood side of things is so funny and yet down to earth and real. His emotions are so raw and the way he describes his feelings for his wife and son completely tore at my heartstrings. A lot of people always focus
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29,176 followers
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World, his first work ...more

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