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Archive - Additional Reads > Beartown - April 2018

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message 1: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
Voted by members as our additional read for the Fiction nominee.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.


message 2: by Vicki Willis (new)

Vicki Willis | 822 comments I am definitely interested in this one, but am not sure if i will get to it this month.


message 3: by Colleen (last edited Apr 12, 2018 06:43PM) (new)

Colleen  | 138 comments This was sooooo good. I finished it in December and a nice timely read for winter/hockey season. A different book from his A Man Called Ove, but stylistically, just as good. Very character driven, slow to start, but it picks up and I could not put it down. He sets the scene of the town, the hockey craziness, and the mood so well. One of my faves.


message 4: by Summer (new)

Summer (paradisecity) | 29 comments This was, hands down, my favorite book of last year. I read in an interview that it was originally conceptualized as a TV show, which is part of why there’s so much good characterization of a large cast. There’s a sequel coming out this year, I believe, and I’m definitely looking forward to that.


message 5: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
I agree, Colleen. The writing in this one was quite different from his previous work. I like his others, but I actually enjoyed this one even more.

Summer, the sequel is Us Against You, if you'd like to read what it will be about.


message 6: by Colleen (last edited Apr 12, 2018 06:44PM) (new)

Colleen  | 138 comments I hope to read the sequel sooner rather than later.....! There's so much I want to find out on the characters.


message 7: by Kia (new)

Kia | 5 comments I adored this one!! It was different from what he usually writes but a good different!


message 8: by Trisha (new)

Trisha I finished this one - but it was tough

I loved the author's writing and look forward to reading more by him
but I was stunned when this was a book about a rape in a small town. I thought it was a story about an underdog team and I thought there'd be some adult drama (and even some kid drama) and how they all work together to overcome or something..... It was a rough but good read.


message 9: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
Oh, it is definitely a more difficult read than just an underdog team overcoming a challenge. There should probably be a trigger warning associated with the book. There are some difficult themes in there for sure.


message 10: by Janina (new)

Janina (sylarana) | 692 comments I'm currently listening to it (just 45 minutes left to go) and I had no idea what the book was truly about and am really very pleasantly surprised. (The idea of a book about a hockey team in the middle of nowhere has really little to no appeal to me .. I don't care much about sports and hockey is probably at the very bottom of the pile).

I love the way the story is told and the multitude of different perspectives in it. The fact that there is a sequel kind of scares me right now .. but I won't look into all that until I'm done. I'm very glad this book was chosen here in the group as I would have never picked it up on my own.


message 11: by Janina (new)

Janina (sylarana) | 692 comments Finished it. Wow .. what an amazing book! Totally not what I expected and so much better. I can't wait for the sequel .. though I am also terrified of it (view spoiler)


message 12: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
I agree, Janina! I'm hoping to read Us Against You this month.


message 13: by Joan (new)

Joan Barnett | 37 comments Starting this one kind of late but I'm 50 pages into it and loving the characters so far.


message 14: by Lynn, Moderator (new)

Lynn | 4048 comments Mod
This was on my maybe tbr, but with all the enthusiastic reports I might change it to definite tbr


message 15: by Joan (last edited May 04, 2018 02:14PM) (new)

Joan Barnett | 37 comments I'm over halfway through and am still enjoying it. I like the author's use of dramatic irony. It keeps me turning the pages.

I didn't really know what it was about either and now that I'm up to that part and knowing a sequel is coming out and what it is called is intriguing me.

I'll probably finish this book up tonight.


message 16: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 8 comments I'm only 1/4 in and am totally engrossed with the character, though I was surprised it was so serious.


message 17: by Joan (new)

Joan Barnett | 37 comments I finished it. It was one of my best reads of the year. All kinds of important issues were brought up in it. Good use of dramatic irony in this one. It keeps you guessing in it.


message 18: by Vicki Willis (new)

Vicki Willis | 822 comments I just started this one on audible.
The narration is really good.
Getting a feel for the characters now.


message 19: by Vicki Willis (last edited May 13, 2018 08:25AM) (new)

Vicki Willis | 822 comments I am at 35% right now and (view spoiler)
There have a been a few comments of foreshadowing about what is coming and I am getting nervous. I didn't have any idea of the content of the book until I read some comments here, so now I am "waiting for it".
I totally love how the narrator does Anna (I think that is her name. The friend of the coach's daughter). I am laughing out loud every time she makes an appearance.
I am loving this book so far. I didn't know I would like it this much or I would have read it sooner!


message 20: by Lynn, Moderator (new)

Lynn | 4048 comments Mod
I so want to read this on audio after your comments Vicki, but it looks like it's not available in the UK :(
(I don't think ... I couldn't find it on audible)


message 21: by Kristie, Moderator (last edited May 13, 2018 05:07AM) (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
I agree about the culture, Vicki. It is so well done throughout the book. I was really impressed with how well he figures out who a character is and sticks with it.

I'm surprised it's not available in the UK on Audible. That's too bad. I thought it was well done too.


message 22: by Ann_R (last edited May 13, 2018 09:39AM) (new)

Ann_R (ann_reads) I read Beartown in January and found the writing engaging, but I was a little disappointed. Although I appreciated Backman tackling tough themes, to me the some of the characters seemed like stereotypes, such as the wealthy/popular athlete and his detached parents. Sorry to go against the grain here in my opinion, it just wasn't a favorite of mine.

In comparison, has anyone read My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry? It sounds like a completely different story but I am on the fence about reading it.


message 23: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
Ann - I really enjoyed that one too. It is completely different from this one and more traditional of Bachman’s writing.


message 24: by Ann_R (new)

Ann_R (ann_reads) Thanks, Kristie. :-)


message 25: by Vicki Willis (new)

Vicki Willis | 822 comments I didn't know it was the same author as My Grandmother. I never read that one because I didn't like the title.

I am now about 60%
The characters ARE stereotypical and it is kind of teenagery, but I like that kind of thing.
I just got to the part where (view spoiler)
I need to go back though because I was listening on audio and I fell asleep and missed the part (view spoiler) and when I woke up I couldn't stop listening! I don't know if i can find the spot though.


message 26: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
That’s one of the disadvantages of audio, Vicki!


message 27: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 8 comments That's why I love the sleep timer that Audible has!!


message 28: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronixwritesofficial) | 2 comments Just added this to my "to-read" list. Not my usual genre but it looks and sound promising. Will have to make a review after I'm done with it.


message 29: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
Kirsten wrote: "That's why I love the sleep timer that Audible has!!"

I've never used that Kirsten. Of course, I never intend to fall asleep while listening.


message 30: by Kristie, Moderator (new)

Kristie | 5884 comments Mod
Ronnie wrote: "Just added this to my "to-read" list. Not my usual genre but it looks and sound promising. Will have to make a review after I'm done with it."

Come back and let us know what you think, Ronnie.


message 31: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 8 comments Kristie wrote: "Kirsten wrote: "That's why I love the sleep timer that Audible has!!"

I've never used that Kirsten. Of course, I never intend to fall asleep while listening."


Neither do I. But it's happened way too often!


message 32: by Ann_R (new)

Ann_R (ann_reads) Kirsten wrote: "That's why I love the sleep timer that Audible has!!"

I often use the sleep timer, too. Some books do send me off to sleep, or maybe it is the narrator's voice. :-)


message 33: by Vicki Willis (new)

Vicki Willis | 822 comments I will have to try that sleep timer thing!


message 34: by Vicki Willis (new)

Vicki Willis | 822 comments Well, I finished and I loved this book. It was one of those books that could have lingered on my shelf for years I would have never read it. I am so glad I did.
I can't wait for the sequel, I definitely will be reading that one sooner rather than later.
I did this one on audible and I really enjoyed the narrator, if you like audible!


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) | 40 comments Amazing! I rated this one 5 stars. Right from the first sentence I was hooked.


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