Day 40: Fredrik Backman

Have you met Fredrik Backman? I mentioned him on my Clutch Cargo Lips blog several years ago in my review of his novel, A Man Called Ove. I was annoyed at him for making it seem as if fifty-nine year old people were old. I have since forgiven him because he’s brought me so much joy by writing books about so many delightful characters.

I read Britt-Marie was Here last year and really enjoyed it. At our book group Zoom meeting last month I suggested we read another Fredrik Backman book and Diana (the unofficial book group leader) suggested that instead of everyone reading the same book, choose any one of his books to read and then tell the group about it. I chose My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and am loving it (this is where we are introduced to Britt-Marie). I’m reading it on Kindle, and listening to it on Audible.

What I like about Backman’s writing is that his characters all well described — not physically necessarily; but their personalities shine in his writing. I feel that I know these characters very well.

In this time of hunkering down with only my husband, having a roomful of other people, thanks to Fredrik Backman, is truly a delight.

Day 33: Book Group Zoom

I’m not a fan of video conferencing. I had lots of them at work, although most of the time I didn’t turn my video on. The last month or so, in one of my projects, we were required to turn on our video (and make sure we were wearing work-appropriate clothing and not look like we “just got back from the gym”).

Neither of my kids have suggested having video chats, and I have not ever pressed them on it, although I did send Clare an Echo device with a screen so we could easily see each other. Her partner does not like it so it sits, unplugged in the hallway of her apartment building.

Outside of work and before this evening, I’ve only Zoomed a few times. Once with Andrew after his graduation ceremony; a couple of times with my neighbor, Catherine; twice with my blogging friends; and twice with a neighborhood “age in place” group.

This evening’s Zoom meeting with my book group — women, many of whom I have known for twenty-five years — was truly delightful. We’d considered Zooming earlier in the pandemic, but there was not much enthusiasm for it. Finally someone suggested it again and nearly everyone said they’d join.

One of our group members was concerned that not everyone would have a chance to talk, but she didn’t have to worry — we all talked, and we all listened. We do it again in a few weeks — but this time we’ll have read a book!

I didn’t realize how much I missed these friends until tonight.

Screenshot of Zoom participants laughing
Screen shot after someone told a joke.