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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best-selling 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 midlife 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 to which you belong 
  • 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 on to 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.”

©2019 Fredrik Backman (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Things My Son Needs to Know About the World

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Not my favorite Frederick Backman book

This was a sweet, poignant and often funny dedication to Frederic’s first child. I appreciated the heart but didn’t not find this book nearly as captivating as his others. Bear town series was electric, A Man Called Ove just so unique and fun, Britt Marie and My Grandmother both also unique and so moving. Some of my favorite books. This one was more mediocre.

5 people found this helpful

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Hilarious love letter to his son.

Achingly touching in one moment and gut cramping funny the next. I would recommend this book to any parent of any age. Heck, anyone with a relationship or a sense of humor will enjoy this read. I will listen to this again and again, loved it.

5 people found this helpful

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another great story by Fredrik Backman!

this book is funny, touching, and so true! I loved his insight into Parenthood. I only wish it were longer :-)

3 people found this helpful

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yeah its amazing

if you do anything this weekend reading this book should be it. Backman at his absolute best

2 people found this helpful

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Funny and True

Fredrick Backman nails it with every ounce of truth. Great for every Dad and Mom.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved This

This book was delightful and certainly can be applied to girls. I really enjoy Fredrik Backman’s writing.

1 person found this helpful

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Not Ove

I loved A Man Called Ove. This was all right but not great. It’s like mild Dave Barry.

1 person found this helpful

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Both Hilarious and Heartwarming!

I laughed out loud and shed a few tears-I loved this book! Fredrik Backman never disappoints!

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Best author

I continue to be in awe at this authors talent. He writes from the head and the heart. You must read his books.

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we laughed...we cried.

My husband and I laughed and cried. Fredrik is the most amazing writer. This book is especially relevant to those of us who have struggled to parent well. Makes you laugh at yourself while also confronting you with things you need to face. The narrator was PERFECT.