Things My Son Needs to Know about the World

Things My Son Needs to Know about the World


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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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501198229
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Edition description: Translatio
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

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. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Twitter @BackmanLand or on Instagram @backmansk.

Read an Excerpt

What you need to know about motionsensitive bathroom lights


Table of Contents

To my son 1

What you need to know about motion-sensitive bathroom lights 3

What you need to know about IKEA 19

What you need to know about soccer 35

What you need to know about stuff 51

What you need to know about being a man 71

What you need to know about God and airports 87

What you need to know about what happened to the singing plastic giraffe 101

What you need to know about why that Felicia girl's mother hates me 121

What you need to know about good and evil 135

What you need to know about starting a band 151

What you need to know about love 165

What you need to know about when I hold your hand a little too tight 179

Customer Reviews

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Things My Son Needs to Know about the World 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 7 months ago
thenashvillewifereads 8 months ago
Fredrik Backman writes a short on all the hilarious, anxiety-ridden, fearful and confusing moments of being a parent. He starts off with the lightest of humors and morphs along the way, carrying with him a plethora of "been there" and "what were you thinking" stories, some of which that will have you surprising yourself in fits of laughter. True to the Backman way. "Maybe you don't even want to do a sport. You might want to play golf instead! And that's all right too!" (haha. Sorry to all you golfers reading this...) He points out the less thought of but oh so true nature of humanity... "Sometimes we have to get rid of stuff to make room for new stuff, and then we start to miss the old stuff so much that we have to build new stuff that pretends to be the old stuff." ...highlights the confusion of illogical ideas behind children toys... "The worst crap is actually the crap we bought before you were even born. Like a toy sheep containing a speaker that was meant to simulate "whale song" and help you sleep better. Why wasn't that crap shaped like a whale? Huh? That still bothers me." (Me, too.) ...has a few hilarious , laugh-out-loud moments that I absolutely will not spoil... you just have to read the book... ...and then manages to end with a twist of a story that might have you in tears, especially if you have ever experienced anything remotely like what he experienced. Again, I will not spoil this moment. You have to read it for yourself... Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books and Fredrik Backman for this ARC. "Your mother loves nothing in this life as much as she loves dancing, and she chose to share her time on Earth with a man she can't dance with without seriously fearing for her safety. She chose me. And then you came along. And you love music. And when you dance, you and she... If I could only choose one single moment to live inside for all eternity, it would be that. I can't tell you anything about love. Nothing more than that." ------------------ (my only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was because the beginning of the book was very repetitive. It felt like fillers. But the book truly grew and he did a fantastic job showing us the Fredrik Backman we know and love in all his books. Thankful for such a talented writer and for his family, supporting him for all the world to get to enjoy.)
Anonymous 9 months ago
I found it very well written from a father to a son. He has a sort of sure but u sure way of explaining life to his son . He is trying to pave a safety net for the boy so he can actually be a good person. I enjoyed his humor in the style of his story. I will recommend it to others.
January Gray 9 months ago
This will post to my blog on Wednesday June 12th at 2:15 pm. I LOVE all of the books by Fredrik Backman and he did an excellent job with this one even though it isn't a novel.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Any good Dad will enjoy this, I think Fredrik is a good Dad.
LiteratureWithLylan 12 months ago
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Confession - I read this before reading any of Fredrik Backman's novels. I'm actually glad I did it this way because after reading about the personal life of the author, it gave me a glimpse into their life and their writing style. I fell in love with Fredrik Backman after reading his collection of essays with advice to his son about fatherhood. It was a light hearted collection of advice that was full of love and humor. At only about 200 pages, it was easy to devour this book in one sitting. I just could not stop. I felt Backman making a connection with his son, parents who may be his audience, and everyone else who reads his collection of advice. There is just so much personality and intimacy with the writing of this book. I cannot wait to read ALL of Fredrik Backman's works. I feel like I will see his personality and writing style come to life in other ways through them. Thank you Netgalley and Atria Books for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
oldwarden More than 1 year ago
What an excellent little book! Backman is a new father, and decides to write little a series of short essays to his son. Just little notes, giving advice that the boy can use throughout his life. Things like being nice to others and try hard not to be an ass. But the main message is to know that you are loved! That your dad is not perfect, and he makes mistakes, but what he does is out of love for you. What a great message! I wish all children could have the benefit of having your father there to explain life to you. Backman tells the stories with humor and a self-deprecating style. It will make you laugh, and make you feel warm inside! What more can one ask from a book!
Kristy_K More than 1 year ago
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 review.