Superfans: this post contains all the books by Fredrik Backman ranked in order — both chronologically and by my personal ratings. I have read all the books by the New York Times bestselling author and also try to give you recommendations for what to read next if you read one or two of his novels and want to keep reading more.
Fredrik Backman is a beloved modern Swedish author, whom I would describe as a master at conveying the human condition and how humans relate to each other. His dialogue is subtle, with meaning hidden between the lines.
He confronts life and death situations in his writing, often with elderly and/or youthful characters. His characters are well-drawn and tend to be introverted and/or neurotic. For all of these reasons, Fredrik Backman books make for great book club picks, to discuss the actions of the characters and the weighty life situations they face.
If you’re wondering what Fredrik Backman book to read first or next, peruse the post below!
Fredrik Backman Books in Order (Chronological)
- A Man Called Ove (2012)
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (2013)
- Britt-Marie Was Here (2014)
- And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer (2015)
- Beartown (2016)
- Us Against You (2017)
- The Deal of a Lifetime (2017)
- Things My Son Needs to Know about the World (2019)
- Anxious People (2019)
Frequently Asked Questions
You may read the Fredrik Backman books in any order, except the Beartown series, in which you should read Beartown before Us Against You.
Yes, Beartown is part of a series of two published books, as well as a third, soon-to-be-published book.
There are two published Beartown books: Beartown (#1) and Us Against You (#2). A third book is soon-to-be-published in Sweden in late 2021, and will likely be translated and published in English in 2022.
Yes, Us Against You is a sequel to Beartown.
Yes, there will be a third Beartown book. It will be published in Sweden in late 2021, and will likely be translated and published in English in 2022. It is tentatively titled “The Winners.”
While Fredrik Backman has written nonfiction books, he generally writes fiction books that are character-driven.
All the Books by Fredrik Backman Ranked
Below are all the books by Fredrik Backman ranked in order of a mix of personal preference and reader preference based on polling.
I note that I thoroughly enjoyed ALL of these books, so ranking them is painful, but I know these types of rankings can really help people decide what to read next and hopefully, you will end up reading them all too.
As mentioned, I also tried to note who each book is best for to help you decide.
Let’s get to it!
- New York Times bestseller
- Named a Best Book of the Year by LibraryReads, BookBrowse, and Goodreads
Beartown is my top pick from Fredrik Backman’s catalog. While it’s DEFINITELY for fans of Friday Night Lights (it’s basically the hockey version), it’s also for fans of tv shows like Parenthood and This is Us, as well as books that delve into the interactions amongst a group of people or a family, like John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.
Family drama books are my favorite genre, so it comes as no surprise that Beartown is my favorite here, but I will say it’s many if not *most* people’s favorite of his as well.
As mentioned, Beartown is basically about the dramatic interactions between members of a Swedish hockey town obsessed with winning and an act of violence against a teenage girl that connects them.
But, there are so many more storylines of what’s really going on in the lives of these neighbors, and it deeply shines a spotlight on the human condition, and good versus evil, with depth you will savor and won’t forget. It’s what I like to call a “modern classic” and I consider it a must-read for all adults.
For more, read my full review of Beartown (with quotes!).
A Man Called Ove
MORE THAN TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD
Ove is an elderly curmudgeon, but behind all of those hard edges is a sensitive man coping with grief and his own mortality. A very unlikely friendship just may become the source of meaning in his life at this emotional stage in his life.
Ove is an absolutely unforgettable character, and this is a book I continue to return to in my mind for that reason. It’s one that will pull on your heartstrings and make you feel *all the things.* It’s definitely a must-read!
For more, check out my discussion questions for A Man Called Ove.
Us Against You
Us Against You is the sequel to Beartown, and it is just as good in my opinion. (In some ways I lived it even better!) Please note you should definitely read Beartown BEFORE Us Against You. Otherwise, it’s kind of like starting a new tv show at Season 2.
In Us Against You the drama picks right back up as the town learns that its hockey team will be disbanded. Further, some of the team has transferred to the rival team.
These new challenges burn slowly, and Backman weaves in intimate character portraits of the townspeople until all of the problems rise to the surface and reach explosive heads.
Sadly, not everyone will survive in this book of competition, and others will fall in their own ways as well. Us Against You totally lives up to the hype and expectations of the biggest Beartown fans.
For more, read my full review of Us Against You (with quotes!).
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is a short story / novella for fans of Backman’s other books that explore issues of death and mortality. It’s a tender and intimate story of a grandfather his grandson, and a father and his dad, all coming to terms with the elderly man’s aging process, mental incapacities, and impending death.
It gives a voice to an aging man who feels fear and uncertainty, reaching to his beloved mathematics for the security of what he knows for sure. And it’s a story of unconditional family love as they face the circle of life, each in their own ways yet also together.
In its own heartfelt way, you can feel Backman grappling with the themes of life and death through these three characters, all in different stages in their lives. It’s a very worthwhile, short read.
Things My Son Needs to Know About the World
Things My Son Needs to Know about the World is a unique, brief memoir for fans of essay books and Ali Wong’s Dear Girls. It has a similar humorous tone (and is far less raunchy) in conveying Backman’s wisdom about life through short snippets on the topics of: poop, IKEA, the modern obsession with buying “stuff” to combat the anxiety of parenting, soccer, respect for the knowledge and tenacity of older generations, equality and fairness, theology and the human condition, marriage and raising children and finally, what it was like being shot.
I definitely enjoyed this one, and I would bet that you will too.
- Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
- A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more!
For fans of Bel Canto and stories that explore human psychology in life-changing situations, Anxious People is a more quirky book in which an open house at an apartment goes awry when a failed bank robber runs in and ends up taking everyone there hostage.
They’re “a bunch of idiots” — a retired couple who fix up houses, but can’t fix their marriage, a wealthy bank director, a conflicted young couple about to have their first child, an elderly woman unafraid of a gun but still afraid of the real estate deal, and a mysterious man who has locked himself in the bathroom.
As the premises are surrounded, the hostages reveal truths about themselves and set into motion a completely unexpected chain of events. This is how different people experience anxiety differently, with lasting consequences.
It’s a uniquely nuanced look into human nature that will make you both laugh and cry. It’s likely unlike any book you’ve read before. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is great for fans of Harry Potter and Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here (below), as both literary characters feature heavily. But, like all Backman books, this one deals with complicated topics of grief and forgiveness.
It’s a unique type of coming of age story in which seven-year-old Elsa is a lover of superheroes, and sees her grandmother as the greatest superhero — and friend — of all.
When Elsa’s grandmother dies, Elsa is left to confront all that is confusing and scary in her life alone. But a series of apology letters her grandmother left behind take her on a journey.
As she embarks on adventures and meets the recipients of her grandmother’s letters, she gains a new perspective on both her grandmother and life that contribute to her and her family’s growth and healing. While sad, it’s also beautifully written and heartwarming.
Britt-Marie Was Here
Britt-Marie Was Here is a heartwarming portrait of a woman who’s been through a lot of living in her life, yet still doesn’t feel she has a purpose or a passion. She’s also carried the weight of grief and a bad marriage in which she gave too much of herself.
She finds herself working at a recreation center creating meaning both for herself and others. I enjoyed this book overall and think that if you liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you will like this one.
The Deal of a Lifetime
The Deal of a Lifetime is a novella about a father and son seeing each other for the first time in years, best for superfans of Backman, who want to savor ALL of his works. The father wants to share a story before it’s too late, about a courageous little girl with cancer in a hospital nearby.
In talking about this girl, he reveals truths about himself: his business triumphs, parenting failures, regrets, and hopes.
He’s given a chance to change the destiny of the little girl, but first, he wants his son to uncover the worth of his life.
It’s a story about one’s legacy, which only Backman could write. It touches upon all of the complex life and death issues fans know and love him for, in a bite-sized format. While I enjoyed it, and definitely recommend it to superfans, I personally just didn’t connect with it as much as his other works.
Those are all the books by Fredrik Backman both in chronological order and ranked. I hope you found your next great read!
As a reminder, if you’re wondering where to start or what the top must-reads of Backman are, my top two picks are by my favorites and reader favorites:
Pin this post to Pinterest because you can refer back to it when you want to read more books by Fredrik Backman.