Thursday, March 29, 2018

Beartown; An Audible Book Review

This is a fictional account of the lives of people in a small community called Beartown.  It is a disturbing and truthful look at humankind and current life, at least in First World Countries.  Beartown could easily be the true account of any community and is probably closer to the truth in our communities than we would like to believe.

See the source image

So like the residents of Beartown, we put on our blinders.  We tell ourselves that it couldn't or wouldn't be our kids.  That we are the parents that will have more influence over our children than their peers and that we are the kind of people who would stand up and shout out about truth, honesty, goodness, kindness, responsibility and consequences in the face of popular opinion and beliefs.

My daughter, Amy, also read this novel. Neither of us knew the other had read it but when having a pedicure/lunch date we were talking about what we were reading and discovered that we had both just finished this novel.

Amy believes it should be required reading in high schools world wide.  I believe she is correct.  I also believe that it should prompt daily discussion in schools and homes. Discussions about how it is so easy to get caught up in the we/they mentality.  Discussions about overlooking someone's faults/sins/crimes because that person is important to the community/society.  Discussions about the inequality between men and women that still exists today even though we try to deny it.  Discussions about taking responsibility for your own actions.

The list goes on and on.  You could have daily dinner conversations with your teens for a month and not cover it all.

This novel by Frederik Backman is very different from the others of his that I have read and loved.  A Man Called Ove,  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She Was Sorry,  and Britt Marie Was Here were all novels featuring loveable characters, even the cantankerous ones, who learn to accept and care for one another despite initial difference.  They are feel good novels that I enjoyed immensely.

Beartown is, by no stretch of the imagination, a feel good novel.  All of these previous audible novels were narrated by a pleasant, soft spoken voice that contributed to this relaxed, feel good atmosphere.

The narrator of Beartown has a harsh voice, perfectly suited for this novel.  It is a powerful novel and one that I would strongly recommend, especially for a book club setting where it will provide great fodder for your reviews and discussions.

There was not a lot of food in this novel.  There was however a lot of invitations to "come in for coffee".  There was also an explosion of a smoothie in the beginning of the novel when the lid was not properly placed on the blender and lots of alcohol consumed.

This inspired me to make and share this Frozen Irish Coffee.  Join me over at Foodies Read as sip our smoothie and see what the other food bloggers are reading this month.

Frozen Irish Coffee

1 c. cold coffee
1/2 c. Irish cream liqueur
2 T. chocolate syrup
2 c. ice cubes
whipped cream and chocolate syrup for garnish, if desired

Place coffee, liqueur, chocolate syrup and ice cubes into a heavy duty blender. Puree until smooth.  Divide between 2 glasses.  Garnish with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup, if desired.


  1. You've really piqued by interest with this one. I enjoyed A Man Called Ove and will have to pick this up soon, I think.

    And now I'm also craving a boozey frozen coffee...

    1. This is very different than A Man Called Ove. Let me know how you like it Rob.


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