The audiobook accompaniment to my long commute is worth passing along: A Man Called Ove: A Novel I just finished it, and give it 4.5 stars. I must deduct a half star for personal emotional trauma.
The audiobook is simply wonderful: the reader, the pacing, the mix of dry humor and pathos is absolutely perfect.
The only thing that jarred me: Ove's age. 59. Two Years Older Than I Am. OMG, he's so OLD!! He's an OLD MAN! Mentally, not physically - he's strong and capable and a can-do person who steps up and takes care of things for everyone around him (no spoilers, but it's excellent dark humor) but he's so bitter and hidebound, not just about things he has a right to be bitter about. OMG, effing everything is something worth Being a Dick About Because Principle! I'd like to think that Swedish men are just gloomier and age faster than Americans, but...yeah, a lot of men my/his age are just a notch or two less Ove, but still firmly on the Old Fart spectrum.
I remain convinced that there exists a few good men who are neither Tiresome Old Farts nor Peter Pans fantasizing about running away on a someday boat (after learning to play the guitar and surf, of course), who enjoy life in the here and now,know Fox News is bullshit, and are single and straight. (It used to be that I could lump all the good guys into "married or gay," but that now has to be rephrased.)
But I digress. A Man Called Ove truly is delightful and extremely well written. Especially if you are in your 30s and the idea that 59 is an old man doesn't freak you the hell out. (I gave it 5 stars on Amazon, but here I will deduct a personal half star for making me feel Ancient.)
As I write this, Murphy the Dying Dog is annoying the hell out of me. He wants more Teddy Graham cookies. Tonight he refused to eat his plain chicken until I topped it with lentils and veggies. The dog is going vegetarian. It's so weird. Last night it was noodles and veggies over his chicken, tonight lentils.
None of this is on his "approved" lymphangiectasia diet, but whatthehell, he's over 15, toothless, deaf, and nearly blind. I am not in some sort of contest to keep him alive as long as possible. We are on the bucket list diet: whatever it is, if it makes him happy he can have it - within reason, because I don't need to come home from work to clean up diarrhea in every room (it's happened). After abandoning the restrictive diet, he's become far more energetic and happy. He's definitely shooting for 15 and a half, and as of today, I'd say 16 is not entirely out of the question. Timex Dog just keeps on ticking.