The Books

Cover art for the bromance book club

The Bromance Book Club

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Genre: Romance; Sports Romance

Romance Steam Level: 3 out of 5 (Full Boil)

Publisher: Berkley Books

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Format: paperback

Length: 352 pages

Backstory is everything.

Gavin Scott is a professional baseball player, father of two small children, and has been sleeping in the guest room for months. Thea Scott is tired of putting her own dreams and ambitions on hold for everyone else. When Thea asks for a divorce, Gavin is ready to take desperate measures. Desperate as in joining a secret book club in which men study romance novels to help sort out their real-life relationships.

Just remember: the first rule of book club is you don’t talk about book club.

cover art for Anxious People

Anxious People

Author: Fredrik Backman

Genre: Literary Fiction; Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Atria Books

Published: September 8, 2020

Number of Pages: 336

This is a story about a bank robbery and a hostage situation that isn’t really about a bank robbery or a hostage situation. In fact, for a book approximately a person entering a room with a gun, there is very little forward action. The story instead circles around and folds in on itself again and again until the reader is completely immersed in it from a myriad of perspectives. Somehow, the book manages to be heartbreaking, uplifting, and completely hilarious at the same time. The characters are delightfully quirky, yet loveable. (Apart from Zara, but even though you can’t really like Zara, you can’t really hate her either.) ⁠⠀⁠⠀

Also, this is a book set in Sweden which includes domestic remodeling, so IKEA is involved.⁠⠀

The Ties That Bind

Each of these books includes a father who sees a little of himself in his child. However, rather than feeling proud, the similarity just causes the father to worry.

In The Bromance Book Club, Gavin has a stutter. It mostly only pops up when he’s nervous or feeling strong emotions like anger, but it’s a major source of insecurity for Gavin. It’s been a giant stumbling block for him in regard to personal relationships and also professionally to some extent. There is a second early in the book when his daughter Amelia shows signs of a lisp. It’s lucid that this opportunity terrifies Gavin. He doesn’t want his child to have to deal with the bullying or self-doubt he’s experienced most of his life. Though it isn’t mentioned, I think part of Gavin feels guilty and wonders provided Amelia may have somehow inherited her own speech obstacle from him.

In Anxious People, Jim is a police officer in a small town outside of Stockholm, Sweden. His work partner is a young man named Jack. Jack happens to be Jim’s son. The object is, Jim never wanted Jack to be a police officer in the first place. Jim worries about his son’s well-being both physically and emotionally because he knows firsthand how hard the job can be in both respects. There are a couple of moments in the story when Jim makes decisions that he probably wouldn’t have made if his partner was not his son. For example, when Jack wants to go upstairs and Jim thinks a box of lights is a bomb, so he insists they wait for backup. Jim just wants Jack to stay safe.

Both Gavin and Jim are loving fathers who only want the best for their children. This makes it all the more difficult for both of them when they are forced to confront the idea that one of those children may have to face the very same obstacles that they themselves have struggled with.

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