13 Discussion Questions For A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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If your book club is discussing Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove this month, here are some discussion-worthy questions.

A Man Called Ove is a heartwarming novel about a bitter curmudgeon whose lonely life is forever changed because of his friendship with new neighbors.

Brimmed with grief, loneliness, and loss, he explores a new life. The book deals with serious subjects like death, loss, and mental health while also celebrating friendship and unexpected connections. So, A Man Called Ove is a great book club read if you are looking for engaging discussions with your reading group.

This post also includes fantastic book club food ideas and activity suggestions to make your discussion even more exciting. I also give you recommendations for similar books like A Man called Ove incase you and your book club friends are interested in exploring more.  Don’t forget to download the printable version of A Man Called Ove’s book club guide.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman Book Summary

A Man Called Ove book discussion questions

A Man Called Ove is about Ove, a grumpy but oddly charming curmudgeon, Ove. He’s strict, routine-driven, and quick to show his disapproval. But there’s more to him beneath the surface. When a lively family moves next door and accidentally damages his mailbox, it sets off a chain of events. This leads to heartwarming and funny moments, including stray cats, unexpected friendships. Ove’s life is transformed, and the local residents’ association is shaken. It’s a story of unlikely connections and change, even in the most unexpected situations.


13 A Man Called Ove Book Club Questions

Why do you think Ove, a retired curmudgeon, immerses himself in the lives of his neighbors, taking extensive measures to build bonds and assist those in his community? What does this disclose about his character and the depth of his dedication to the people around him?

What prompts Ove to conduct daily inspections of his neighborhood, and what do you speculate he aims to uncover through these daily rounds?”

Discuss the significance of the new neighbors, the chatty young couple, and their daughters in Ove’s life. How do they impact his solitary world, and what does their arrival symbolize in the story?

What drives Ove’s resistance to modernization, and which specific moments in the narrative highlight his aversion to the contemporary world?”

What motivates Ove to meticulously control his life, and do these routines impose limitations on his experiences?

How does Parveneh’s outgoing nature impact Ove over time, and what influence does Ove exert on her?”

Ove and Sonja, despite their contrasting personalities, enjoyed a contented marriage. How would you depict Ove during his time with Sonja, and how did he transform after her passing?

Ove holds the belief that different car types reflect the values of their drivers. What significance does the Saab hold for Ove, and what does it signify to him when Rune purchases a BMW?

Explain Ove’s deep connection with the cat he adopts. Why do you believe he was able to share a part of himself with his feline companion that he couldn’t with the humans in his life?

Analyze Ove’s pivotal role within his community. How does he act as a catalyst for forging connections among the residents?

A Man Called Ove is known for its blend of humor and heartwarming moments. Share some of your favorite humorous or touching scenes from the book and discuss how they added to your overall enjoyment of the story.

The novel explores themes of grief and loneliness. How does Ove’s grief shape his character and actions throughout the book? How do other characters in the story deal with their own forms of grief?

Have any of you had the chance to watch the movie adaptation of A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks? How do you think it compares to the book, and did it capture the essence of the story and characters?

FREE PDF Question Guide

Get the downloadable guide for A Man Called Ove book discussion. Get Now

Snack Ideas For A Man Called Ove Book Club

  • Swedish Meatballs: As the book is set in Sweden, serve up some homemade or store-bought Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce.
  • Crusty Bread and Cheese Platter: An assortment of crusty bread, cheeses, and condiments for a simple yet satisfying snack that pairs well with the book’s themes.
  • Cinnamon Rolls: Bake or buy some delicious cinnamon rolls. A great reminder of heartwarming themes of the story.

Activity Ideas for Your A Man Called Ove Discussion

  • Character Discussion: Have a discussion about the main character, Ove, and explore his development throughout the book. Discuss his quirks, motivations, and how he changes over the course of the story.
  • Neighborly Acts of Kindness: Encourage book club members to share stories of times they’ve experienced or performed acts of kindness towards their neighbors.
  • DIY Mailbox Decoration: Provide materials for book club members to decorate their own mini-mailboxes, inspired by the scene in the book where Ove’s mailbox gets flattened. Encourage creativity and discussion about the importance of small symbols and gestures.

Books Like A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Saving Missy is a book like A Man Called Ove

Much like A Man Called Ove Saving Missy follows an older protagonist  whose days are filled with sips of sherry, kitchen scrubbing, and reflections on her past. And then unexpectedly, two strangers and a spirited dog break through Missy’s tough exterior, revealing the love she still has to give.

the 100 year old Man Who Climbed Out the Window by Jonas Jonasson is a book like A Man Called Ove

This heartwarming novel follows the adventures of a centenarian who defies society’s expectations. On his hundredth birthday he interacts with some of history’s most famous figures during his escape from a retirement home. 

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt is a book like A Man Called Ove

Remarkably Bright Creatures is another great book to read after A Man Called Ove.  We follow Tova Sullivan, a widow who finds solace in her job at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. But beneath her calm facade lies the haunting mystery of her son’s disappearance. Enter Marcellus, a grumpy giant Pacific octopus, who forms a unique bond with Tova. Together, they embark on a journey to uncover the truth before it’s too late. Also check out- Remarkably Bright Creatures Book Club Questions.


Looking forward to discussing A Man Called Ove and other similar books in your book club? Don’t forget to read aloud some of the fascinating quotes from the book as well.

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Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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