I've noticed a trend in some of the books that I've loved in the past few years and it's something totally unexpected. I love well-written characters -- more than plot, more than style, characters are the reason that I read -- and I've found that some of my most loved characters in the past few years have all been grumpy old men.
Here's the archetype: a grumpy old man who knows exactly how he likes things done. Not room for new habits or hobbies, no tolerance for those who do things differently.
Normally, that wouldn't make for a very likable character. However, these men transform throughout the course of these stories. They discover new truths, find new things that they like, and become more endearing than irritating.
These stories remind me to be kind to others because they reveal how incredibly impactful that kindness can be. They reinforce compassion in the reader and remind us that life will continue to surprise us at every age.
This is the only one on this list that I haven't yet read, but it's on my summer reading list and I have no doubt it belongs on this list too.
Beautiful cover aside, I gave this four stars on Goodreads back in 2013. I still haven't gotten to it's parallel novel but I've heard great reviews from those who loved Harold and his unique quest in the name of friendship.
I listened to this on audio this year and loved both the narrator and Arthur Pepper himself. Highly recommended.
One of my favorite reads of 2017 so far. I adore Ove. (And not to be missed -- the equally curmudgeonly Britt-Marie.)
Have a book you could add to this list? Leave a comment below!