Funny & Charming: The 20 Best Books Like A Man Called Ove

Since its debut, #1 New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman has charmed millions of readers. 

Funny & Charming: The 20 Best Books Like A Man Called Ove

Moving and humorous, A Man Called Ove follows a reclusive curmudgeon. With his principles, perfected routines, and unpredictable temper, Ove is every neighbor’s nightmare. But when a young couple with two boisterous daughters move in next door—and hit Ove’s mailbox in the process—an unexpected friendship blooms. 

If you’ve finished A Man Called Ove and are looking for more charming, funny, and heartwarming novels, look no further than this list of 20 reads you’re bound to adore. 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: Reese's Book Club (A Novel)

Eleanor is fine—completely fine. Much like Ove, she has her strict routine and staunchly avoids any social interaction. Until she meets Raymond and Sammy, that is.

Raymond’s the clumsy IT guy from her office, and with his help, Eleanor helps an old man who has fallen, Sammy. The trio become unlikely friends, and despite her best efforts, Raymond and Sammy worm their way into Eleanor’s closed-off heart.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the perfect follow-up for readers seeking more of the friendship and connection featured in A Man Called Ove. 

Be sure to grab your copy here

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

Much like Ove and Eleanor, retired Major Pettigrew lives in a highly structured world—one he’s uninterested in leaving. But a shared love of literature ignites an improbable friendship between Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani village shopkeeper. 

Together, they mourn the loss of their respective spouses, and as grief deepens their connection, their friendship blossoms into something more.

Charming and poignant, you’ll want to see how Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali’s story ends. Check it out here

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

The Story of Arthur Truluv: A Novel

Arthur is stuck. Not literally, but his days are beginning to blend. Every morning brings his rose garden, his cat, and his wife’s grave.

Maddy Harris changes that.

The eighteen-year-old girl finds an escape from bullies in the cemetery, and one day, she finds Arthur and nicknames him “Truluv.” With Arthur’s neighbor Lucille, the three form an improbable bond that illuminates every potential beginning. 

Read this profound novel for yourself here.

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Allan Karlsson is less than pleased to turn 100—so he ditches the party and climbs out the window in his slippers and pajamas. 

You’ll delight in Allan’s antics and find that there’s more to this centenarian than meets the eye. Beyond his window-based escapades, he has a backstory that includes twentieth-century explosions, world travels, and a trove of political players. 

Whimsical and endearingly weird, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window will satisfy your need for laughter. 

Find your copy here

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines

For fans of Ove’s quirks and quizzical habits, you’ll be interested in John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines. 

Former child prodigy Colin Singleton has dated (and been dumped by) nineteen girls, every one of them named Katherine. Maybe it’s him. Maybe it’s the Katherines. Either way, Colin is determined to find a way to foretell the future of any relationship, even if it takes reinventing the way he sees the world. 

See if Colin finally gets the girl when you grab your copy here.

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle

All the Lonely People

Jamaican immigrant and widower Hubert Bird is living a lie: he tells his daughter that he adores retirement, but really, Hubert is bored and lonely. When his daughter announces she’s coming to visit, all his careful stories are on the verge of collapse.

Hubert begins scheming: if he can turn his fake life into a reality, his daughter will never know the truth. As friendship and fun fill his once-monotonous life, Hubert finds himself wondering: what will it take to make the scheme stick?

Check out All the Lonely People here.

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

The Nightingale: A Novel

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kristen Hannah, The Nightingale is a haunting portrayal of the human experience in hard times. 

Set in France, The Nightingale follows two sisters: sensible Vianne and rebellious Isabelle. Neither believes the Nazis will truly take France, but when they do, their lives diverge. While Vianne and her daughter survive under enemy occupation, Vianne joins the Resistance. 

Like A Man Called Ove, The Nightingale is heartbreakingly sincere and brings its characters to emotional brinks. 

Carve out the time to binge-read after you pick up a copy here

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

All the Light We Cannot See is another stunningly poignant depiction of France during World War II and will thrill fans of friendships that defy the odds. 

Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives should not intertwine: she lives in a seaside walled citadel, and he is a mining town orphan turned resistance fighter. Yet strange things happen in strange times, and Marie-Laure and Warner become connected in unexpected ways. 

Follow their entangled lives when you check out All the Light We Cannot See here

A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka

A Long, Long Time Ago And Essentially True

Like All the Light We Cannot See, Brigid Pasulka’s A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True flawlessly weaves two stories, illustrating the depth of human connection. 

The tale begins in Poland, near the beginning of World War II, and carries us fifty years beyond. In the past, Pigeon and Anielica’s romance will tug at heartstrings, and in the future, their granddaughter’s desire to know their story will do the same. 

You can find your copy here.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini’s beloved novel is a poignant tale of family, faith, and the full value of human connection. 

Miriam and Laila were born in different generations, yet war links their lives. As their unlikely connection strengthens, conflict in Kabul heightens. The end to their tale might haunt you, but the path there will capture your heart.

Get to know Miriam and Laila when you purchase your copy here.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

In the wake of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton is seeking a story. She finds it in an unlikely place: the island of Guernsey and the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Letters fly between Juliet and the society’s members, and soon, she embarks on a life-changing journey to see the island for herself.

Perfect for book lovers, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a treat of a tale. 

Check it out here.

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

From the author of A Man Calls Ove comes this charming story of seven-year-old Elsa and her grandmother. Both are different, to put it kindly. Elsa finds solidarity in her grandmother’s antics, and that doesn’t change after her grandmother dies. A series of letters set Elsa on the whimsical and wild path of apologizing to people her grandmother wronged.

See everywhere the letters take Elsa here

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towle

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

For more of A Man Called Ove’s humor, look no further than A Gentleman in Moscow

Count Alexandr Rostov is doomed—doomed to live under house arrest, that is. Rostov is accustomed to luxury and leisure, not living in a hotel attic. Yet even as Russian politics brim with chaos, Rostov lives in an ever-calming world of emotional revelation and rediscovers what it means to have a purpose. 

With its charming cast and singular voice, you’ll want to pick up a copy here

Henry, Himself by Stewart O’Nan

Henry Himself

Henry, Himself might be low on escapades, but this character-driven novel is full of emotion and sparse yet engaging humor. The tale follows everyman Henry Maxwell, a by-the-books man who thinks he has seen all the world has to offer. With his children distant and his best days behind him, Henry only has questions about if he gave his family enough.

Discover the answers alongside Henry when you pick up a copy here.

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Carrie Soto Is Back: A Novel

Who is Carrie Soto? Well, if you like prickly protagonists, Carrie’s your dream. 

Tennis legend Carrie Soto retired due to a knee injury. Now, at 37, she’s determined to leave retirement and stop the up-and-comer on track to break her record. Yet after her swaggering displays of confidence during her career, the tennis world isn’t sure if they want her back. 

Carrie Soto is Back will have you cheering and crying in the space of pages—and despite her rough personality, you can’t help but want to see Carrie succeed.  

See if Carrie can keep her title when you pick up your copy here.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel (Random House Large Print)

For more formidable female characters like Carrie, turn to the unpredictable and unapologetic Elizabeth Zott in Bonnie Garmus’s Lessons in Chemistry. 

Chemist Elizabeth’s life takes a wild turn when she becomes the star of Supper at Six, a treasured cooking show. At first, she’s only a washed-up scientist working in strange ways, but as her fans increase in numbers, she sees that her approach to supper might just change the status quo. 

If you need a laugh, be sure to grab Lessons in Chemistry here.

Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace

Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions

Daniel Wallace’s charming classic follows Edward Bloom and his series of tall tales. Edward always had a story to tell, some more true than others. Now that Edward’s on his deathbed, his son, William, wants to separate fact from fiction—including exactly what happened with the “big fish.” 

To join William on his journey, grab Big Fish here.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Read with Jenna Pick

So maybe you aren’t quite into human friendships at the moment. All good, because Shelby Van Pelt’s got your back with your new favorite dynamic duo: widow Tova and Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus.

Tova’s son disappeared thirty years ago, and recently, her husband passed away. She works the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium to keep busy. Against all odds, she forms a friendship with Marcellus, who has historically despised humans.

Remarkably Bright Creatures is a tender and charming glimpse into grief’s every facet. With plenty of heart and hijinks, be sure to carve out time to read this story in one sitting.

Find your copy here.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

Put on your walking shoes and stroll into the irresistible story of Harold Fry. A letter from a long-lost friend shakes up the monotony of Harold’s ordinary life. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice, and Harold is determined to see her—and decides to walk six hundred miles to do so. 

Harold’s journey delights and surprises, every ordinary element eventually turning extraordinary. If you’re looking for a tale that cuts to the heart of all we don’t say, you won’t want to miss this one.

Find your copy here.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

Etta and Otto and Russell and James: A Novel

Not quite ready to sit down? Keep on walking with eighty-three-year-old Etta. Etta has never seen the ocean, and one morning, she decides it’s time. She embarks on a 3,232-kilometer journey with only a rifle, some chocolate, and a sturdy pair of boots. But Etta’s absence doesn’t go unnoticed—her husband, Otto, and their neighbor, Russell, are hot on Etta’s trail. 

Sweet and full of self-discovery, you can see how Etta’s journey ends when you purchase a copy here.

Bound to Charm

Be prepared to laugh, cry, and feel all the warm feelings when you check out the books on this list. Fair warning: you’ll need the tissues. Happy reading!


What is the overall message of A Man Called Ove?

The novel deals with themes such as community, youth, aging, loss, and immigration.

Is there a sequel to A Man Called Ove?

A Man Called Ove is a standalone novel. For more of the same, though, check out the books on this list and Fredrik Backman’s other novels.

Is A Man Called Ove translated?

Yes! It was first published in Swedish in 2012.

How do you pronounce “Ove”?

Our favorite curmudgeon’s name is pronounced: “Oo-vuh.”

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Morgan Spraker