Learn about all the books by Fredrik Backman ranked in order — both chronologically and by my personal ratings. Plus, get a printable PDF of the list of books by Fredrik Backman to track your reading!

beartown by fredrik backman in front of bookshelves.

I have read all the books by the New York Times bestselling author and give you personal recommendations for what to read next if you read one or two of his novels and want to keep reading more.

Fredrik Backman is a beloved modern Swedish author, whom I would describe as a master at conveying the human condition and how humans relate to each other. His dialogue is subtle, with meaning hidden between the lines.

He confronts life and death situations in his writing, often with elderly and/or youthful characters. His characters are well-drawn and tend to be introverted and/or neurotic. For all of these reasons, Fredrik Backman books make for great book club picks, to discuss the actions of the characters and the weighty life situations they face.

If you’re wondering what Fredrik Backman book to read first or next, peruse the post below!

All the Books by Fredrik Backman Ranked

Below are all the books by Fredrik Backman ranked in order of a mix of personal preference and reader preference based on polling.

I note that I thoroughly enjoyed ALL of these books, so ranking them is painful, but I know these types of rankings can really help people decide what to read next and hopefully, you will end up reading them all too.

1. Beartown

  • New York Times bestseller
  • Named a Best Book of the Year by LibraryReadsBookBrowse, and Goodreads

Beartown is my top pick from Fredrik Backman’s catalog. While it’s DEFINITELY for fans of Friday Night Lights (it’s basically the hockey version), it’s also for fans of tv shows like Parenthood and This is Us, as well as books that delve into the interactions amongst a group of people or a family, like John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

Family drama books are my favorite genre, so it comes as no surprise that Beartown is my favorite here, but I will say it’s many if not *most* people’s favorite of his as well.

As mentioned, Beartown is basically about the dramatic interactions between members of a Swedish hockey town obsessed with winning and an act of violence against a teenage girl that connects them.

But, there are so many more storylines of what’s really going on in the lives of these neighbors, and it deeply shines a spotlight on the human condition, and good versus evil, with depth you will savor and won’t forget. It’s what I like to call a “modern classic” and I consider it a must-read for all adults.

2. A Man Called Ove

  • More than two million copies sold
  • Now a movie starring Tom Hanks (A Man Called Otto)

A Man Called Ove is about as popular as a book and a literary character get. While I personally prefer Beartown as my top pick, countless others choose A Man Called Ove — and for very good reason.

A Man Called Ove is for fans of character-driven novels that are focused on the exploration and development of one character, who the reader comes to understand in the most tender of life’s moments.

Ove is an elderly curmudgeon, but behind all of those hard edges is a sensitive man coping with grief and his own mortality. A very unlikely friendship just may become the source of meaning in his life at this emotional stage in his life.

Ove is an absolutely unforgettable character, and this is a book I continue to return to in my mind for that reason. It’s one that will pull on your heartstrings and make you feel *all the things.* It’s definitely a must-read!

For more, check out my discussion questions for A Man Called Ove.

3. Us Against You

Us Against You is the sequel to Beartown, and it is just as good in my opinion. (In some ways I lived it even better!) Please note you should definitely read Beartown BEFORE Us Against You. Otherwise, it’s kind of like starting a new tv show in Season 2.

In Us Against You the drama picks right back up as the town learns that its hockey team will be disbanded.  Further, some of the team have transferred to the rival team. 

These new challenges burn slowly, and Backman weaves in intimate character portraits of the townspeople until all of the problems rise to the surface and reach explosive heads. 

Sadly, not everyone will survive in this book of competition, and others will fall in their own ways as well. Us Against You totally lives up to the hype and expectations of the biggest Beartown fans.

4. The Winners

The Winners completes the Beartown series in moving, dramatic fashion. Two years later, Maya and Benji have come home to visit, but an ominous storm heightens tensions again between Beartown and Hed.

Further, Maya’s parents, Peter and Kira, are in the middle of an investigation of the hockey club’s finances, and Amat has tried to get drafted into the NHL.

When a teenage boy becomes alienated and seeks revenge on the people he deems responsible for his sister’s death, not everyone will come out alive.

Like the first two books, The Winners unravels themes of love, loss, and identity in a heart-pounding tale of real life that fans of the series must read.

5. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer is a short story/novella for fans of Backman’s other books that explore issues of death and mortality. It’s a tender and intimate story of a grandfather his grandson, and a father and his dad, all coming to terms with the elderly man’s aging process, mental incapacities, and impending death.

It gives a voice to an aging man who feels fear and uncertainty, reaching to his beloved mathematics for the security of what he knows for sure. And it’s a story of unconditional family love as they face the circle of life, each in their own ways yet also together.

In its own heartfelt way, you can feel Backman grappling with the themes of life and death through these three characters, all in different stages in their lives. It’s a very worthwhile, short read.

6. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World

Things My Son Needs to Know about the World is a unique, brief memoir for fans of essay books and Ali Wong’s Dear Girls. It has a similar humorous tone (and is far less raunchy) in conveying Backman’s wisdom about life through short snippets on the topics of: poop, IKEA, the modern obsession with buying “stuff” to combat the anxiety of parenting, soccer, respect for the knowledge and tenacity of older generations, equality and fairness, theology and the human condition, marriage and raising children and finally, what it was like being shot.

I definitely enjoyed this one, and I would bet that you will too.

7. Anxious People

  • Instant #1 New York Times bestseller
  • People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good HousekeepingPopSugarThe Washington PostNew York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more

For fans of Bel Canto and stories that explore human psychology in life-changing situations, Anxious People is a more quirky book in which an open house at an apartment goes awry when a failed bank robber runs in and ends up taking everyone there hostage.

They’re “a bunch of idiots” — a retired couple who fix up houses but can’t fix their marriage, a wealthy bank director, a conflicted young couple about to have their first child, an elderly woman unafraid of a gun but still afraid of the real estate deal, and a mysterious man who has locked himself in the bathroom.

As the premises are surrounded, the hostages reveal truths about themselves and set into motion a completely unexpected chain of events. This is how different people experience anxiety differently, with lasting consequences.

It’s a uniquely nuanced look into human nature that will make you both laugh and cry. It’s probably unlike any book you’ve read before. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

8. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is great for fans of Harry Potter and Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here (below), as both literary characters feature heavily. But, like all Backman books, this one deals with complicated topics of grief and forgiveness.

It’s a unique type of coming-of-age story in which seven-year-old Elsa is a lover of superheroes, and sees her grandmother as the greatest superhero — and friend — of all.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies, Elsa is left to confront all that is confusing and scary in her life alone. But a series of apology letters her grandmother left behind take her on a journey.

As she embarks on adventures and meets the recipients of her grandmother’s letters, she gains a new perspective on both her grandmother and life that contribute to her and her family’s growth and healing. While sad, it’s also beautifully written and heartwarming.

9. Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie Was Here is a heartwarming portrait of a woman who’s been through a lot of living in her life, yet still doesn’t feel she has a purpose or a passion. She’s also carried the weight of grief and a bad marriage in which she gave too much of herself.

She finds herself working at a recreation center creating meaning both for herself and others. I enjoyed this book overall and think that if you liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, you will like this one.

10. The Deal of a Lifetime

The Deal of a Lifetime is a novella about a father and son seeing each other for the first time in years, best for superfans of Backman, who want to savor ALL of his works. The father wants to share a story before it’s too late, about a courageous little girl with cancer in a hospital nearby.

In talking about this girl, he reveals truths about himself: his business triumphs, parenting failures, regrets, and hopes.

He’s given a chance to change the destiny of the little girl, but first, he wants his son to uncover the worth of his life.

It’s a story about one’s legacy, which only Backman could write. It touches upon all of the complex life and death issues fans know and love him for, in a bite-sized format. While I enjoyed it, and definitely recommend it to superfans, I personally just didn’t connect with it as much as his other works.

Printable List of Fredrik Backman Books

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Frequently Asked Questions About Fredrik Backman Books

What order should I read Fredrik Backman books?

You may read the Fredrik Backman books in any order, except the Beartown series, in which you should read Beartown before Us Against You and The Winners.

What genre are Fredrik Backman books?

While Fredrik Backman has written nonfiction books, he generally writes fiction books that are character-driven.


Those are all the books by Fredrik Backman both in chronological order and ranked. I hope you found your next great read!

As a reminder, if you’re wondering where to start or what the top must-reads of Backman are, my top two picks are by my favorites and reader favorites:

Best for fans of tv shows like Friday Night Lights and family drama books

Best for fans of character-driven novels and heartwarming stories about life

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  1. Thank you, this was great. I have passed it on to my friends and sisters whom I’ve been talking about this author since I read my first one. I’ve read all of Backman’s books, some twice, except the “Hockey” ones. Not a fan of the sport and just couldn’t get into it. I have three questions. 1.) Is Backman still writing? 2.) Are any other books of his going to end up on the big screen, as in turning into a movie? 3.) What other authors out there are similar to Backman, if any, would you recommend?
    Thank you. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your comment and questions! As far as I know, he’s still writing, but I’m not currently aware of anything to be released in the near future. Assuming you’re familiar with the A Man Called Ove and Beartown adaptations, I’m not aware of any others right now. As to your final question, he’s a tough one for comparison, but a few authors you may want to check out are: Matt Haig, Gabrielle Zevin, Celeste Ng, and Ann Patchett. I tend to think if you like Backman, you will like them too. (I know I do!)

  2. I would rank “My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry ” in the #4 position. I loved this book. The relationship the grandmother had with her granddaughter and how her own daughter learned really who her mom really was, was so heartwarming.

    I have loved everything he has written. I am so excited for The Winners to release in the US in Fall 2022.