Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman.

Publisher: Sceptre (1805)


The New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry “returns with this heartwarming story about a woman rediscovering herself after a personal crisis…fans of Backman will find another winner in these pages” (Publishers Weekly).
Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.
But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.
When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself in the miserable backwater town of Borg—of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it—she finds work as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center. The fastidious Britt-Marie soon finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts. Most alarming of all, she’s given the impossible task of leading the supremely untalented children’s soccer team to victory. In this small town of misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?
Funny and moving, sweet and inspiring, Britt-Marie Was Here celebrates the importance of community and connection in a world that can feel isolating.


This is a follow-up to My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry.  It follows one of the characters in that book named, Britt-Marie.

Once again this is not my normal reading material, but I found I enjoyed both of the books very much, and kept wanting to pick it up .  To anyone who read the first book (and it actually isn’t a “series”) and enjoyed it.. you will wind up liking this book on Britt-Marie.

I will say, for my own particular taste, and although I liked the ending, there are more things I would have liked seen happen for the ending. But everyone will have their own feelings about that.

Read these books, even if they aren’t what you generally read.  They are fast reading and very much will hit your heart.


The Betrayal of Trust

The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: The Overlook Press;(October 30, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1468300652


The Betrayal of Trust. The English town of Lafferton is ravaged by flash floods. A shallow grave is exposed; the remains of missing teenager Harriet Lowther have been uncovered. Harriet was the daughter of a prominent local businessman, and her death twenty years before had led to her mother’s suicide.
Cold cases are always tough, and in this mystery in the enduringly popular series, Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler must confront his most grisly, dangerous, and complex case yet. Susan Hill’s understanding of the human heart, her brilliance when evoking characters, and her tremendous powers of storytelling come into full force in The Betrayal of Trust.


Pretty good read.  Nice (very nice) short (very short), chapters!  Short chapters always make me read “just a little more” because I know I can end when a new chapter begins instead of in the middle of a chapter.

Susan Hill, is of course, most noted for The Woman in Black. (A Daniel Radcliff movie)

I have found out that The Betrayal of Trust is  just one of a number of books she has written using Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler.  I may read another if I can come across one that is in the Thrift Shops. (Too many books here that are unread!).

This is a Cold Crime Mystery.  Very well written.  She introduces other people who seem to have no connection at all, and it seems she is telling more than one story.. but of course, she is not.

A storm uproots a tree.. along with some old bones.  (this is where you hear creepy music).. Upon  working the scene they come across more bones to a second person. Hmmm. Two dead bodies… not good.  It winds up being a 16 year old “missing person”.  And it builds from there…. you will have to read it if you want to know the whole mystery!

Famous Indians: A Collection of short Biographies  by The Interior of Indian Affairs.


Warriors, statesmen, prophets and scholars,–the firmest of friends and most formidable of foes–there are heroes and heroines of many kinds in the often tragic yet inspiring saga of North American Indians. Many of the Indian personalities whose lives are briefly described here were Chiefs–some of them have become famous around the world. All were leaders in a great struggle to preserve treasured lands and lifeways. With their tribesmen, they are inseparably linked to our country’s history from its earliest beginnings through generations of growth. Biographies (most including portraits or photographs) include Powhatan, Pocohantas, Massasoit, King Philip, Pope, Joseph Brant, Pontiac, Sacajawea, Tecumseh, Sequoyah, John Ross, Black Hawk, Osceola, Cochise, Seattle, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Wovoka, Joseph, Quanah Parker, and Geronimo.

In an 8×10, double column format, this was, as they say, short and sweet.

The Biographies were only 1 or 2 pages long and yet… I read of some Famous Indians that I had not  heard of in the books I have already read.   I am finding there are so many books out on the “western Indians”, that I will have to search for some on the Eastern Indians.   I have already learned there were many tribes I never  heard of because with all the killing they came extinct. Not a very nice word.. but true.

It is so ironic that in today’s world we invite people from other countries to come and live here, share all we have!  When, back when man discovered America and the Indians said, “come and live  here and share what we have”, the “new American”, with all his greed, could not “share”.. they wanted it all… and took it all. 

I read the books about Indians now… I know I cannot change anything of their past, or our past…  I just wonder why the lesson of Greed cannot be learned?

Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains by Charles A. Eastman.

Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications;(November 2, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0486296083



Raised as a Santee Sioux in the 1860s and 1870s, Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa) wrote eleven books in which he attempted to correct misapprehensions whites had about Indians and to bring the two races closer together.
In the present volume he offers biographical sketches of 15 great Indian leaders, most of them Sioux and some of them, like Red Cloud and Rain-in-the-Face, friends and acquaintances of the author. In vivid vignettes Eastman captures the character, achievements and historic importance of such leaders as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Little Crow, Chief Joseph, and Spotted Tail.
Enhanced with 12 portraits, these inspiring pieces will be of great interest to students of American Indian culture and history as well as to anyone who enjoys reading about the larger-than-life figures who dominated Indian life in the second half of the nineteenth century.

This book may be small, but it is mighty.

Much in the book I have read before in other books, but this is short and sweet and written by someone who actually met most of the Indians you are to read about.  You can’t get anymore information then from one who was there, even if it was towards the end .

Eastman other books are sold in a collection, which I could never afford but.. there are some of them out by Dover in this small size.  There are at least 2 others I hope to get and add to this one. 

Not everyone is interested in the past of our Native Americans, but more people should be. (that’s just in my opinion.)

Anyway.. loved the book.  If you are inclined to read about the Indians I highly recommend this book.

My Grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry. by Fredrik Backman.

Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press;(April 5, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1501115073


Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

I have to admit it, I don’t remember what made me get this book.  It’s different from anything I normally read, but in many ways I really liked it.  Parts were very sad, and with my depression I thought to put it down, but I didn’t and there was only one small part that made me think of my son Thom and cry.  Otherwise.. this is a good read.  It’s mostly about a 7  year old girl that believes the fairy stories her grandma tells her.  She loves her Grandmother, but shortly into the book Grandma dies.  Her grandmother leaves her an adventure to do for her.  It consists of delivering letters to the people in the house where she lives.  One is called “the monster”, who really scares her.   As the story goes along you learn the other peoples lives and how they all connect to the grandmother.. honestly it was interesting, and makes you realize how well of you are in comparison.

So.. yes I would recommend this book.  But I cannot leave with the blurb that so reminded me of my son:

“This gets tricky, from a narrative perspective, because the people who reach the end of their days must leave others who have to live our their days without them.  It is very, very difficult to be the one who has to stay behind and live without them. “

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse (The Life Behind the Legend) by Mike Sajna

Hardcover: 367 pages
Publisher: Castle Books (October 8, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0785820361



From the Inside Flap

The northern Great Plains at the time of Crazy Horse’s birth, around 1839 or 1840, were still wide-open buffalo country well known only to a few white traders and trappers. But before the Oglala Lakota war chief was two years old, the first white emigrants appeared on their way to Oregon, launching one of the greatest mass migrations in history and setting the stage for the end of the freedom plains tribes had known. Even as Crazy Horse was becoming one of the Lakota’s most renowned warriors, many of his people had already given up their way of life and moved to reservations established by whites who saw them as a hindrance to progress. Those, like Crazy Horse, who chose to follow the old ways soon found themselves confronting an enemy whose might and tactics often were beyond their comprehension and whose goal was their destruction.This poignant book sheds new light on the life and death of one of the greatest Native American leaders, “one of the bravest of the brave,” in the struggle against the westward movement of white settlers. Author Mike Sajna reveals Crazy Horse to have been not only an intelligent war chief with the good of his people at heart but also an ardent lover and cautious warrior who at times made mistakes and was as frightened as anyone when it came to confronting death. Sajna portrays Crazy Horse as a quiet, shy person who avoided attention off the battlefield but nevertheless inspired awe, excitement, jealousy, and fear. From his childhood when he showed courage capturing a wild horse to his first fights with the Pawnee and Shoshone, it was clear that Crazy Horse would become a fierce warrior. And yet he was also a tender man who was almost killed pursuing the woman he loved. Together with Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse led the great Sioux-Cheyenne Uprising of 1876?77, which reached its high point on June 25, 1876, with the destruction of Colonel George Armstrong Custer and more than 250 men of the Seventh Cavalry at Little Big Horn. The surrender less than a year later of Crazy Horse and his people was considered, even by his contemporaries, an epochal event in the history of the Plains Indian wars and the West. This meticulously researched biography goes a long way in separating the facts from the many myths that cloud Crazy Horse’s life, while at the same time placing him firmly within the context of his times.

So… This book took me a long time to read.  Many reasons why, but one of them is NOT that I didn’t want to read about Crazy Horse. 

However good and informative this book is… barely any of it tells me much about Crazy Horse.

In the beginning the author admits that information on Crazy Horse is very limited to only a few “facts” and much from old Indian lore.  Therefore, it winds up that the only “facts” are mostly in the last 3 chapters of the book, which surround his being in the fight that kills Custer, and the final chapter on how Crazy Horse dies. All other information is declared “unconfirmed”.  sigh.

I was disappointed that very little is known about Crazy Horse, but if one has not read other books about Native Americans, back when White man took over then this book would be informative.

I was determined to read all the book just in case more information I had not read before might show up.  And some did.

One exciting book title showed up and when I searched it on Amazon I know I want all the information written by the author , A Eastman, on the Indians.  The main book being titled Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains. But of course I want what I can’t afford! (nothing new there!) Click the link.. don’t laugh too hard!

[ Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains[ INDIAN HEROES AND GREAT CHIEFTAINS ] By Eastman, Charles Alexander

The Lance & The Shield

The Lance and the Shield (The Life and Times of Sitting Bull) by Robert M. Utley.

Hardcover: 413 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (June 1, 1992)



 “His narrative is griping….Mr. Utley transforms Sitting Bull, the abstract, romanticized icon and symbol, into a flesh-and-blood person with a down-to-earth story….THE LANCE AND THE SHIELD clears the screen of the exaggerations and fantasies long directed at the name of Sitting Bull.”
Reviled by the United States government as a troublemaker and a coward, revered by his people as a great warrior chief, Sitting Bull has long been one of the most fascinating and misunderstood figures in American history. Now, distinguished historian Robert M. Utley has forged a compelling new portrait of Sitting Bull, viewing the man from the Lakota perspective for the very first time to render the most unbiased and historically accurate biography of Sitting Buil to date.

After reading “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”, this book on Sitting Bull is no surprise that it too is sad.  But, always something to learn when you read these books.

I found Sitting  Bull to be much more then a Warrior.  He was “head of a household”.  He cared for all his people.  Once again the “intruders” into a land of Natural Born Americans, mistreats him and all Indians, like THEY are the intruders.  You really get a sense of how many “lies” (broken truths) the Lakota (Sioux) and others had to endure.

I truly wonder why more History is not taught in schools. It is a HUGE part of American History.  But then,… it shows how the immigrants treated them.  How the lied to them.  How the took everything from them.  Mother Earth, no longer was allowed to care for them.  They were taught to be useless and hopeless, and to have the “government take care of them”.   Today it’s called “welfare” and those on it are told to get off their butts and go to work… yet, back then they told the Indians, “we will care for you for all we have taken from you.”..  It would seem some things never change. 

I do recommend this book. And the book of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.   I give high praise for the authors for putting out the books so others can learn of the most horrid (and seemingly forgotten) of Genocides.