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15 Heart Warming Books Like A Man Called Ove

Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Louisa

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman was one of those stories that had me laughing and crying.

It spent almost a year on the Best-Sellers Lists, and if you’ve read it then you’ll understand why.

This book phenomenon holds a special place in many people’s hearts. Every now and then a book comes along that warms your heart while teaching you a valuable life lesson, A Man Called Ove is one of those books.

Frederick Backman received a lot of praise when A Man Called Ove was released because of how his story represents someone who feels disconnected, but actually has a big impact on the people around them.

If you were touched by this story, you may want to know about more books like A Man Called Ove

If you liked A Man Called Ove, then you’re going to want to check out this list of similar books!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through any of these links. 

Quick Answers: 3 Best Books Like A Man Called Ove!

Need a book fast but don’t have much time? Here are my top three favorites!

Our Favourites!

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

  • About a man who is under house arrest and finds new life in isolation
  • New York Times best seller
  • Historical fiction set in the Starlin era

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

#2 Best in Coming of Age

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

  • An Ex-military man makes friends with a local Pakistani shop owner in rural England
  • A progressive storyline with themes of injustice and prejudice
  • A sweet and warming plot

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

#3 Best Heart Warming Story

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

  • A funny and lighthearted story of a man who escapes a nursing home in his slippers
  • A few thought-provoking elements
  • Imaginative and enjoyable storyline

Summary Of A Man Called Ove (Spoiler Free!)

If you haven’t finished reading A Man Called Ove yet but want to add some books to your “to be read” pile, then below is a quick summary of the story to remind you of the themes that arise in my similar books.

Don’t worry, I won’t reveal any spoilers if you’re still reading.

This book follows the story of Ove, a grumpy old man whom the neighborhood has deemed “the bitter neighbor from hell”. However, there’s a lot more under the surface of Ove’s mean exterior.

Ove hasn’t had the best experiences with people. He has been conned and taken advantage of by people in the past. The only person he cared for, his wife, lost her life in a tragic accident.

These experiences have led to Ove having a hard shell and coming across as a curmudgeon to everyone in his neighborhood.

It’s not until a new family moves in next door and an unkempt cat enters his life that a different side of the man is revealed.

This popular best-seller was made into a Swedish movie in 2015. It was also the inspiration for A Man Called Otto which was released on Christmas Day in 2022 and stars Tom Hanks as Otto.

Related Reading: The Best Quotes from A Man Called Ove

Acclaimed Books Like A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove has received a lot of praise since it hit the shelves.

If you’re a fan of this heart-warming tale, you might be looking to find other critically acclaimed books similar to A Man Called Ove. Let’s take a look at some of my top choices.

1. A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow is an award-winning novel by Amor Towles that follows Count Alexander Rostov in 1922.

When the aristocrat is deemed unrepentant, he is sentenced to house arrest within a room at the Grand Metropol Hotel.

Amidst Rostov’s isolation, dramatic events unfold outside the hotel doors – and for someone who has never worked a day in his life but lived among fine luxuries before this incarceration, it serves as an opportunity to discover his true emotions.

Despite being confined indoors, Rostov showcases his knowledge and wit as he finds himself amidst strange new circumstances.

2. The Story of Arthur Truluv – Elizabeth Berg

If you’re looking for books similar to A Man Called Ove because you enjoy the tale of an unlikely friendship, then you will love The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg.

This book follows the story of an unlikely trio that becomes as close as family. 

First, we have Arthur, a man who has lunch every day at the cemetery and speaks to his late wife.

Then we have Maddy, a troubled teenage girl that heads to the cemetery to avoid a day at school. This odd pair strike up a friendship that helps each one feel less isolated.

When Arthur’s nosy neighbor Lucille joins the pack, they become an unconventional group that enjoys life’s sweetest moments together.

3. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Deborah Moggach

Are you looking for funny retirement novels like A Man Called Ove because you want to read another story that involves people from different cultures adapting together?

Then you will likely enjoy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach. This one-of-a-kind book is funny and sincere.

The story starts off with an overworked doctor that has come to a wit’s end with his father-in-law.

He seems to have the perfect solution when he learns that his cousin has opened up a retirement home that will re-create Bangalore, a famous corner in London.

However, the promise doesn’t meet reality when they arrive at the hotel-turned-retirement center. 

While the residents don’t have anything close to the luxuries they were promised, there is still a lot to be appreciated at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

View it on:

4. All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

If you are looking for books like A Man Called Ove because you were captivated by the tale of friendships that help people survive, you may enjoy All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

This story is set during World War II and centers around a blind French girl and an orphan German boy as their lives interweave.

Marie-Laure and her father live in Paris, where he works at a museum.

When the Nazis invade during World War II, they flee to Saint-Malo to stay with her uncle in a house by the sea. However, they also brought along the most valuable jewel from the museum. 

Werner is an orphan boy that lives in a mining town in Germany with his sister. All they have is a radio, which they rely on for news and stories.

This has allowed Werner to become an expert at fixing and building them. When the war begins, he was enlisted because of this talent. 

One of the things that I enjoy the most about this book is that despite all the bad that are going on in the world, the characters find many ways to be good to one another.

5. The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

If you’re looking for books like A Man Called Ove because you appreciate a story about the reflection of life, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig may be up your alley.

Have you ever thought about what the story of your life would be if you made a different decision? 

This is exactly what the main character, Nora Seed, experiences as she has the opportunity to see how her life could be if she made different decisions.

However, she has to look deep within herself to see if changing her life completely would be worth it.

Related Reading: Books Like A Man Called Ove

6. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

Are you interested in novels like A Man Called Ove that tell the tale of someone who lives in solitude? Then you’ll want to check out Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens which is a critically acclaimed book that is now a movie.

This story centers around Kya Clark, who is known as the Marsh Girl in the small fishing town of Barkley Cove.

Even though Kya has lived in solitude with nature, she’s at a point in her life where she is curious about what it’s like to be loved.

Her attention is drawn toward two local young men, each one captivated by Kya’s beauty and unique way of life.

She is excited to see where this will lead her, but then the worst happens. A local boy is found dead, and everyone expects hers.

While this book is also about isolation and loneliness, it has more romance and thriller themes than A Man Called Ove.

Related Reading: Books Like Where The Crawdads Sing

Coming Of Age Books Like A Man Called Ove

There’s nothing like a good coming-of-age book to root for a character as they overcome a personal journey and grow as a person.

There are many books similar to A Man Called Ove with coming-of-age elements. Here are some of my top choices.

7. Florence Gordon – Brian Morton

Do you want to read more novels similar to A Man Called Ove that center around an elderly person who prefers to live on their own, but has to deal with others inviting themselves into their life?

Then Florence Gordon by Brian Morton should be on your to-read list.

This story centers around Florence Golden, a 75-year-old woman who has always lived her life the way she wanted.

Now that she is excited to settle down and write her memoir, her son returns with his wife and daughter, and all of their drama.

This witty story has readers laughing as Florence charms them with her wit and blunt personality.

8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce


Are you looking for books where a character reflects on what’s really important about life? The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce is a great coming-of-age story that centers around memories, love, and the things people regret.

While Harold Fry thought he married the love of his life, his wife seems to be more annoyed by him each day. Harold’s life changes one day when he receives a letter from a woman he hadn’t seen in years, Queenie.

She is in hospice and wrote to him to say her final goodbye. Harold decides he must visit her in person, walking on foot.

Along the way, he meets an ensemble of interesting characters while putting great thought into what he has at home.

If you like pilgrimage-type books, then you might also like these books similar to The Alchemist.

9. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson

One of the best similar coming-of-age books that is easy to fall in love with is Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. 

This story takes place in a small English village, Edgecombe St. Mary focusing on a charming character, Major Pettigrew. He is a proper Englishman that’s devoted to duty and honor.

After the death of his brother, he becomes close with a local Pakistani shop owner, Jasmina Ali. 

The two form a close bond that grows with each turn of the page. However, both characters have labels that society has placed on them, which puts obstacles in the way of their relationship.

10. 600 Hours of Edward – Craig Lancaster

If you’re after more books similar to A Man Called Over because they focus on a character whose routine is shaken up, you should add 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster to your list.

This story focuses on Edward Stanton, a man living with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Edward has a very particular schedule that he follows down to the very minute. He has specific times that he does things, and he never strays from his schedule.

However, when a new neighbor and her son move in next door, Edward’s schedule falls apart.

This story will tug at your heart as Edward opens up to his new neighbors and faces old grievances from the past.

View it on:

11. Henry, Himself – Stewart O’Nan

If you’re in the search of something that also follows an elderly man who reflects on the past, then you should pick up a copy of Henry, Himself by Stewart O’Nan.

This story focuses on Henry Maxwell, a man who has devoted his life to hard work and living with honor. However, at the age of 75, he wonders if he let life pass him by. 

This leads Henry to look back on his past and appreciate the present. Henry compares the decisions he has made and the dreams he has had, as he reflects on his life in this coming-of-age novel.

Heartwarming Books Like A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove has received a lot of good reviews for being a heartwarming tale.

If you want to read a book that leaves you with a similar feeling, you need to check out the following novels.

12. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Janos Jonasson is one of those books that tugs on your heartstrings – just like A Man Called Ove did. 

The story begins when Allan Karlsson is placed in a nursing home, he doesn’t agree with the decision and makes his own escape through the window in his slippers.

Allan goes on a journey that will have you laughing as you turn the pages. He meets a variety of new characters and reflects on the life he had.

This is a heartwarming tale that will make you reflect on your own life and how you’ve lived it.

13. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper – Phaedra Patrick

Perhaps the most similar book to A Man Called Ove is The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, which features a main character who is almost like a carbon copy of Ove.

It follows a widowed 69-year-old man named Arthur Pepper, who is struggling to come to terms with a world in which his wife, Miriam, isn’t in it.

On the anniversary of his wife’s death, he goes through her possessions and finds a gold bracelet he has never come across before. The bracelet leads Arthur on an adventure across London, Paris, India, and more, as he learns about his wife before they met.

This is a heartwarming story of grief, love, self-discovery, and finding one’s place in the world.

View it on:

14. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

One of the aspects of A Man Called Ove that I love is that you can make a friend no matter how old you are. Another book that has a similar theme is Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

Eleanor Oliphant makes a point to avoid human interaction as much as possible. Social skills aren’t her strong suit.

However, things change when she meets Raymond, the IT guy from the office she works at.

When a chance encounter puts the two of them in each other’s lives, they begin to help each other while forming a beautiful friendship.

This is a beautiful story of friendship and learning to find your place in society.

15. The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah

Another aspect I loved in A Man Called Ove is that it focuses on two main characters who live vastly different lives, and yet come together in friendship.

Another book that has a similar theme is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

This story takes place during World War II, but instead of the soldiers, it focuses on what the women go through.

After Vienne’s husband goes off to war, she reconnects with her sister.

These women lead two very different lives, however, each wants to love and freedom. This powerful story is one that readers won’t be able to put down.

Related Reading: Books Like The Nightingale

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Final Word on Best Books Like A Man Called Ove

So there you have it, these are my top books similar to A Man Called Ove.

In this selection, you will find stories about forming friendships, self-reflection, and becoming part of a community.

I hope you find one of these books that will touch your heart in the way A Man Called Ove did. 

While I only mentioned 15 books on this list, there are more like A Man Called Ove. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

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About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

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