Grumpy Old Men (or not) Books



Today we’re looking at Old Guy books! Yes, those denizens of the recliner, the keeper of the remote, the guy who wears undershirts he bought in the 70s and who thinks ear hair is a fashion statement…. Yes, those beloved curmudgeons! Every family has a few. Over the last decade or so there has spouted almost a new genre of old guy books. Possibly it was the 90’s Grumpy Old Men movies that did it, possibly it’s better health and men living longer, regardless we are the ones who benefit. These men are great!



Old guy, fed up with his uncommunicative kids, takes his granddaughter on a cross-country road trip to round up his uncaring offspring. Did I mention he’s slipping away with Alzheimer’s? Quite a story.

Bill Warrington’s Last Chance by James King







Major Pettigrew is a widower. Mrs. Ali a widow. When she finds him in his wife’s dressing gown, cleaning house, a romance is born. The cross-cultural element makes it even more fun. One of my favorite recent novels.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson.







Harold and Maureen Fry have mundane down to an art. Harold’s wife is what used to often be called a “harpy” but with a heart. When Harold’s old friend Queenie rights to say she’s dying, he writes and letter and walks to the post box to mail it, then keeps walking. In the process he becomes a minor celebrity.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.





At 62, widower Edward finds himself a chick magnet. Only one problem, he still loves and adores his late wife, Bee. His journey through dating is a something else.

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer







Aaron write’s a series of books “The Beginner’s….” on all sorts of topics. But when his wife Dorothy is killed by a tree crashes on their house Arron, understandably, is left stunned. Over time Dorothy visits him and helps him let go and move on in life.

The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler






Look out world, Ove is here! Saab-loyalist extreme-o, Ove finds life without his beloved wife to be, well, not worth living.  But then the neighbors get in the way! To say more would be to spoil it all. The ending was a trifle too P.C. but still believable for today’s world. We need more men like Ove that’s for sure!

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman





Robert is content with his widower’s life until a preschool needs a new location and his grandson arrives from Harvard. This one twists and turns and preaches and leaches!

The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass





Have a grumpy old guy book you’ve enjoyed? Tell me about it–or your thoughts on these–in a comment.


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