Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other days, I let him sleep in. This is the only joke that I seem to be able to remember. But with the increased amount of mumblings and grumblings of friends and co-workers around me, it also reminded me that there are a lot of great books where the main character is a bit on the grumpy side. So if you’re feeling just a little bit edgy these days, check out these wonderful titles and you’ll be in good company.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Is there anyone grumpier than Mr. Darcy? Despite his wealth and position in Victorian society, he certainly behaves like he sucks on lemons daily. If you haven’t read this classic, now is the time! Then just for fun, watch the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Grumpy + zombies = pure entertainment!
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A.J. Fikry’s life is not what he had planned. He didn’t plan on becoming a bookstore owner, he didn’t plan on losing his wife, he didn’t plan on having his rare book of Edgar Allan Poe poems stolen, and he definitely didn’t plan on discovering a 2-year-old girl in his children’s section with a note from her mother asking Fikry to take care of her because, “I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things.”
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
While many readers might relate to Harry Potter, there are those who love Severus Snape, and no one does grumpy like Snape. Of course, he has good reason to be moody. This series is one of the best for fantasy readers of all ages.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
This was the first novel written by Backman and it was a bestseller across Europe. Ove is a curmudgeon who spends his days inspecting his community and criticizing others. He thinks he’s surrounded by idiots, and don’t even get him started on BMW drivers! Yet, somehow, the people around Ove slowly weave themselves into his life, and this book becomes a thoughtful reflection on loss, love and community.
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Backman created another unforgettable character with Britt-Marie. It’s not so much that Britt-Marie is grumpy, it’s just she likes things to be done a certain way and she can be pretty brusque when things are done differently. While it’s certainly not her intention to be offensive, she struggles with social interactions on every level. What will happen when she moves to a new town and becomes the coach of the local children’s soccer team? Is there a place that Britt-Marie can finally feel at home?
The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass
Percy Darling is similar to other “grumpy” characters — he is opinionated and cantankerous. He is extremely unhappy about the changes in libraries with all the new technology. At 70 years of age he feels pretty certain that each day is going to be constant: He will never leave his house, he will be a widower until he dies, and his grandson who is attending Harvard will do great things. But surprises soon come knocking on Percy’s door. Relationships are never that simple — especially with family.
Grumpy Cat by Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat helps you celebrate the grouch in everyone, yet puts a smile on your face. While it’s not fiction, this book teaches the fine art of grumpiness.
And last but not least, if you want to shed your grumpiness, follow the solution found in Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer — a very fun picture book.