Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
My plans for New Year’s Eve have always been about staying home. I am not a fan of parties or big gatherings. And thanks to the growing cases of Covid, going out is not really an option in my calendar anymore. So, the evening was planned. Cook a nice dinner, read the happy moments from the gratitude jar that I keep with my daughters followed by reading time. I was going to end my year with my favorite book Anxious People by Fredrick Backman.
I first read this book back in 2020 and fell in love with it from Page 1. It is a book about LOVE, every kind there is; IDIOTS, the cute kinds mostly; EMOTIONS, all you can feel and many more; and PAIN, the unimaginable kinds. It is also about a robbery, parenting, police, google, bridge, and therapy to name a few. The writing is simple, compassionate and hilarious. I have laughed out loud while reading this one. There are some really funny moments that leave you in splits.
The characters are individualistically different from each other holding on to a common thread of LOVE. Love between couples, parent & child, siblings, and even strangers. The story is told before and after a situation that occurs at an Open House on new Year’s Eve. There are human beings making choices that are idiotic and right at the same time. The witness interviews are written in conversational style that makes it very easy to read and follow. The rest of the narration is quirky, emotional and loving. I mean my copy of the book is filled with notes on post-its and pencil marks. Only if I were this diligent with my school text books, I would have been somewhere else in life. Like the characters even I am re-thinking my life choices (literally all the time).
“I’d say that a panic attack is when psychological pain becomes so strong that it manifests itself physically.”
For me reading is like meditation. It is easier to zone out while reading but still tough to quieten that little voice in the head screaming, “you are not good enough.” But then you come across a gem of a book that helps to not only reduce the volume of that voice but also understand it better. ther are so many beautiful such quotes and definitions in the book that have not only helped me understand my idiotic behavior but also accept myself as is without trying to fit into a box. I am a proud weirdo with random ideas who processes everything out loud and loves writing.
A 5 star read for me. Check out his other books too, A Man called Ove, My grandmother asked me to tell you she is sorry, Britt-Marie was here, Beartown.