Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman,

Book cover of Anxious People

Book description

The funny, touching and unpredictable No. 1 New York Times bestseller, now a major Netflix TV series

'A brilliant and comforting read' MATT HAIG
'Funny, compassionate and wise. An absolute joy' A.J. PEARCE
'A surefooted insight into the absurdity, beauty and ache of life' GUARDIAN
'I laughed, I sobbed, I…

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Why read it?

11 authors picked Anxious People as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love this book because it’s a triumph of storytelling—and by that, I mean both the way that the story is narrated, as the audiobook frequently gave me chills, and the way that the story is told by the author. I love this book because it’s realistic enough to draw me in, unusual enough to keep me guessing, and rewarding enough for every single second I spent listening to it to pay off in the end.

I was inspired by this book in the very best way: when an author presents characters with realistic, messy lives and then provides them…

From Jason's list on choosing joy.

This is a book where the author’s ability to draw you into a story without telling you all you need to know about the main character until the very end makes for lively discussions. A failed bank robber and prospective buyers at an open house for an apartment are brought together in such a way, it truly seems believable. Even the end! 

The quirky characters are real to life, and the journey they take together reveals true human nature, hope, and the bond of friendships, old and new, but ultimately, it’s the unique storytelling that makes this such a fun…

I love finishing a book, knowing there is a film or limited series to watch. This book is written by the author who brought us A Man Called Ove. In this case, I stumbled on the program first and then read the book.

The book is set in a small Swedish town and centers around eight anxiety-prone strangers who are taken hostage while attending an open house. The story takes place inside the apartment, revealing the anxieties, secrets, and interconnected lives of each character.

The story made me laugh out loud. But, at its core, it made me stop…

The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

Book cover of The Unproposed Guy

Bhavik Sarkhedi Author Of The Unproposed Guy

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Wanderlust Film Aficionado Bibliophile Solo Traveler Movie Buff

Bhavik's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Unproposed Guy is a captivating journey through the life of Kevin, a character stuck in a mundane existence and unfulfilling relationships, who discovers his passion for stand-up comedy and rapping amidst an existential crisis.

This contemporary fiction is peppered with humor, sarcasm, and poignant insights into modern relationships and societal expectations. Kevin's struggles and transformations offer a unique blend of comedy and emotional depth, making it a must-read for those seeking a fresh, humorous perspective on love, life, and self-discovery. Dive into Kevin's character of failed relationship and who portrays himself as "Every guy's best friend and every girl's worst nightmare".

The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

What is this book about?

There has been no significant change in the life of Kevin—a monotonous routine, ordinary family, and miserably failing relationships—until he finds out he is going through something abnormal: 'Existential Crisis'.

He has always been a marvellous entertainer, but has a mysterious way of putting off girls. The talent in him is growing creatively, and abundantly, but his inability to impress a girl keeps pulling him down slowly. He realises he can be any guy’s best friend, but he also seems to be every girl’s worst nightmare.

Hop onto the rollercoaster journey of Kevin’s life, as he navigates through mocking friends…


Fredrik Backman’s Anxious People kept me company on a long road trip to a conference this past year.

Backman introduces us to a clever mystery involving an interrupted bank heist, and a cast of incredibly anxious, absurd, and unlikeable characters. Backman takes on the seemingly herculean task of making us care about these self-involved individuals and in the end, actually succeeds.

This whimsical and humorous take on the human condition will make you laugh and remember the characters long after you’ve closed the book.

This was not my usual humor reading, but it was recommended to me as a clever piece of storytelling that I might learn from for my own writing.

The storytelling was indeed clever—Backman unfolds the mystery in filo-pastry-thin layers, with wonderfully well-disguised clues and misdirection. I was totally caught up in guessing the truth, and couldn’t do it.

The book was compelling from page one and hard to put down.

The novel Anxious People is a mostly-comic novel that helped me, as a writer, think through how comedy is delivered.

Frederik Backman has a background as a standup comic and you can see it in the writing of the novel—and sometimes Backman’s clever quips get in the way of the story.

The situation is of a robbery gone wrong with a range of weird and wacky characters, but they are developed in a way that helps us care about them as their stories are revealed and common touchpoints emerge.

The father-son police team, the robber’s pains, the fractured relationships. In…

From John's list on mixing humor with serious topics.

What I love most about Anxious People is two-fold: first, it is a funny and ridiculous story (in the best way), and second, it deals with the support and caring of friends.

This is one of my favorite themes and one that I love to write about myself.

In this case, however, they’re strangers, who only happen to come together because they’re accidentally kidnapped during a house showing by a bank robber who’s been fired (not for their face like my character, but for equally inane reasons.).

The beauty of this book is how people can come together and do…

From Anastasia's list on the absurdities of the workplace.

This book tells the tale of a group of strangers viewing an apartment that is for sale who are held hostage by an inept bank robber. The humor and humanity of the situation compelled me to read this book in a weekend. The twists and turns keep the reader glued to the page. For me, any book that has you thinking about the characters long after the book has ended is worth the read.

From Deena's list on that I couldn't put down.

If you think of the serious/funny ratio as being on an inverse continuum (which is a thing I did not make up, but about which I'm unsure I’m correct) then a couple of towns over from All the Pretty Horses would be Anxious People by Frederik Backman. Backman is becoming one of my very favorite authors, because he has a way of creating these intensely insufferable characters, and then making you like them. You get the entire emotional gamut when you read a Backman book – love, nostalgia, heartbreak, regret, fear – it's all on the table. These are quirky…

If you have read Backman’s A Man Called Ove, you know it will be worth it to stick with this! Through a series of conversations with the police, we come to understand what is prompting this odd collection of people, thrown together when taken hostage at an apartment real estate showing, to behave oddly when interviewed by the police. Backman’s grasp of human motivation is astonishing and his ability as a writer to reveal his characters’ inner lives held my interest hostage. He took his time with letting us see how each person came to be in the apartment…

From Margaret's list on to get what it is like to be anxious.

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