Books Humor Insights Mystery

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman | Book Review


  • You don’t want to miss out on a really really amazing, brilliant story
  • Kung gusto mong magkaron ng madaming feelings (mostly matawa)


A bank robber has taken hostage a group of strangers. Bank robber sya pero sa apartment viewing naganap yung hostage situation. From an outsider point of view, kakabahan ka kasi baka kung anong mangyari, but what happens inside that apartment is something else.

Funny and heartfelt. Memorable and quirky characters.

Our April BOTM

Akala ko, Big Magic na ang top book ko for 2021. Pero after ko ‘to basahin, wala na. Sobrang nalito na ko. Sobrang ganda!!! Book of the month namin ‘tong Anxious People and ang dami rin nila na na-inlove sa story, sa writing, sa cleverness, sa characters at kung ano pa mang namiss ko. Ang galing talaga.

Checking my Kindle notes, dami ko palang highlights: 71. Mukang matatagalan ako dito sa review ko. Ang dami ko pang books na nakapila na kelangan i-review: 8. Pero dedicated ako na bigyan sila ng review isa isa.

Based naman sa Goodreads status ko, sobrang na-amaze ako sa chapter 1. Eto na ata ang pinaka the best na chapter 1 na nabasa ko. Ang ganda ng introduction. Chapter 1 pa lang alam ko na na this is my kind of book at sure na mag-eenjoy ako.

Part ng charm ng book na ‘to eh yung madaming quotable quotes na super tagos and relatable. Kaya naman naka-71 highlights ako sa isang fiction book. Pag non-fiction normal na madami akong highlights pero pag fiction, rare.

So it needs saying from the outset that it’s always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is.

Yung isa pa, ang daming times na ang funny nya.

In truth, we know as much about sex as we do about USB leads, and it always takes us four tries to get those little buggers in. (Wrong way round, wrong way round, wrong way round, there! In!)

Isang popular quote among the book club is eto:

We don’t have a plan, we just do our best to get through the day, because there’ll be another one coming along tomorrow.

Tapos connected pala sya dun sa last part:

Because we made it through this day as well.

Our cute book club!😊

Roller coaster of emotions kasi minsan ang heartfelt, tapos bigla kang patatawanin, tapos mamaya may deep na sasabihin, then “hahaha” nanaman. And yung hindi ko pala nabanggit, this is a mystery novel. So may halo pang guessing game. Revelation after revelation. Sobrang brilliant talaga ng book na ‘to.

About the book, basically it’s about human struggles and adulting and midlife crisis and how tricky life is.

Sometimes we panic, because the bills need paying and we have to be grown-up and we don’t know how, because it’s so horribly, desperately easy to fail at being grown-up.

But we weren’t ready to become adults. Someone should have stopped us.


Favorite character ko si Zara and Estelle. Parang ang opposite nung personalities nila pero I think I am sometimes like that. Bipolar pala 😅

Somewhere, in some sort of Heaven, Estelle will be listening to music with one man and talking about literature with another. She’s earned that.

Estelle 🥺

Mga 1/3 nung book, ang hula ko eh silang lahat yung nagpatakas sa bank robber. Magkakatotoo na sana pero hindi pa rin pala. May another twist nanaman. Si Jim pala ang magpapatakas sa kanya. Ang dami talagang layers nitong book na ‘to.

Kung may main takeaway ako dito sa book, it’s being compassionate. Lahat tayo may kanya kanyang struggles. Sometimes it’s obvious but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Pero everyone has it. We always have to remember that.

We’re just strangers passing each other, your anxieties briefly brushing against mine as the fibers of our coats touch momentarily on a crowded sidewalk somewhere.

But I think we pass people in the street every day who feel the same as you and I…

Let’s see people as people, not their roles or titles.

Punta tayo sa parents. I love and appreciate my parents pero napunta sa another level yung appreciation ko because of this book. I am reminded of their sacrifices and kung gano kahirap magpalaki ng anak.

Because that was a parent’s job: to provide shoulders. Shoulders for your children to sit on when they’re little so they can see the world, then stand on when they get older so they can reach the clouds…

Ugh. Tapos yung quote from the father na nagsuicide or tatay ni Jack ‘to? Limot ko na. Basta eto:

They trust us, which is a crushing responsibility, because they haven’t yet realized that we don’t actually know what we’re doing. So the man did what we all do: he pretended he knew.

Tapos nung tumalon sa bridge yung tatay, grabe gulat na gulat ako!

It’s hard to explain to a twelve-year-old that when you were little and I walked too fast, you would run to catch up with me and take hold of my hand, and that those were the best moments of my life. Your fingertips in the palm of my hand. Before you knew how many things I’d failed at.

Huhu. I’m not a parent pero sobrang ughh. Nakaka-guilty yung mga moments nung teenager ako na lahat ng blame sa kanila. When the truth is, parents are humans too. They have their own lives at hindi lang dapat samin nagrerevolve ang mundo nila. They have their own personalities, history, secrets, they are not just our parents. Hays. I shoud’ve been a better daughter.

Another parent hugot na nakakaguilty nanaman.

When Jim was young, children used to be punished by being sent to their rooms, but these days you have to force children to come out of them.

In the end we actually get so used to the feeling of failure that every time we don’t disappoint our children it leaves us feeling secretly shocked. It’s possible that some children realize this.

Pero. Gulat na gulat nanaman ako dito. Jim is the father, Jack is his son.

Jim thinks about the same bridge all the time, because during his worst nights he dreams that it was Jack who jumped instead.

Woahhh. Harsh!

Okay eto naman. Sobrang amazed and tawang tawa ako dito. Ang galing ni Backman magbalik ng joke grabe 😆 Tinatamad na ko i-explain yung context basta ang galing haha.

“It really does have immense potential for renovation,” and Anna-Lena replied quickly: “Yes, it really does, doesn’t it? You’re absolutely right! But… isn’t that damp I can smell? Mold, even?”

Funny mo Anna-Lena!!

Tapos yung isang sweet moment na magkaaway si Roger at Anna-Lena pero yung reaction ni Roger dun sa incident ang switt.

Roger, when he thought he heard a pistol shot, had thrown himself on top of her.

Tapos hinighlight ko ‘to na apparently sobrang natawa ako pero limot ko na yung context 😅 Babasahin ko naman ulit ‘tong book na ‘to kaya iwan ko na lang dito:

“Really? Tell me about all the Nobel Prize winners who grew up in Amish communities.”

Haha ang bulok nitong review ko puro quotes lang. Pero okay lang. Gusto ko lang marefresh ako dun sa mga parts na natawa ako, nasweet-an or basta may na-feel ako. Eto nakakatawa nanaman:

Roger’s spine when he realized that the most terrible thing of all might be hiding in there: another prospective buyer.

Yung another revelation nanaman that I didn’t see coming, na babae pala yung bank robber! Sobrang biglang kelangan kong baguhin yung mga scenes sa utak ko nung habang binabasa ko sya nung una. At kelangan ko pa i-check yung previous pages kung gumamit ba ng he/she pronoun tapos wala pala talaga. Laging ‘bank robber’ lang. Ang galing galing mo talagaaa.

Tapos ang funny netong sinabi ni Estelle 😂

I can’t help thinking that it’s quite encouraging that we’ve got a female bank robber. Don’t you think? It’s good when us girls show what we’re capable of!”

Okay, another funny Julia scene. Wala eh sobrang hilarious talaga nung book.

Julia closed her eyes so no one would see she was rolling them.

Nung pahuli na, I find these passages really beautiful:

The town is breathing deeply around it, still asleep, swaddled in eiderdowns and dreams and tiny feet belonging to hearts our own can’t beat without.

Spring arrives. It always finds us, in the end. The wind sweeps winter away, the trees rustle and birds start making a fuss, and nature suddenly crashes through with a deafening roar where the snow has swallowed every echo for months.

RATING [5 🌟]

Ang daming magandang adjectives ang pwedeng i-describe sa book na ‘to. Pero siguro yung isa na ngayon ko lang na-realize ay this book is very self-aware. It’s a collection of human emotions and observations, perfectly combined to create a novel.

My Goodreads reading status while reading the book

Click to view my digital bookshelf.


On social media obsession and happiness:

The journalists were already there, of course. Or maybe they were just locals and curious onlookers, it can be hard to tell these days when everyone films, photographs, and documents their whole life as if every individual were their own television channel.

The shade 😆

The problem is that everything is relative, happiness is based on expectations, and we have the Internet now. A whole world constantly asking us: “But is your life as perfect as this? Well? How about now? Is it as perfect as this? If it isn’t, change it!”

So trueee.

The truth of course is that if people really were as happy as they look on the Internet, they wouldn’t spend so much damn time on the Internet, because no one who’s having a really good day spends half of it taking pictures of themselves.

I’m just going to leave this here 🙂

Anyone can nurture a myth about their life if they have enough manure, so if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, that’s probably because it’s full of shit.


…because now we’ve learned that every day needs to be special. Every day.

Huh. 🤔

It struck Jim that today’s youngsters had far too much choice, that was the whole problem—if all those modern dating apps had existed when Jim’s wife first met him, she would never have ended up becoming his wife. If you’re constantly presented with alternatives, you can never make up your mind, Jim thought.

“I didn’t say that money was happiness. I said happiness is like money. A made-up value that represents something we can’t weigh or measure.”


Gondo. Another Zara quote. Ang galing talaga ng author:

“I buy distance from other people.” The psychologist had never heard that response before. “How do you mean?” “Expensive restaurants have bigger gaps between the tables. First class on airplanes has no middle seats. Exclusive hotels have separate entrances for guests staying in suites. The most expensive thing you can buy in the most densely populated places on the planet is distance.”


Mga quotes na ang reaction ko ay, “True true true.” “Yes yes yes” “Nakuha mo!”

…but we need something to justify our bad deeds. Because I honestly believe that there are very few people who could live with knowing that they are… bad.”

Over time she realized that deep down almost everyone asks themselves the same sort of questions: Am I good? Do I make anyone proud? Am I useful to society? Am I good at my job? Generous and considerate? A decent shag? Does anyone want me to be their friend? Have I been a good parent? Am I a good person?

This is Kenneth and me:

“I want a Hawaiian without pineapple and without ham, but with banana and peanuts instead, and tell them not to cook it for too long!” Ro took such a deep breath that her back creaked. She leaned closer to the door. “Can’t you have a pizza from the menu just for once, darling? A nice, normal pizza? Why do I always have to call and give them a set of instructions like I’m trying to help a blind person land a plane?” “And extra cheese if it’s good cheese! Ask if they have good cheese!”

So not even really rich people ever feel really rich, because in the end the only thing you can buy is a more expensive version of something you’ve already got. With borrowed money.”

Zara wrestled with her personality for a while

Haha I feel you Zara.

A dig to young, self absorbed people na masasabi ko ay totoo based from my own experience whether personally or from observing others 😅

Hand on heart, which of us hasn’t wanted to pull a gun after talking to a twenty-year-old?

Off! Shade nanaman. Hahaha. Quits lang kasi lagi namang may problema ang isang generation sa isa pang generation. Baby boomers vs Millennials vs Gen Z.

It was the other couple, the younger pair, Julia and Ro. One of them was a blonde, the other had black hair, and they were squabbling noisily the way you do when you’re young and think that every feeling fluttering about in all your hormones is completely unique.

If you’ve lived with teenagers, you know they only exist for themselves

I wish madaming teenagers ang makabasa na ‘to. I wished nabasa ko ‘to nung teenager ako. Para makamove on ako agad sa mga annoying traits ko hahaha.

And then this Estelle line na favorite ko from her:

“No, no, no. He’s been dead awhile. The whole world doesn’t revolve around you, dear.”

On adulting:

When you’re a child you long to be an adult and decide everything for yourself, but when you’re an adult you realize that’s the worst part of it. That you have to have opinions all the time, you have to decide which party to vote for and what wallpaper you like and what your sexual preferences are and which flavor yogurt best reflects your personality. You have to make choices and be chosen by others, every second, the whole time.

On being a decent human being:

“We can’t change the world, and a lot of the time we can’t even change people. No more than one bit at a time. So we do what we can to help whenever we get the chance…”

Nothing is easier for people who never do anything themselves than to criticize someone who actually makes an effort.

“God doesn’t protect people from knives, sweetheart. That’s why God gave us other people, so we can protect each other.” It was impossible to argue with such a stubborn woman. Jack hated how much he admired her sometimes. Jim, in turn, loved her so much he could hardly breathe. But she didn’t travel so much after that, and never went so far away again. Then she got sick, and they lost her, and the world lost a bit more of its protection.

Ganda nung sentiment. Nakaka-melt ng heart.

She liked the fact that Estelle was concerned, more people should do that, ask if you’re hungry instead of how you’re feeling.

“All this talk about organic farming, adverts for free-range chickens and happy pigs… isn’t it more unethical of me to eat a happy pig? Surely it’s better if I eat a pig that’s lived a terrible life than one of those carpe diem pigs with a family and friends?

I know pampatawa lang ‘to siguro pero may point 😅

On relationships (romantic or familial):

He says you end up marrying the one you don’t understand. Then you spend the rest of your life trying.

There was no place for Estelle there, she was mostly something of a nuisance. They were pleased that she answered the phone when they called on her birthday, but the rest of the time they assumed time stood still for her. She was a nice ornament that they only took out at Christmas and Midsummer.

Aww Estelle.

“Young people today. You’re so aware of how you affect your children. I heard a pediatric doctor say on television that a generation ago, parents used to come to him and say ‘Our child’s wetting the bed, what’s wrong with him?’ Now, a generation later, they come to him and say ‘Our child’s wetting the bed, what’s wrong with us?’ You take the blame for everything.”

…possibly also because it was the first time in ages that she’d thought about how they fell in love. You tend to forget that when you’re in the middle of the life that follows…

Maybe she wasn’t enough fun—maybe it’s unreasonable to expect someone to stay with you if you’re not fun.

Huhu I feel guilty.

Because perhaps it’s true what they say, that up to a certain age a child loves you unconditionally and uncontrollably for one simple reason: you’re theirs. Your parents and siblings can love you for the rest of your life, too, for precisely the same reason.

I love you my family 🥺


That’s the power of literature, you know, it can act like little love letters between people who can only explain their feelings by pointing at other people’s.

“I think that’s rather lovely, actually. People always think real estate agents just want to sell, sell, sell, but there’s something… I don’t quite know how to say it…” Lennart fills in with the words she can’t find: “There’s something romantic about the thought of all the apartments that aren’t for sale.”



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