Nordiska’s Book Club
To all of you who are new, welcome! Nordiska has launched its own book club for fellow Nordic reading enthusiasts to connect and be in community with one another virtually. We invite you to expand your Nordic reading repertoire and discuss a variety of written works with us the last Thursday of each month.
To returners, welcome back! This month we will be transitioning from the darkness of 17th century Norway to more contemporary Sweden, reading the dark comedy Anxious People.
May’s Pick: Anxious People
An all too relevant title for some of us perhaps as the academic school year begins to come to a close and all those activities and as previous commitments you made last winter are starting to catch up to you with the changing of the seasons. Though this novel deals with ordinary people in an extraordinary circumstance that is less relatable, we can certainly escape our own realities to be entertained by the trials and tribulations in this dark novel written by famous Swedish author Fredrik Backman.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer of astonishing depth” (The Washington Times) comes a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined. Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.
First is Zara, a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else until tragedy changed her life. Now, she’s obsessed with visiting open houses to see how ordinary people live—and, perhaps, to set an old wrong to right. Then there’s Roger and Anna-Lena, an Ikea-addicted retired couple who are on a never-ending hunt for fixer-uppers to hide the fact that they don’t know how to fix their own failing marriage. Julia and Ro are a young lesbian couple and soon-to-be parents who are nervous about their chances for a successful life together since they can’t agree on anything. And there’s Estelle, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by a masked bank robber waving a gun in her face. And despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car.
As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people. Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People’s whimsical plot serves up unforgettable insights into the human condition and a gentle reminder to be compassionate to all the anxious people we encounter every day.
Virtual Book Club Meeting Information
We will be meeting to discuss Anxious People on Thursday, May 26th at 6:00pm PST via Zoom. You can find the Zoom invitation link here to register for the meeting ahead of time and/or keep a look out on our social media sites for an invitation.
You can purchase your copy of Anxious People on Nordiska’s website by following this link, or come and visit us in store in downtown Poulsbo. As a thank you for purchasing your book with us, Nordiska is offering a 15% discount on the book club pick of the month by using the code: bookclub22.