Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.
And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, but large in weight. It's that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew.

Gabrielle Zevin has published six novels. She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women (Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart) for which she received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination. In 2009, she and director Hans Canosa adapted her novel Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (ALA Best Books for Young Adults) into the Japanese film, Dareka ga Watashi ni Kiss wo Shita. She has also written for the New York Times Book Review and NPR’s All Things Considered. She began her writing career at age fourteen as a music critic for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
Zevin is a graduate of Harvard University. After many years on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, she recently moved to Silver Lake, Los Angeles.

A book about books. About the love for reading. About people picking up specific books to brag about or those reading everything they can get their hands on. The love for books is so obvious in the whole story which makes it a pleasure to read already. The only problem with books about books... they make me want to read all the books mentioned.
A.J. is a grumpy man. He clearly loves his wife and he made the move to open up the book store with here even though he had other plans for his career. Though A.J. loves to share his love for books and his ideas about certain stories he lacks manners when it comes to human interaction. The situations described in the book made me laugh a lot. I loved his interaction with Amelia and how that developed.
I loved the description of the way A.J. dealt with the surprise. It was all so easy to imagine and showing that his heart really is in the right place.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pages: 258
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1616203218
ISBN-13: 9781616203214
Algonquin Books : various formats
The Storified Life of A.J. Fikry
5 stars

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Elizabeth
AUTHOR
31 August, 2014 delete

This book sounds good.

Oooooo....I want to know what the surprise is. I guess I will have to read the book. :)

Thanks for your wonderful review.

Elizabeth

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Jennine G.
AUTHOR
31 August, 2014 delete

This was an enjoyable one...and I wanted to check out the books mentioned too!

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Melinda
AUTHOR
01 September, 2014 delete

I like the sound of this and of course I've seen this recommended all over the blogosphere. Going to have to check this out. Books about books? I'm in!

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14 September, 2014 delete

I really want to read this! Not only did it get a rave review on #30Authors, it’s the Instagram Book of the Month pick.

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