The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
In the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--and booksellers--that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds.
On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage
Popular Answered Questions
We read to know we're not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.
Once in a while a book comes along that captures your heart and soul- where the characters become like friends and family, and a part of you wants to pack a bag and travel to that magical place forever. At the start you just know it is going to be something special- by the end you feel physical pain knowing that these people are gone from your life...One day you may pick it back up to ...more
Now, there are certainly some good points. A.J. himself, an independent bookseller and just-coping widower, is a delightfully irascible character with some decided literary prejudices that ...more
...and I am truly glad that it didn't took me so long to read it!!!
The words you can't find, you borrow...
Maybe I could find the words but honestly, that first quote from this wonderful book was the right way to compliment it. And to do that, well I quote a second one too.
And you will find several quotes in this review since honestly, this is one of the most quotable novels that I ...more
It's a bit embarrassing to admit how emotional this book made me. I'm not even a fan of Zevin's work; I quite liked the concept behind Elsewhere but not the execution, and I pretty much hated All These Things I've Done. But this book is just so warm and funny and bittersweet. It speaks to the thing inside me that has always loved books, will always love books, and has allowed my life to be swept in certain directions by my love for literature. ...more
while it's true that this is the literary equivalent of a stone skipped over a pond, it's a pretty damn charming stone. reading about other booknerds, even when they are better described as bookcranks, is delightful to me. A Novel Bookstore, Salamander, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, etc are among my favorite books. are they the best books ever written? nah. but they have characters whose sensibilities are so close to my own, it's hard not to feel a lit ...more
I shouldn't have read this. A book marketed as "heartwarming" is never for me. But I read it anyway because I love books about books so much, and it sounded so good! Based on the book's description and marketing, I know that it's meant to really appeal to book clubs and librarians and bookstores, and I think the author is doing everything humanly possible to kiss up to those groups without delivering anything with any depth. I don't think it ...more
This was really lovely. It was perfectly written (seriously, Gabrielle Zevin has mastered using the English language), and heartfelt. It was a little sappy at times, but it felt appropriate. I loved the span of this book - over a decade of fascinating stuff happened. And I loved the setting - a book store on a tiny island. I loved the emphasis on books and love and trying to be a good person.
I'm not giving a 5/5 simply because I don't think it did anything particularly new, and didn't make me t ...more
A.J. Fikry, is the owner of the independent bookstore, Island Books. Fikry is grieving the loss of his wife, sales are down, a rare book worth scads of money is stolen from the shop leaving him irritable, and irritating. Frankly he's ...more
I picked up The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry at just the right time. I wanted something light and entertaining, and (hopefully) with a happy ending. And that is what I got, with the bonus of lots of literary references, some small-town whimsy and even a little romance.
A. J. Fikry is a cranky bookstore owner in New England. His life is in a rut: He lost his wife, his store is struggling and then his rare copy of Edgar ...more
AJ Fikry is a snarky man who owns a bookstore. Every bookworm's dream, and he is a major bookworm. "Despite the fact that he loves books and owns a bookstore, AJ does not particulary care for writers".
AJ has a rare book worth enou ...more
A grumpy-grumpy bookseller who is a widower leads a sad and lonely Scrooge-like life until a chubby, perfect, articulate, beautiful baby is left in his book shop and teaches him to love and live again! Excuse me while I go vomit in the corner. Then to top it all off (view spoiler)[he gets brain cancer and his loving (ne ...more
This is a story to be read solely for the nerdistic cachet of getting all the literary references and book biz jokes. Even if you're alone and there's no one to applaud you for being so well read, there's still that little frisson of snobbish self-satisfaction when you recognize the book or short story mentioned or alluded to. And when you know which books and authors are made up, because you've never heard of them. Am I really that much of a book dork that I give a rodent's posterior a ...more
"The most annoying thing about it is that once a person gives a shit about one thing, he finds he has to start giving a shit about everything."It's a lovely quiet story about the way a life of a lonely and surly bookseller on a remote New England island gets turned around when he un ...more
"A question I’ve thought about a great deal is why it is so much easier to write about the things we dislike/hate/ acknowledge to be flawed than the things we love." – A.J. Fikry
I stayed up late last night to finish this book, and hoped that by the time I woke up this morning, I'd have a clear idea about why and what I loved most about this book. I'm still at a loss for words because I love every single part of this book!
Fittingly, it was recommended by the owner of a tiny independent booksto ...more
Another 2014 favorite for this book lover!
(It pains me that we are losing our beloved bookstores. I do enj...more
A.J. watches Maya in her pink party dress, and he feels a vaguely familiar, slightly intolerable bubbling inside of him. He wa ...more
You know where this is going.
So the next time we were all together, I worked up the nerve and confessed ...more
I purposely didn’t read any reviews before diving in, and I’m glad. Strange and wonderful things start happening right from the beginning, and I’m caught off guard and delighted. I thoug ...more
However, it didn't take more than 1 1/2 page for the story to win over my heart. This book is magic and I still can't believe how much it has affected me as a reader. "The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry" is a story about book lovers, and it is a story FOR book lovers. That's because it ...more
I would love to live on Alice Island and get to live in this fictional town. AJ Fikry has lost his wife and his most prized possession and su ...more
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is about the storied life of A.J. Fikry. I feel like I should abandon this re ...more
Enter Maya, a two year old who will worm her way into his heart and ma ...more
A.J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in it's history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, it's unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over - and see everything anew.
" There ain't nobody in the world like book people. "
So I didn't really read ...more
Words have weight.
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
On Alice Island A.J. Fikry is surrounded by words. Millions of them. But even they have failed to lift his spirits. He is deep in mourning the loss of his wife, his partner in Island Books, when we first meet him. He is also very rude to Amelia, the lovely sales rep from Knightley Press.
He is equally unaware that further loss will occur, this time in the form of a rare and valuable copy ...more
So says A.J. Fikry, the titular protagonist of Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. And it’s true. I know that readers marry non-readers, but I’ve never understood how such a union could work. What could you discuss with someone who never imagined that, before it was an over-the-top Baz Luhrman movie with Leonardo DiC ...more
Don't ever get to the point where you expect the worst from people all the time.
I am no longer surprised to see some of my favorite books getting thrashed with one star reviews. I did the same with other people's choices that didn't work for me. I take issue though with the claim that this present book in particular is cutesy and unrealistic about relationships. What it does is to believe in and to make an appeal to our better nature, believes we are redeemable and that the world can be change ...more
We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.
My life is in these books. Read these and know my heart.
We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.
This is going to be a tough one to talk about for me because it went straight to my favourites shelf and, as this book has stated in not so few words, its always easier to talk about what we hated than what we loved.
In truth, there w ...more
There are already thousands of reviews of this book, so . . . I might as well add another one.
By now you know that the book concerns a prickly widower who is coaxed back to life again by family, friends and the patrons of his bookshop. It's corny and sappy a ...more
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