The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Originally published as The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry.
"Who the hell are you?" A.J. asks the baby.
For no apparent reason, she stops crying and smiles at him. "Maya," she answers.
That was easy, A.J. thinks. "How old are you?" he asks.
Maya holds up two fingers.
Maya smiles again and holds up her arms to him."
A.J. Fikry, the grumpy owner of Island B
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
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
...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 tha ...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 literatur ...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 don’t know about you, but I could dwell inside the richly entertaining mind of one A.J. Fickry forever. Or at least every other weekend.
Because that’s exactly what this novel simulates: a casual stroll through the mind of a complex, yet vastly simple middle-aged widower whose outlook on life has deflated.
Life has knocked him down, as it tends to do, and A.J. finds comfort in th ...more
This novel was the ruination of me.. and I couldn't be happier. Sometimes when i love a book to pieces, it is easy to write a review and sometimes it is difficult. For this novel, the latter is true. I lack the adequate language needed to evoke the emotion that The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry stirred within me. You can't help but fall in love with the curmudgeon, bookseller A.J. I don't know if I've ever loved a character more than him. Although the plot was simplistic, the subtlet ...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
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
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
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 m ...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 e ...more
What I did like:
- The writing is beautiful. Zevin had thoughtful prose and she had that slow, personal pacing that my favorite author, Fredrick Backmen has in his books.
- The characters were easy to fall in love with from the start, despite their (intentional) flaws. Getting invested in these characters and their stories was not difficult for me at ...more
Reading a book about a bookstore and books and the people who love them seemed like a can't-miss proposition. And, in fact, there were parts of this book that I liked very much: the police chief who unexpectedly turns himself and most of his force into readers; the subplot with the theft of Poe's Tamerlane: Poem; the brief chapter intros where A.J. talks about various stories.
But overall the novel just felt a lot more superf ...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
THE SITUATION IS DIRE.
I can’t stop reading books about bookstores.
A book about a bookworm will do in a pinch, but really bookstores are the only way to go. And it’s gotten so grim that I’ve resorted to rereading books I read a few years ago and vaguely remember being pretty good but had no intention of rereading.
Luckily, in this case, it turned out to be better than pretty good.
I read this in between a couple of romancey fluffy things about bookstores, which really were more vessels fo ...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
Another 2014 favorite for this book lover!
(It pains me that we are losing our beloved bookstores. I do e...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
"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 ...more
Thanks to my Goodreads friend, Carol, for introducing me to this book!
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“No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World”
This is the second ‘books about books’ novel I’ve read this week, and I have to say, it’s nice to know so many people share the same enthusiasm for books that I do.
This story is poignant and bittersweet, but is ...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 books ...more
How arrogant of me.
This is a simple book to read. A page turner with short chapters, written in a fast, light-hearted prose that sounds so natural and easy-going that you’ll forget you are reading ...more
I debated including this, but (view spoiler)[ HOW is this acceptable:
He kisses her and then she reaches under his hospital gown between his legs and squeezes. "I love having sex with you," she says. "If you're a vegetable when this is done, can I still have sex with you?" she asks.
"Sure," A.J. says.
So she's asking for permission to rape him. That's romantic and tear-jerking. ...more
|Pleasant Valley L...: Our December Book - The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry||14||18||Jan 02, 2021 10:35AM|
|Oregon Public Lib...: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry [August 2020]||1||3||Jun 29, 2020 03:47PM|
|Huntsville-Madiso...: Hoopla Pick - April 17||1||10||Apr 17, 2020 08:47AM|
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry spent several months on the New York Times Best Seller List, reached #1 on the National Indie Best Seller List, was a USA Today Best Seller, and has been a best seller all around the world. A.J. Fikry was honored with the So ...more