The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

by Gabrielle Zevin

Overview: 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 its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.

Esther Bradley-DeTalley (03/07/16): Enchanting book; my book club wasn't as enthusiastic, but our tastes often differ. The book was tender and a lark; I adored the whimsy of the little girl measuring the book store by so many lengths of her body; outstanding.
Rating: *****

Carol Sherman (03/05/16): I loved this book. It is full of many gem references to other great books at the beginning of new sections and full of profound quotes. Here is one of my favorites: ‘We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved, the people we loved, and these, I think, really do live on’. A.J. Fikry

My book club had a difference of opinion on whether this book was really a short story. For me it was a shorter book (I borrowed a large print edition from the library, all they had) so that may have added to my decision. A good comment was that the author packs a lot of change in a short time. It kept me reading and savoring. I would give it 5 stars for reading pleasure.
Rating: *****

Debbie Weiss (02/25/16): Yes, I agree with Gail on this book. It is delightful, especially if you are an avid reader. The story centers around A.J. Fikry, an individual who owns a book store on an island off the Massachusetts coast. In the beginning of the story, A.J. is a very depressed individual, still grieving over the loss of his wife and feeling sorry for himself. Events and people turn his life around and give it meaning again. Throughout the book, there are references made to titles of books we all know and love, both old and new. The newer titles give the story a very contemporary feel, at least in the year 2016.
Rating: ****

Gail Reid (02/06/16): What more could a booklover want than to read a book centered around a bookseller and his shop? A.J. Fikry is a young widower and owner of Island Books on remote Alice Island, a 2 hour ferry ride off the Massachusetts coast. After A.J.'s wife dies and his prize possession is stolen, a series of strange events turn his life around dramatically and inexplicably. The chapters are peppered with Fikry's reviews of the books he stocks; and especially those promoted by a certain sales rep who, together with several other island characters, play a prominent role in this delightful book.

To me, this book has the feel of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, so if those appeal to your reading tastes, I hope The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will also . 4+
Rating: ****+

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