The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin

Posted 8 April, 2014 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 23 Comments


TitleThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: 2014;  Pages: 258
Genre: Fiction
Rating: A Booklover’s Delight

On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible

In Short: A.J. Fikry, owner of the independent bookstore Island Books, is headed on a downward path when everything in his life seems to be going wrong. All this changes when he receives an unexpected package in his bookstore that will change his world.

Why I Read It: I received a copy from Algonquin Books and read it sooner than anticipated for its bookish storyline.

Thoughts in General: As a book lover, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is the coziest type of book I could possibly imagine. Really, what is better than curling up with a book and reading about other people who love books? Fikry, the owner of Island Books, has been through quite a lot and he’s a bit callous and rough around the corners. Amelia, the sales rep for a small publishing company, is quirky and fun loving. While the two people couldn’t be more different from one another, books brings them together–as Fikry brings so many people together–into lasting friendships. I wouldn’t call The Storied Life a deep character study, but I did enjoy the small cast of characters and what they meant to one another.

Part of the joy of The Storied Life is experiencing the story unravel so I don’t want to tell you too much but I will tell you that the book is clever, charming, delightful, quirky, heartwarming. Book lovers will adore the references to their favorite books and the casual reader will surely close the book with a list of books that must be read. The writing is simple and even though the dialog sometimes felt a little contrived, everything about this book still felt perfect. Even the short length, something that would normally bother me a bit, was just right for the story that needed to be told.

While I could keep going on, I don’t think I need to gush any more.

Quotes I Adore:

“The had only ever discussed books but what, in this life, is more personal than books?” (18).

“The things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the same things we will respond to at forty and vice versa. This is true in books and also in life” (41).

“People tell boring lies about politics, God, and love. You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, ‘What is your favorite book?'” (87).

Bottom Line: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was written for book lovers and I recommend it to anyone who has ever gotten lost in a story. It’s a short little book that will creep its way into your heart. I dogeared pages, I laughed, I cried, and when I was finished I wanted to hug all of my books. Heartily recommended.

What’s the last book you read that really renewed your love of reading?


23 Responses to “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin”

  1. I think I NEED to read this book! I’ve also been thinking about what my answer would be to the favorite book question since you posted it, and that is such a tough question!! I don’t really like any “favorite” questions, actually–too much pressure. :)

  2. The Thirteenth Tale and The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society both do that for me! Can’t wait to pick up a copy of Fikry now!

  3. I’ve seen this book around but haven’t really read a review of it until now. I need this book! The only question is whether I will be patient and get it from the library or order it from Amazon before the day is over!

  4. I am really looking forward to this book. I always get around to asking, “what’s your favorite book?” to people I meet.

  5. This is the second time I’ve read a wonderful review of this one, so it has definitely made the wish list! I do so enjoy a book about books.

  6. I started this last weekend, but life and then getting sick got in the way of finishing it. I must get back to it this weekend because I was enjoying it!

  7. This sounds like a delightful book, Trish. I have been hearing a lot about it lately, so it definitely must go on my wish list.

    I’m trying to think of a recent book that renewed my love in reading . . . Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman and The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan.

  8. Les

    Wanna guess which book is the last I read that renewed my love of reading? East of Eden! I love a saga filled with well-drawn characters (even those I disliked immensely!), great sense of place and a plot that keeps the pages turning. East of Eden may be long, but it never once felt like it. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it!

    Can’t wait to get my hands on The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry!

  9. I have heard so many good things about this book that I want to get my hands on it immediately. Sadly, it is very, very highly priced in India. :( Will wait till I get a better deal on it. Being a big booklover myself, I am sure I will love this book too.

    It has been so long since a book rekindled my love for books! I don’t even remember the last one!

  10. Laura

    I just finished reading this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I’m so glad you wrote about this because I probably wouldn’t have picked it up! :)