Title: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: 2014; Pages: 258
Rating: A Booklover’s Delight
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?