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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

A Novel
Zevin, Gabrielle (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
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Item Details

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.
Authors: Zevin, Gabrielle
Title: The storied life of A.J. Fikry
a novel
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina :, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,, 2014
Edition: First edition
Characteristics: 260 pages ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Gabrielle Zevin
Summary: When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.
ISBN: 9781616203214
1616203218
Branch Call Number: FICTION ZEVIN 2014
Subject Headings: Booksellers and bookselling Fiction Bookstores Fiction Widowers Fiction Abandoned children Fiction Man-woman relationships Fiction
Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Topical Term: Booksellers and bookselling
Bookstores
Widowers
Abandoned children
Man-woman relationships
LCCN: 2013043144
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Opinion

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When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

A curmudgeonly bookstore owner, is resigning himself to being miserable when he discovers an abandoned baby in his store one morning. Though this sounds too saccharine to be believed, it's a charming and very entertaining book.

A recounting of the life and loves of bookseller A.J. Fikry, his adopted daughter and the publishing representative he falls in love with when she visits his small, island bookstore.


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Sep 21, 2014
  • lbarkema rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

It was definitely cute, and a very sweet story but I believe the pace of it is what kept me from giving it a full 4 + stars. It went way too fast, and some plot points were neatly tied up too well or just brushed over. But overall- likable story, characters, and writing. A quick read for book-lovers!

Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

There's art we find excellent because it so accurately captures the experience of life--we may not enjoy it since life isn't always enjoyable, but we know it is true and real. Then there's art we find excellent because we enjoy connecting with it and find emotional resonance in it, even if it's not always entirely accurate; real life isn't always scripted perfectly, after all, with people saying just the right things at just the right times and events happening in just the right order to make a satisfying story.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry falls into this second category. It all fits together too neatly (even the mishaps and tragedies), the characters grow and change a bit too perfectly (even their flaws and mistakes) to be fully believable as actual, but it still speaks to truths we identify with and find moving. The book conveys a story, not life, yet reading that story gives readers insight into and encourages them to reflect on their own lives. It's on the light side, not at all lacking in cynical humor and crotchety fun, yet has depth and passion as well. I enjoyed it immensely. I connected with it.

Sep 11, 2014
  • CATLIN rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved this book. Easy and quick read, quirky story, but oh! what a wonderful story! If you love books, and those small bookstores with their quirky owners, you'll love this story. It's on my list to read again someday.

Aug 29, 2014
  • lizhelboe rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A little story about a quirky bookstore owner in a small town and the books that he loves. A series of events sends AJ Fikry's life into turmoil. The story follows him as he deals with the unexpected and how it completely changes his trajectory through life.

Aug 28, 2014
  • misswindsor rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was a comfort read for me. I love reading books about books and I loved A.J. Fikry.

Aug 26, 2014
  • biblio9 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A fun read for anyone loving books, bookstores and a slightly twisty storyline!

Quirky,sad, then funny. The writing is a tad uneven...but I much enjoyed her work. One may see traces of her writing style of childrens stories?

A short, 'to the point' story that draws you in and allows you to live with A.J. Fikry. Mostly delightful although near the end I was somewhat disappointed not to hear the characters' voices but rather only the narrator's. Perhaps this premise of plot was necessary given the outcome of A.J.'s life.

Aug 12, 2014
  • molmil8 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a great book. If you are the kind of person who hates books where the story moves along too slow, this is for you! Reminded me of two of my favorites: The Art of Racing in the Rain The Rosie Project. Hard to see how anyone would be disappointed with this one.

Aug 11, 2014
  • GummiGirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A sentimental tale for lovers of books and bookstores, complete with lots of literary references. The main premise is that reading habits reflect one's character, but both are capable of improvement.

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Set on Alice Island of the coast of Rhode Island, this is the story of a widowed bookseller, A J Fikry, who finds a toddler in his store when he returns from a run. She is Maya, and the note from her mother says that Maya is smart, verbal, and should grow up around books. Loved the setting, the unusual characters, the numerous book recommendations (esp. YA), and the belief in love overcoming all obstacles. The ending is sad, but with a funny twist. If you liked Mr. Penumbra's 24 hr. Bookstore, you'll like this.

A Prayer for Owen Meany
Silas Marner
Their Eyes Were Watching God
I Capture the Castle
The Beauties- Checkov
The Doll's HOuse-K. Mansfield
A Perfect Day for Bananfish-J.d. Salinger
Brownies or Drinking COffee Elsewhere ZZ Packer
In the Cemetary Where AL Jolson Is Buried A. Hempel
Fat R. Carver
Indian Camp e. Hemingway
Secret Life of Octavian Nothing

Chief's Choice Book Club:
Jeffrey Deaver

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Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

How to account for its presence [on this list of favorites] when I know it is only average? The answer is this: Your dad relates to the characters. It has meaning to me. And the longer I do this (bookselling, yes, of course, but also living if that isn't too awfully sentimental), the more I believe that this is what the point of it all is. To connect, my dear little nerd. Only connect.

Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It is the secret fear that we are unlovable that isolates us, but it is only because we are isolated that we think we are unlovable. Someday, you do not know when, you will be driving down a road. And someday, you do not know when, he, or indeed she, will be there. You will be loved because for the first time in your life, you will truly not be alone. You will have chosen not to be alone.

Sep 16, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's Amy's favorite. (She seems so sweet on the surface, no?) Amy and I do not always have the exact same taste in things, but this I like.

When she told me it was her favorite, it suggested to me strange and wonderful things about her character that I had not guessed, dark places that I might like to visit.

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?

Apr 29, 2014
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The first way Maya approaches a book is to smell it. She strips the book of its jacket, then holds it up to her face and wraps the boards around her ears.

Apr 29, 2014
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Her [Amelia's] talents also include multitasking, selecting the right wine at dinner (and the coordinating skill, tending friends who've had too much to drink), houseplants, strays, and other lost causes."

Apr 20, 2014
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“Infinite Jest is an endurance contest. You manage to get through it and you have no choice but to say you like it. Otherwise, you have to deal with the fact that you just wasted weeks of your life,” A.J. had countered.

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Apr 29, 2014
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

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app09 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41