This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle…

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (2014)

by Gabrielle Zevin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,7134282,066 (4)324
  1. 40
    The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (Micheller7)
  2. 30
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (bell7, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    bell7: Though one is set in contemporary times on a fictional island of the coast of Massachusetts and the other in post World War II England, both books show the importance of story and have an optimistic tone while dealing with some of life's challenges.
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A love of literature helps protagonists form unlikely but rewarding new relationships in these tender stories of personal redemption. The vibrant characterization, gently humorous tone, and whimsical, heartwarming narratives shine in compelling novels that illustrate the power of reading.… (more)
  3. 00
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Storied Life of AJ Frikry is based off of Silas Marner.
  4. 00
    The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay (carriehh)
  5. 00
    Small Blessings: A Novel by Martha Woodroof (Electablue)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 324 mentions

English (440)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (444)
Showing 1-5 of 440 (next | show all)
In some ways, this novel was like that film, The Red Violin: in this case Storied Life is about the bookstore and its evolution during the characters' lives. The storyline was very interesting and in the first-two thirds or so, I was loving the tale. Unfortunately, it became irritating because the main characters suffered from a too-shallow development. I wanted to have some depth to the people and a better sense of time passing. The reader needs enough specifics to fulfill that sense of being drawn into the story. While much of the novel is a very good narrative, there was just not enough significant detail to create well-rounded people.

The last few chapters were a disappointment: blindsiding the reader and poorly executed, with no finesse in drawing the story to a close. To end in such a dismissive style after building a narrative that successfully made the reader engage with the key characters overshadowed the good writing at the beginning. I do recommend the book as worth the read (hence 3½ stars) because there is an enchanting quality to the story despite the flaws. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Feb 17, 2019 |
I wasn't expecting anything from this book and I really loved it! It was hard to get into the book at first then I didn't want to stop. ( )
  StarKnits | Feb 6, 2019 |
Charming book about a bookseller who is on a downward spiral until a little girl comes into his life, along with a publisher's rep, and the local police chief. It is about lisa, love, finding yourself, and sharing your life experiences. ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
AJ Fikry is a single, middle aged book store owner on a small island called Alice Island. His wife died two years ago, and he spends his days holed up in his book store and his nights in his small apartment above the store. One day a woman named Amelia comes into his store to review some books that her publishing company is pushing that season. She is met with a very grumpy AJ who tells her that he is used to dealing with people who know what he likes and doesn't have time for her list.

AJ has a very old and valuable book that he keeps in a secure vault in his apartment. One night, while he is feeling particularly vulnerable, he takes it out when he is having a drink. He passes out and when he wakes up, he finds that the book has been stolen. Even though the police try to find it - the book is never located.

A few days later, a 2 year old girl is found crying, and alone, in his bookstore. She has been left with a note that her mother can no longer care for her, and she wanted her daughter, Maya, to grow up a reader. So she left the little girl in AJ's care. AJ has no idea why, and while the police are trying to find her mother, a body of a young woman washes up on the island. It is discovered that it is Maya's mother. AJ - even though he knows nothing about babies - decides he cannot let the little girl go, and decides to keep her.

The book then starts taking leaps in years, instead of months, with each chapter. Maya grows up. AJ meets a woman and gets married. His book store, still the center of his life, remains open and thriving, and he attributes that to having Maya come into his life when he was at his lowest.

Tragedy strikes, and soon AJ needs to make a choice for him and for his family. He wants to make the right decision to insure that his daughter and wife always have what they need.

This was a great, but very short, book. I really enjoyed it. There was a little humor, a little sweetness, and a little real life neatly wrapped up in under 300 pages. While each chapter jumped ahead years instead of days into the future, I didn't find that it took away from the story. I do find that some books can get overly wordy and detailed just to make them longer. But it often isn't needed. I didn't close the book wondering about anything and wishing I knew more about any one character. I think it was just the right amount of story.

I recommend checking out this book. There is a little bit of predictability, but not overly so. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
Hipster book. The main irony is that the main characters, who are very literary and love books, would not like this book either. Mr. Fikry has a very specific list of things he dislikes in his readings. This book combines most of them.

The only redeeming quality of this book is the list of short stories the chapters are based on. The author has good taste in books but she should not be writing them. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 440 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zevin, Gabrielleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Biekmann, LidwienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dompè, MaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Estúdio InsólitoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guitry, AuroreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
come on, sweetheart
let's adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me.
For my parents, who furnished my formative years with books, and for the boy who gave me The Stories of Vladimir Nabakov all those winters ago.
First words
On the ferry from Hyannis to Alice Island, Amelia Loman paints her nails yellow and, while waiting for them to dry, skims her predecessor's notes.
They had only ever discussed books but what, in this life, is more personal than books? (p. 18)
You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book? (p. 87)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

(3zsFunny, tender, and moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love.(3ys* 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. (3zsThis novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love--love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory.(3y s?Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child (3zsMarvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both.(3y s?The Washington Post (3zsYou won?t want it to end.(3y s?Family Circle (3zsA natural for book groups.(3y s?Richmond Times-Dispatch (3zsA reader?s paradise of the first order.(3y s?The Buffalo News (3zsA fun, page-turning delight.(3y s?Minneapolis Star Tribune (3zsCaptures the joy of connecting people and books . . . Irresistible.(3y s?Booklist (3zsA wonderful, moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation that will sing in your heart for a very, very long time.(3y s?Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain (3zsReaders who delighted in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Letters from Skye will be equally captivated by this novel.(3y s?*Library Journal, starred revie… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Gabrielle Zevin's book The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

LibraryThing Author

Gabrielle Zevin is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 2
2 38
2.5 27
3 255
3.5 128
4 623
4.5 128
5 401

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 132,532,507 books! | Top bar: Always visible