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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle…
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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (2014)

by Gabrielle Zevin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,3434601,817 (3.99)335
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.
  1. 40
    The readers of Broken Wheel recommend by Katarina Bivald (Micheller7)
  2. 30
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (sturlington)
  3. 31
    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)
  4. 00
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: The Storied Life of AJ Frikry is based off of Silas Marner.
  5. 00
    The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay (carriehh)
  6. 00
    Small Blessings: A Novel by Martha Woodroof (Electablue)
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» See also 335 mentions

English (456)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (461)
Showing 1-5 of 456 (next | show all)
This book grabbed me right away and I didn't want to put it down. The characters are wonderful and well-drawn, and the story is a good one. Perhaps because of multiple characters' references to the proper way to end a book or perhaps because I enjoyed the beginning so much, my expectations were a little too high, and the last fifty pages were a bit disappointing. Overall, though, a solid read. ( )
  FooBoo732 | Jun 5, 2020 |
Thoroughly enjoyed the unique style of story-telling this story presents. The writing style blew me away at so many levels. I loved following the main character A.J.Fikry, who unlike many main characters is not perfect, infact is very far from perfect and so is his life. He runs a bookstore on a small town called Alice Island. We journey through his life from his very bad days, that progressively get interesting thanks to the many amazing this that happen in life. We not only grow with him through his age, but his character and personality.
Overall, I am glad to have read this book. Would totally recommend. ( )
  manogna_thumukunta | Jun 4, 2020 |
I absolutely loved this book. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something that’s overall happy and also not a horror or a young adult novel. I rarely rate 5 stars on books, but this one deserves them all. It’s definitely going in my “favorite standalone novels of all time” category, along with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Gabrielle Zevin is known for her young adult novels, but this one does not feel like that, thankfully. I had an issue with Stephanie Meyer’s The Host. which my library cataloged as “adult fiction” rather than “teen” and it really threw me off. The Storied Life is relatable and only further cements my desire to open a bookstore when I’m old. This book also deals with death and loss, but there is so much happiness in this book, that the loss seems right. Losing characters is hard, but this book makes it easy. I will definitely come back to this book again and again, especially if I’m having a bad day or week. Also, there are tons of other books mentioned in this novel, so if you’re looking for something to read after this (though I hope you will be as sad as I was when it’s over), you can certainly find something in here. ( )
  hexenlibrarian | May 19, 2020 |
Well, THAT was fun. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 18, 2020 |
There is not much to say about this book. I loved everything about it except the cover which looks like it was designed for a religious tract. The only explanation I can come up with for this dull cover is a misplaced sense of irony.

"The Storied Life Of A. J. Fikry" tells of how a bereaved bookstore owner's life is saved when a baby girl is left in his store. It is not the plot that matters, although it is artfully constructed and satisfyingly complete, but the emotional journey of the characters and how that journey is mediated by their shared experience of books.

Now that description makes the book sound as dull as its cover, which is to say that it gives a completely misleading impression of what it feels like to read this book.

It feels like coming home, like spending time with a good friend, like curling up on the sofa of an independent bookstore with a book you've fallen in love with from the first page. The book is packed with humour, mostly of the self-deprecating kind, and more than a little sadness, mostly of the "why do I read books that make me cry in public?" kind.

It's about love, reading books, friendship, talking about books, fatherhood, selling books, marriage, sharing books and about living a life where our feelings for the people we love are amplified and given voice by the books we read.

It runs a little towards the sentimental in a Jimmy Stewart in "Harvey" kind of way but in a self-aware way that gave me permission to relax and enjoy it.

The book is beautifully read by Scott Brick, who never puts a foot wrong. Click on the SoundCloud link below to listen to him read.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/175139421" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /] ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 456 (next | show all)
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» 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

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Epigraph
come on, sweetheart
let's adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me.
—Rumi
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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