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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel by…

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Gabrielle Zevin (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5804132,103 (3.99)309
Title:The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel
Authors:Gabrielle Zevin (Author)
Info:Algonquin Books (2014), Edition: 1st Edition, 288 pages

Work details

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

  1. 40
    The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (Micheller7)
  2. 20
    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)

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» See also 309 mentions

English (423)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (427)
Showing 1-5 of 423 (next | show all)
This is just a wonderful book. So wonderful I briefly imagined sending the author flowers and chocolate in thanks for it.

A.J. Fikry is a grieving widower, owner of Island Books, the bookstore he founded with his wife Nicole. Nicole died in a car accident about an year and a half ago, and A.J. has quietly drinking himself into oblivion. He's just thirty-nine, and it seems he and his bookstore are spiraling down.

And then one more blow comes that may be too much: his one truly valuable rare book, a book he has no love for but thinks of as his retirement plan, is stolen in embarrassing circumstances.

Not long after, he investigates a sound from the bookstore when it's closed, and finds a toddler, with a note from the mother saying she can't care for her daughter and wants her to grow up among books.

A.J. and the little girl, Maya, Nicole's sister Ismay and her husband Daniel, the Knightly Press book rep Amelia Loman, and the local police chief begin to form an improvised family that changes all their lives, but especially A.J.'s and Maya's, and the future of the previously struggling bookstore. It's a family bound together by love of books and literature, and concern and support initially for Maya, and eventually for each other. They read, they talk books, they form book groups, and they cope with all the challenges of life.

The mystery of Maya's mother and why she left Maya in A.J.'s bookstore, runs through the book and is eventually resolved, but it's only a piece of the book, not its point. This is a book about a community of book people, who have room in their lives for the different and the unusual, and for each other's unexpected needs.

Highly recommended.

I bought this book. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
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. An inspiring, somewhat small tale that is of particular interest to someone who works with and loves to be around books. A very pleasant, short read! ( )
  levren | Sep 3, 2018 |
While it took me a little bit to get into this book I'm glad I stuck with it. The story, while fairly predictable all the way through, was still heart-warming. It's especially attractive if you're a booklover. ( )
  JulesDashwood | Aug 29, 2018 |
Loved this book! It's rare when I wish a book were longer but I wish this one was. Laughed a lot and really enjoyed, even with the semi-sad ending. ( )
  Catsysta | Aug 5, 2018 |
I agonized all afternoon what to score this. On the one hand, I loved the charm, the love for books, and the touching characters. However, I did think the characters were breezed over and sometimes trite. The prose flows quickly and easily yet sometimes feel juveniles. Yet I loved it. So 4 stars it is. It's light, it's easy to read yet you can laugh and cry. Perfect for summer, the beach, or by the fireplace at the ski lodge. Enjoy! ( )
  jpnygard | Aug 2, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 423 (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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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.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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(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)

(summary from another edition)

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