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
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.

Published: Chapel Hill, North Carolina :, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616203214
Branch Call Number: F ZEV
Characteristics: 260 pages ;,22 cm


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Mar 25, 2015

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.”

This is one of those books that someone says, “I couldn’t put it down”. I literally couldn’t book this book down. I started it in the morning and finished it that afternoon. I was drawn in from the start with the quirky characters and how their love for the written word shaped and directed their lives. Not all of the characters are lovable, but they are all an integral part of the story, including the authors and books that are mentioned throughout. Recommended by L.R., Medina Library, MCDL

Mar 17, 2015
  • Margush rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Anything that should make any book commercially attractive can be found in The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry - from theft of a highly valuable book to romance, a little bit of sex and love to an abandoned (and of course beautiful) child. I found the book to be pretty shallow, although it's well written. Unfortunately for me, it one of those books that you read on a plane and leave behind without giving it another thought. In fact, one of the characters - Amy - very much resembles Lou Clark from Me Before You. Lou is a very likable character wearing a selection of some weird outfits, while being smart, witty and insightful. Amy is like her twin sister. Therefore, I liked Amy. Because I loved Me Before You.

Mar 09, 2015
  • 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. Endearing and entertaining.

Mar 06, 2015

I'll have to checkout some of Zevin's other titles because this was great fun to read. I, too, fell for Fikry, along with the police chief, the little girl, the sister-in-law, the sales rep, and his departed wife (NOT a spoiler). AJ Fikry had quite a fixed idea of how his life was going to play out (somewhat like a book, not surprisingly), but as always, a twist happened. Maybe it was more than one twist, but I love good twists in stories, especially ones I don't see coming. AJ's notes to Maya suggest stories to which we all might do well to take a look (or second one) are placed at the beginning of each chapter and I found myself writing them down for my "to-read" list:) Sweet, but not saccharine, this book is well worth your time and a lovely way to while away the hours.

Mar 04, 2015
  • CAPoppy rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I thought this book was just ok - sweet story line but not a lot of character development or substance. The first half meandered along and only moderately engaged my interest. The story picked up in the 2nd half with a few unexpected twists and turns but also included a sad culminating event which was disappointing. This book is an easy read which can be finished in one day.

Feb 19, 2015
  • lumos586 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I absolutely loved this book. Fun, quick to read and yet it has a story and meaning. I have given this book as a gift and got some very good feedback.

Feb 14, 2015
  • karen9 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Awe! This is absolutely an adorable, sweet, sad story! A quick but definitely worthwhile read. I love the fact that all the main characters are huge book fans!

Jan 19, 2015
  • rockylynn rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

An easy and enjoyable book to read. The story is not predictable and keeps you turning the pages until complete.

Jan 14, 2015
  • apeters905 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is absolutely amazing. It is great for anyone who loves books, and has been or been without a beloved local bookstore.

Jan 12, 2015
  • brian_simard rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Fast read great story

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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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Jul 27, 2014

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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