Book of the Week

stacey_mbAugust 14, 2014

The storied life of A.J. Fikry : a novel / Gabrielle Zevin.

A New York Times Bestseller, a #1 Indie Next Pick, and a #1 LibraryReads Selection

I loved this very charming novel about books. A bookseller, A.J. Fikry, is trying to keep his business afloat in a world seemingly disinterested in print. He's in a real slump, particularly since his wife passed away, but then there is an unexpected arrival and his world changes.

Each chapter in the novel begins with a short book review written by A.J. and there is lots of mention of books throughout. I liked the island setting of the book, and the believable and sometimes mildly eccentric characters add lively elements to the plot.

A portion of American Library Association's Booklist review: "In this sweet, uplifting homage to bookstores, Zevin perfectly captures the joy of connecting people and books. A. J. Fikry, the cantankerous owner of Island Books, is despondent after losing his beloved wife and witnessing the ever-declining number of sales at his small, quirky bookstore. Filled with interesting characters, a deep knowledge of bookselling, wonderful critiques of classic titles, and very funny depictions of book clubs and author events, this will prove irresistible to book lovers everywhere."

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Shelgal

I read this book several weeks ago, and liked it very much, but I think of it as a fairy tale for adults. Almost everyone in the book gets to live happily ever after, which is not very true to life, and some of the events seem very improbable to me, yet it's a very enjoyable read.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:53AM
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stacey_mb

Thank you for your comments, Shelgal. I agree, this is a "feel good" book where situations resolve quite nicely, unlike what happens in real life. That's one of the things that I like about reading, there is an infinite variety of books out there to experience, from "fairy tales" to hyper-realistic. I enjoy reading many types of books although I stay away from those that focus on gore or violence or have other distressing situations. I appreciated that the writer of the last book I reviewed, Andersonville, made his point about the horrific conditions in the prison camp without being "over the top" as I'm sure he could easily have done.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:29PM
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carol_in_california

I look forward to your book reviews.
Thanks for taking the time to post them.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:25PM
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carol_in_california

Duplicate. Sorry.

This post was edited by carol_in_california on Fri, Aug 15, 14 at 11:22

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:45PM
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Georgysmom

Just ordered it from Amazon based on your recommendation. Hope I like it. LOL

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 7:52AM
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stacey_mb

I appreciate your posts, Carol and Georgysmom. You're very welcome, Carol, and Georgysmom - I hope you like the book too!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Georgysmom

Can you believe, the books arrived today! Along with The Storied Life, I ordered All the Light We cannot See. Will give you an opinion when I finish reading them.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 3:30PM
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stacey_mb

Wow, that's great service, Georgysmom! Yes, please share your opinions of the books.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 6:31PM
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sudiepav

I ordered this for my iPad from the library. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks, Stacey!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:01PM
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stacey_mb

You're welcome, Sudiepav. I love using the library for electronic and audiobooks too. Our library has Hoopla that enables customers to search for and download movies, audiobooks and music. So I'm planning to watch the Ken Burns series on the Civil War, an interest since reading Andersonville that I reviewed last week.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 9:37PM
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sudiepav

I just finished this book...thanks so much for recommending it. I thoroughly enjoyed the bookstore setting, the island setting, the characters and their growth and development. I really liked the references to so many books I've loved from The Monster at the End of this Book to A Good Man is Hard To Find. I think AJ is so right when he says you can tell a lot about a person by learning what his favorite books are. I particularly liked the development of the police chief who went from being practically a non-reader, having been told by a teacher that he was "slow", to being an avid reader and the head of a book group.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 1:10PM
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stacey_mb

sudiepav - You're very welcome, and thank you for your comments about this book. Nice to hear from another fan of the novel!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 1:44PM
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jennava19

Just reserved the Ebook from my library. Thank you for the recommendation, I look forward to your reviews.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 2:26PM
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stacey_mb

You're welcome, Jenna, I hope you enjoy it!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 2:32PM
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