Published by Algonquin Books on April 1st 2014
Genres: Fiction, Family Life, Literary
Buy on Amazon
“Funny, tender, and moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love.”*
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 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.” —Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child
“Marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both.” —The Washington Post
“You won’t want it to end.” —Family Circle
“A natural for book groups.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A reader’s paradise of the first order.” —The Buffalo News
“A fun, page-turning delight.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Captures the joy of connecting people and books . . . Irresistible.” —Booklist
“A wonderful, moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation that will sing in your heart for a very, very long time.” —Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
“Readers 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.” —*Library Journal, starred review
I picked this one out because it had so many good recommendations on Amazon and this is about the owner of a bookstore. The first reason would normally deter me from actually purchasing the book but the fact that it was about a bookstore owner made me consider it. Plus, it’s less than 300 pages and so I figured it would be a quick read. Needless to say, I gobbled up the first quarter of the book in an hour sitting.
The synopsis was well crafted that it didn’t give away a big part of the story so I was a little surprised by how the story changes from how it started. I love that the author has mini book reviews, written by the main character, in-between chapters. Actually, there are no defined chapters at all. A book review is what indicates that a “chapter” has ended and a new one is starting.
The story is sad and lovely at the same time. At times depressing and yet it has part that are inspiring. And most of all it is beautifully written. It spans over many years. The characters are well developed and I love that so many book recommendations are dropped in this one. I think this is definitely the most book recommendations I have gotten from a book; ever.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is definitely different from what I normally read. It’s just a contemporary literary fiction, none of the usual fantasy, mystery or science fiction stuff that I normally go for. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from it since I don’t normally love Amazon’s popular books, especially after my Gone Girl fiasco. But it turned out to be a great find and I’m glad I decided to read this one.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was a quick read, heart-warming, moving and inspiring story. Due to some adult wording / situations I wouldn’t recommend to all ages but definitely a cognitively mature teenager to practically any age over that, would enjoy this one; especially if they love books.