The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

3.99 (192,519 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Don't miss Gabrielle Zevin's new novel, Young Jane Young, coming in August 2017.

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

"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

A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.

Gabrielle Zevin's enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

"Readers who delighted in Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Jessica Brockmole's Letters from Skye will be equally captivated by this adult novel by a popular YA author about a life of books, redemption, and second chances. Funny, tender, and moving." --Library Journal, starred review

"Wade into summer reading with this sweet yet soulful tale of love, loss, the power of friendship--and books. Like sunshine on a breezy spring day, you won't want it to end." --Family Circle

"Zevin perfectly captures the joy of connecting people and books . . . 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." --Booklist

"Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty." --Publishers Weekly

"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
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Product details

  • Hardback | 260 pages
  • 150 x 208 x 30mm | 431g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1616203218
  • 9781616203214
  • 116,444

Flap copy

We are not quite novels.We are not quite short stories.In the end, we are collected works.A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island--from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J. s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It s a small package, though large in weight--an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J. s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn t see coming.As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love."
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Back cover copy

A faded sign hangs above the porch of the Victorian cottage that is home to Island Books. It bears the adage

"NO MAN IS AN ISLAND; EVERY BOOK IS A WORLD."

A. J. Fikry, the bookstore's irascible owner, is about to discover what that means.

"The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us of what saves us all from a life of loneliness and isolation: our sense of empathy; our ability to love and be loved; our willingness to care and be cared for." --Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

"A breezy, big-hearted treat, especially if you've ever wondered about the inner workings of America's national treasures--neighborhood bookstores." --Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins

"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
show more

Review quote

"Zevin has done something old-fashioned and fairly rare these days. She has written an entertaining novel, modest in its scope, engaging and funny without being cloying or sentimental. On top of all that, it is marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both." --The Washington Post

"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

"[A] jaunty little novel." --Entertainment Weekly

"Wade into summer reading with this sweet yet soulful tale of love, loss, the power of friendship--and books. Like sunshine on a breezy spring day, you won't want it to end." --Family Circle

"The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry reminds us what saves us all from a life of loneliness and isolation: our sense of empathy; our ability to love and be loved; our willingness to care and be cared for. Gabrielle Zevin has written 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 Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Jessica Brockmole's Letters from Skye will be equally captivated by this adult novel by a popular YA author about a life of books, redemption, and second chances. Funny, tender, and moving, it reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love." --Library Journal, starred review

"A beautiful story about getting a second chance at love. A-" --The A. V. Club

"The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is a breezy, big-hearted treat, especially if you've ever wondered about the inner workings of America's national treasures--neighborhood bookstores." --Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins

"In this sweet, uplifting homage to bookstores, Zevin perfectly captures the joy of connecting people and books . . . 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." --Booklist
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Rating details

192,519 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 31% (60,278)
4 44% (83,964)
3 20% (37,621)
2 4% (7,492)
1 2% (3,164)

Our customer reviews

I adored this book. It was one of the best I'd read in ages. Putting it down was a chore (I apologize for the angry looks I gave to anyone who forced me to take a brief intermission!) Were there things I did not like about this story? Certainly. No book is perfect, but I do not want to focus on those things. I want you to discover what you love and what you dislike about this book on your own. What I will say, though, is that this book is for readers. It is an absolutely beautiful tale that will touch the heart of anyone who has a heart for reading (And I have a sneaking suspicion that if you took the time to read this review you are one of those people?) Give it a try and if you do not enjoy it within the first few pages it put it down and pick it back up when the time is right. Like all good books, timing is everything :)show more
by India C Winslow
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