The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

3.98 (156,411 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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

"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
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 137 x 206 x 18mm | 227g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1616204516
  • 9781616204518
  • 48,151

Review quote

"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
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Rating details

156,411 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 31% (48,660)
4 43% (67,968)
3 20% (30,740)
2 4% (6,250)
1 2% (2,793)

Our customer reviews

The Collected Works of A.J.Fikry (aka The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry) is the fifth stand-alone novel by American author, Gabrielle Zevin. Alice Island, a New England summer destination requiring bus and ferry travel, boasts a main street book store. Island Books is owned by recent widower, A.J.Fikry, an opinionated, often cranky man in his late thirties with a (self-described) porcupine heart. Since the unfortunate accidental death of his beloved wife, his plan has been to drink himself to death and drive his business to ruin. This plan is derailed by three occurrences: thirty-six-year-old sales representative for Knightley Press, Amelia Loman makes her first visit to Island Books to present the publisher's Winter List (and is treated rather shabbily by A.J.); A.J.'s escape valve, a rare and valuable edition of Tamerlane, a collection of poems by Edgar Allan Poe, is stolen; and a bright two-year-old girl named Maya is left in his bookstore. Against all odds, A.J. finds himself (with frequent help from Google and occasional input from the Island's residents) bringing up a young girl. Zevin has given the reader characters who are appealing despite their flaws, or perhaps because of them. The story has an element of mystery and the plot has a few unexpected twists. Each chapter is prefaced with a paragraph of A.J.'s comments for Maya about a certain literary work: advice for writing and advice for life. It contains many words of wisdom, making it, as others have said, a very quotable book: "Sometimes books don't find us until the right time" and "We are not quite novels. We are not quite short stories. In the end, we are collected works" will resonate with many readers. This book is filled with lightness and dark, with laugh-out-loud moments and lines that will have the most cynical reader choking up. It is a book for anyone who loves to read or loves book stores, and lovers of fine literature will be especially captivated. This delightful read is one of those books that is almost impossible to put down and most readers will be sorry to reach the end. A keeper.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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