The Storied Life Of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle ZevinThe Storied Life Of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life Of A. J. Fikry

byGabrielle Zevin

Paperback | December 2, 2014

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An irresistible novel about second chances and finding room for all the books—and all the love—that transforms our lives

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.

Gabrielle Zevin has published six adult and young-adult novels, including an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, Elsewhere. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. She is the screenwriter of Conversations with Other Women, for which she received an Independent Spirit Award nomination. She has ...
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Title:The Storied Life Of A. J. FikryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.23 × 5.31 × 0.73 inPublished:December 2, 2014Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143191276

ISBN - 13:9780143191278

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3.5 stars A book for book lovers. A slice of life story with characters that grow on you throughout the novel. An easy read with a somber tone.
Date published: 2018-03-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Entertaining Story take place in a small town, has some light twists, an easy read and was entertaining enough
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mediocre Mediocre and uninspired. The story was boring, predictable and unconvincing and I couldn't care less what happens to the characters in the end.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty charming story but a lot of death for my taste A colourful and interesting story but do this may people tragically die in one small space and time? A little morose. Killing people off when you're not sure how to resolve their dilemmas doesn't appeal to me.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "There ain't nobody in the world like book people" I absolutely loved this book! It perfectly told the story of a broken man aiming to fix his life and I absoultely adored the setting: a place where any book lover would feel perfectly comfortable. I think if you love books you'll love this story about a small town bookstore and it's grumpy owner.
Date published: 2015-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful story I bought this book based on the Chapters Staff Pick recommendations. I read a lot of different genres. Every now and then, I like a "feel good" book. This certainly fits that category. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2015-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Storied Life of A.J Fikry "There ain't nobody in the world like book people." This is a story that reminds me of all the reasons I love to read. And if you don't like to read, read this book and THEN tell me you don't like to read. Everything about this novel is so charming and quirky - it was instant love. I couldn't put it down and read it in 2 sittings. I loved A.J., my heart hurt for him and all the hardships that fell upon him. People aren't jerks because they want to be, it's a way of masking pain. And the journey A.J. went on to find true happiness was remarkable filled with humour along the way. There wasn't a character I didn't love and they all did what a good character is supposed to do - serve a purpose to the story. I originally rated this a 4 star and had to go back and give it 5 stars because its only once in awhile a book comes along that touches your soul, and those are the best books.
Date published: 2015-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4.5* It wasn't quite what I had expected but I loved it nonetheless. It was a quick read as I didn't want to put the book down!
Date published: 2015-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! What a beautiful, beautiful little book. I didn't want it to end. I didn't want to say goodbye to all of the characters that I grew so attached to.
Date published: 2015-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Thoroughly enjoyed this book - fascinating writing, with chapters organized by a book review at the beginning of each
Date published: 2015-01-19

Editorial Reviews

“Wonderful, thoughtful and touching…. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is … better than merely “worth reading”—it’s actually a treat, a small gem of a book…. [It] explores the depth of grief, yearning and heartbreak. There is a love story, yes, but it’s handled with a sensitivity and genuine clarity that is both surprising and refreshing…. It is a powerful novel.” - The Globe and Mail “A smart, sweet and surprising story about life, love and second chances.” - CBC Books“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 “A fun, page-turning delight…. Charming…. It’s about books and the power of stories. But it is not only for people who have spent time in creative writing workshops. Its strength is its very mainstream appeal. It is, at its most basic, a story about love and redemption with people and art. Much like Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, this book could easily become a dark-horse bestseller. It is, after all, quite charming.” - StarTribune (Minneapolis)“Funny, tender, and moving, it reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love.” - Library Journal (starred)“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 “Surprisingly expansive…. Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty, and her affection for the book business is obvious.” - Publishers Weekly “Sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining…. A likable literary love story about selling books and finding love.” - Kirkus Reviews“One of the supporting characters in The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry is a novelist who’s constantly disappointed that none of his later works are as popular and well received as his debut. If his plight is a reflection of Gabrielle Zevin’s own insecurities, she doesn’t need to worry. Her third outing for adults is her best yet.” - AV Bookclub“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, NYT Bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain“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, NYT Bestselling author of The Snow Child“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