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The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

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M 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 AJ 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 AJ'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 rapidl. This is def

review » PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free × Gabrielle Zevin

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 loveWe are not uite novelsWe are not uite short storiesIn the end we are collected worksA 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 fro. 5 We read t

Gabrielle Zevin × 5 Download

YAnd then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore It's a small package though large in weight an unexpected arrival that gives AJ 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 AJ 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 AJ's world Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see comin. 45 Stars

10 thoughts on “The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

  1. says:

    I’m starting to think I’m the only bibliophile on earth who didn’t care for this book After everything I’d read about it I didn’t think it could possibly fail to be fantastic For me though it tips way too far into chick lit and YA territory and succumbs too often and too early to schmaltz and melodramaNow there are certainly some good points AJ himself an independent bookseller and just coping widower is a delightfully irascible character with some decided literary prejudices that I can certainly affirm no series no genre mash ups no celebrity memoirs and – please dear God – no vampires Zevin’s literary references range from the classical to the contemporary and are bang on trend eg Alice Munro and David Foster WallaceI truly enjoyed the first two chapters with the uaint mystery of the stolen Poe first edition and as a believer in bibliotherapy I appreciated Zevin’s insistence on “the necessity of encountering stories at precisely the right time in our lives” I could even stomach the burgeoning romance between AJ and Amelia the uirky Knightley Press sales rep who takes the ferry out from Hyannis to visit Island Books “Her specialty is persnickety little bookstores and the particular breed that runs them” so it seems she’s found the perfect place Then comes Chapter 3 and its plot twist so coyly avoided by the jacket blurb but so central to the plot that I hardly think it’s worth calling it a spoiler view spoilerwidower AJ adopts Maya a little girl abandoned in the store’s children’s section by her mother a suicidal Harvard student Come on the baby on the doorstep – can you get any clichéd than that? Then as Maya grows into a young woman AJ and Amelia try to make the relationship between a New York City working girl and a small town entrepreneur work hide spoiler

  2. says:

    5 We read to know we're not alone We read because we are alone We read and we are not alone We are not aloneOnce in a while a book comes along that captures your heart and soul where the characters become like friends and family and a part of you wants to pack a bag and travel to that magical place forever At the start you just know it is going to be something special by the end you feel physical pain knowing that these people are gone from your lifeOne day you may pick it back up to read again but you know it will never be the same as that first experience THE STORIED LIFE OF AJ FIKRY made me smile laugh out loud cry uncontrollablyand my grinchy heart might have even grown three sizes 39 year old AJ Fikry is the owner of a failing bookstore Island Books on Alice Island it should be successful being the only bookstore in the area and because of AJ's passion for booksbut AJ doesn't like people very much His wife Nic was the people person the one that kept the bookstore running the love of his life and now she is dead killed in a car accident a year and a half agoFor the last year and a half AJ has been barely getting by he drinks too much lives on frozen dinners has stopped exercising pushes people away and is even grumpy to his staff and customersbut at least he has a plan Sell the bookstore and auction off his copy of Tamerlane An extremely rare collection of poems by Edgar Allan Poe worth 400 thousand dollars Then he can retire But fate steps in and throws another gut wrenching blow at Mr Fikry when the uninsured Tamerlane is stolen right out of his home during a night of binge drinking It is the first wake up call AJ gets The second is only weeks awayI will leave my review right there because I think part of loving this book came from knowing practically nothing about it It was full of so many little and BIG surprises along the way and I am soooooo glad I went against my first instinct of passing this one by THE STORIED LIFE OF AJ FIKRY is a story of love loss and second chances I cannot recommend this one enoughI won an advanced reader's copy from First Reads

  3. says:

    Every word the right one and exactly where it should be That's basically the highest compliment I can give and I am truly glad that it didn't took me so long to read it The words you can't find you borrow Maybe I could find the words but honestly that first uote from this wonderful book was the right way to compliment it And to do that well I uote a second one too And you will find several uotes in this review since honestly this is one of the most uotable novels that I ever read And believe it or not they won't be all the uotes that I loved hereI LOVE THIS BOOK AND IT'S ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS THAT I EVER READAnd that it isn't a uote That's my honest thinking about itI have read several positive reviews about the novel and I was expecting a good book but I never expected that it will be SOOOOOO good and a truly wonderful reading experienceThis is a book about books I mean this story is about novels novellas short stories readers writers bookstores so indeed I think that this a must read to every person with passion for reading and love for booksThe style of the novel is uite particular since it's without a uestion a novel per se but each chapter is constructed as a kinda self contained short story but all of them are one big storyline And a priceless detail is that each chapter is titled for some famous short story written by some other author in the past and that it's related in some way to something on the chapterA good book has characters with evolution and due that this is an exceptional book Since the evolution of each character is truly remarkable and taking unsuspected paths but all of them interconnected in such wonderful way Even characters that you don't expect much at first they will surprise you totally A place isn't a place until it has a bookstore I love Alice Island I didn't want to reseach if Alice Island was a real place or not until finishing the book and the author explained that it was an invented place Maybe it will sound odd but I love that it is a fictional place Since from the beginning I was playing the idea of that the place got its name from the Alice from Wonderland that it's one of my favorite fairy tales and while that wasn't confirmed on the novel there was a reference to the tale so there is hope the necessity of encountering stories at precisely the right time in our lives Definitely I want to believe that about this wonderful book while it was published until this year 2014 so I wouldn't be able to read it before still it was the right time for me since it would be very likely that even two years ago I wouldn't be able to appreciate it in the same way the things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the same things we will respond to at forty and vice versa This is true in books and also in life Definitely we aren't the same people twice each year we change for better or worse and that's why that you also never read the same book twice maybe the first time you hate it and twenty years later you got amazed for the same novel Experiences in life define how we perceive the following things on it forcing kids to read books like that that make them think they hate reading Never force a book to a kid even if you think that you are doing them a favor That's why usually kids and even teenagers hate to read the assigned books in schools Let them find their genres let them find their kind of books Everybody is a reader only some of them are still looking for the right book the easiest way to get old is to be technologically behind Don't fight between paper books and e readers I love my printed books but now I am used to read several stuff on my tablet For me the important thing is to read not matter in which way but to read Any book in any way Just read Most people's problems would be solved if they would only give things a chance So let's give it a chance to this novel Maybe your problem won't be solved reading this book but certainly it will put your soul at peace and with that being able to find a solution PS I am accountant but luckily the book that impacted me most in my life wasn't Principles of Accounting Part II Not even close Hahaha PPS Siberian huskies in Arizona? Only me found that odd? Hehehe PPPS The old kind cops rule 'Nuff said

  4. says:

    There ain't nobody in the world like book people It's a bit embarrassing to admit how emotional this book made me I'm not even a fan of Zevin's work; I uite liked the concept behind Elsewhere but not the execution and I pretty much hated All These Things I've Done But this book is just so warm and funny and bittersweet It speaks to the thing inside me that has always loved books will always love books and has allowed my life to be swept in certain directions by my love for literatureAJ Fikry is one of my favourite kinds of characters he's cynical and grumpy but simultaneously witty clever funny and lovable This is essentially the tale of his life after the death of his beloved wife He must somehow pick up the pieces of his world and continue managing his bookstore while all he really wants to do is drink away his problemsOne day AJ receives an unexpected package that is guaranteed to completely change his life Like many great books his life twists in a strange new direction introducing him to new people and new ways of thinking He soon begins to realise that he still has many things worth living forWoven with allusions to many works of literature especially short stories this novel should resonate with many book lovers Those of us who have been truly affected influenced changed or dare I be so melodramatic even saved by them I don't know if Zevin intended to make a point about the death of the bookstore and physical books in favour of ereaders but I found myself feeling a little melancholy as time went by and people stopped buying physical books Though ultimately relieved as I realised how important bookstores and paper books still are to many peopleWhether this book is for you or not I cannot say It is both funny and serious happy and sad light and dark but I wouldn't have it any other way

  5. says:

    This is definitely a new favorite of mine Such an incredibly charming story

  6. says:

    A town isn't a town without a bookstorewhile it's true that this is the literary euivalent of a stone skipped over a pond it's a pretty damn charming stone reading about other booknerds even when they are better described as bookcranks is delightful to me A Novel Bookstore Salamander Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore etc are among my favorite books are they the best books ever written? nah but they have characters whose sensibilities are so close to my own it's hard not to feel a little heartswell when you encounter them because if you're on goodreads at all you know that books matter whether you read the kinds of vampire books that fikry laments or the serious tomes he applauds although considering he esteems The Book Thief hasn't finished proust's ISOLT and dismisses Infinite Jest i'm taking his purported book snobbery with a grain of salt you know the power of a good story even when it's just a sweet little piece of light escapismthis is a love letter to booklovers about the power of the written word to bring people together whether the relationships be romantic parental or book clubbyseveral of these relationships involve the titular aj fikry; a bookstore owner and widower living on a small island somewhere new england y who finds himself entrusted with the care of a two year old named maya after she is abandoned in his bookstore he's already old man curmudgeonly although still in his thirties but finds the raising of maya and instilling in her his own love of books to be one of those rewarding experiences that enriches one's life and is all sorts of inspirational although he expresses it differently Fucking love he thinks What a bother It's completely gotten in the way of his plan to drink himself to death to drive his business to ruin The most annoying thing about it is that once a person gives a shit about one thing he finds he has to start giving a shit about everythingand give a shit he does as his love for maya allows him to nurture other feelings including reluctantly acknowledged romantic ones for a vibrant book loving woman with her own relationship baggage in a comment that sounds like something ripped right out of Madame Bovary Her mother likes to say that novels have ruined Amelia for real menthankfully for fikry this is not true because he is indeed a real flawed man but he's also the kind of man whose first date chatter involves In what restaurant based on a novel would you have preferred to dine?so he's got some good points so it's a romance and a sort of cozy mystery although the theft of his copy of Tamerlane Poem is not important to the story until it is and one of those cheeky feel good smalltown books in which suicides both occur and are contemplated and people die and there are miscarriages and infidelity but it's all glossed over in the same way as those other pesky realities like how an abandoned child scenario would really be handled because noso despite the supremely precocious maya and the novel's relentlessly cheerful tone both of which i would ordinarily find irritating i enjoyed the bookyness of it than i was irritated by its greeting card outlook all the discussions about the perils of e books and chain bookstores the only thing worse than a world with big chain bookstores was a world with NO big chain bookstoresthe methods of publishing reps the assessment that blurbs are the blood diamonds of publishing nerd as a term of endearment all the meta stuff at the beginning if this were a book it's all stuff from my world so it's easy to love it's a very uick read about bookfolk that may not be the most cerebral thing on the shelves but it's hard not to get caught up in its genuine enthusiasm and start nodding along nerdily at certain momentsit's summer enjoy yourself my answer James and the Giant Peach with giant animatronic bugs slightly scarier than the ones on the film and a menu includingbaked peaches with ricotta and honeychicken with peach chutneypeach cobblerpeach crisppeach and pancetta pizzapeach souppeanut butter and bacon burger with peach chutneysalmon and peachesnow if you will excuse me all those peaches have made me feel daringcome to my blog

  7. says:

    45 Stars — because how can any bonafide book nerd not adore this uirky and heartfelt tribute to literatureI don’t know about you but I could dwell inside the richly entertaining mind of one AJ Fickry forever Or at least every other weekend Because that’s exactly what this novel simulates a casual stroll through the mind of a complex yet vastly simple middle aged widower whose outlook on life has deflated Life has knocked him down as it tends to do and AJ finds comfort in the cold embrace of pessimism and gloomAnd of course in his ownership of the town’s one and only bookstoreBut a mysterious “package” popping up in his store will spark a powerful change in AJ and even the townspeople who typically view him as a grouchy ol’ book snob will take notice The heart of this story explores the process of grief and the regaining of hope—but in a very gentle manner The tragedies although deep are not pronounced within its writing This plot mimics life in the way that it keeps moving forward And despite the fact that its reader will likely be moved to tears the next chapter follows bringing with it the inevitable “new day” whether you’re ready for it or not Along with the side effects of heartache this author infuses generous amounts humor a wholesome romance and a sprinkle of mystery within these pages AJ’s selective taste for uality literature is endearing and his judgments of the rest of the book world—comical I loved the various references to classics and how each chapter begins with the mention of one—AJ’s uniue perspective included He often views the people in his world as characters in a book predicting their next move based off his astute knowledge of fictional being behavior The I think about it the this book just seems so incredibly simple yet has hit me with such surprising force that I can still feel it buzzing I’ve claimed times than I can count how I’ll “never forget” a book But time passes and only a select few truly stand out I think this will be one of those few Just some of my favorite AJ uotes ”What a stupid melodramatic thing for her to do What a goddamn Danielle Steel move Nic If this were a novel I’d stop reading right now I’d throw it across the room”“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the uestion what is your favorite book?”“Someday you may think of marrying Pick someone who thinks you're the only person in the room”“We read to know we’re not alone We read because we are alone We read and we are not alone We are not alone Shout out to Crumb whose enthusiastic review of this one made me rush to purchase on

  8. says:

    What can I say?This novel was the ruination of me and I couldn't be happier Sometimes when i love a book to pieces it is easy to write a review and sometimes it is difficult For this novel the latter is true I lack the adeuate language needed to evoke the emotion that The Storied Life of AJ Fikry stirred within me You can't help but fall in love with the curmudgeon bookseller AJ I don't know if I've ever loved a character than him Although the plot was simplistic the subtleties and intricacies of the characterization were not Gabrielle Zevin used nuanced language to describe the character relationships She is a masterful storyteller and is not just a writer she is an artist She blew life into her characters and made them come alive on the pages If you consider yourself a book loverI dare you not to fall in love with this book

  9. says:

    Well shit this was goodIf you're looking for a fun summer read a book that will make you laugh and cry grab this oneJust wish there wasn't a spoiler for The Awakening

  10. says:

    This is the most precious adorable cutesy wootsey bunch of tripe I have ever read in my life How is this book so popular? It's cliché after cliché after cliché ad nauseam UghA grumpy grumpy bookseller who is a widower leads a sad and lonely Scrooge like life until a chubby perfect articulate beautiful baby is left in his book shop and teaches him to love and live again Excuse me while I go vomit in the corner Then to top it all off view spoilerhe gets brain cancer and his loving new wife and adopted daughter sob and watch their loved one pass away while he babbles about stuff like Life is only about love and crap like that hide spoiler