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The storied life of A.J. Fikry : a novel
2014
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
A. J. Fikry (Male), Bookstore owner, Widower, Cantankerous, Recently lost his wife; his bookstore sales are horrible; his prized posession, a rare edition of Poe poems, has been stolen; someone leaves a baby at his store
Genre
Fiction
Romance
Literary
Humor
Topics
Book collecting
Booksellers
Books and reading
Theft
Rare books
Widowers
Abandoned infants
Life changes
Second chances
Transformations
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

A.J. Fikry's life is falling apart. His wife has died, his most valuable possession has been stolen, and his business-Alice Island's only bookstore, Island Books-is failing. Enter Maya, an orphan mysteriously left in his bookstore, who reconnects him to life and love. This book is set in a small community that is lovingly depicted and filled with charmingly quirky characters. Scott Brick's voice will be familiar to all but the most newbie audiobook listeners; he does an excellent job here. VERDICT Prepare to be enchanted by this work; bibliophiles and book industry people will especially love it. ["Funny, tender, and moving, it reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love," read the starred review of the Algonquin hc, LJ 2/1/14. See also "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/14, p. 25.]-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Bookstore owner A.J. Fikry is a bitter curmudgeon, but, as we soon learn, his sour attitude masks deep sadness and loneliness about the death of his wife. The mysterious arrival of a baby girl in A.J.'s shop with a note asking him to care for her brings about events that open his heart to love, hope, and life. Brick's empathetic narration captures A.J. perfectly in all his cantankerous and tender moods, and particularly when he rhapsodizes over books, in which he finds not only comfort and enjoyment, but a lens through which to interpret life. Brick voices A.J. in a way that sounds entirely natural-for example, when A.J. is trying to work something out, Brick speaks slowly, as though searching for the right words to express his thoughts, and then sounds startled and triumphant as A.J. has a realization. His warm, compassionate, thoughtful reading will draw listeners in throughout this gentle, sweetly satisfying tale. An Algonquin hardcover. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p> A New York Times Bestseller, a #1 Indie Next Pick, and a #1 LibraryReads Selection<br> <br> "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 <br> <br> 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. <br> <br> 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.<br> <br> "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<br> <br> "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 <br> <br> "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 <br> <br> "Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty." -- Publishers Weekly <br> <br> "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 <br> </p>
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