Published by Algonquin Books on April 1, 2014
Genres/Lists: #30Authors, Fiction
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
If you love books and read one book this Fall, please, please, please let it be The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Not only is this book that celebrates books, it’s THE book for book lovers. Not only was it recommended by Patti Callahan Henry as part of #30Authors, it’s one of the rare books that I read in one sitting. If you’ve ever been surprised in life and yelled, “plot twist!” or think about the people in your life in terms of main and secondary characters, then you will definitely relate to A.J. Fikry.
In short, the book is a stunning tale of a bookstore owner navigating life after the untimely death of his wife. The long version is that it’s the story of a man who retreats into the safety of his books following his wife’s death, isolating himself from his friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Of course, A.J. lives in a small town, so when he locks himself in his apartment over the bookstore every night, people take notice. His sister-in-law frequently checks in to make sure he’s eating and cleaning and the former, non-reading cop becomes heavily invested in A.J.’s well-being. Following a robbery and the arrival of an unexpected package, A.J. slowly begins to emerge from his isolation and rejoins the world of the living, although he does so cautiously and somewhat reluctantly.
Clever, dazzling, and poignant, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is one of those rare books that resonates with the readers in ways that go beyond the storyline itself. The main character’s love, passion, and respect for the written word is an integral part of the story because it’s the background, the setting, and the reason for reading on. If you don’t believe me, check out these rave reviews from authors Patti Callahan Henry and Ariel Lawhon.
Recommended for: Readers who enjoy books about books.