The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Fikryby Gabrielle Zevin
5 of 5 stars

Merry Christmas! For my last review of the year, I read this book a second time. My grandfather recommended it to me last year and I read it and loved it! (If you know anything at all about the premise, I couldn’t imagine my grandpa recommending a more appropriate book). This is a story for book-lovers by a book-lover. If you want the feeling of sitting by a cozy fire while someone tells you a story, this is it.

A.J. Fikry is a persnickety, recently widowed bookstore owner on a small New England island. When his prized first edition of Tamerlane is stolen (Edgar Allan Poe’s first work – 50 copies produced) and his retirement is gone with it, A.J. is ready to give up on life. But then a baby girl is left in his store, and his friends convince him a fresh start is possible. We follow the rest of A.J’s life, Maya’s childhood in the bookstore, the books they recommend, the drama between the residents on the island. It’s filled with good jokes and reflective moments — and it’s also not very long. This is one of my favorite books! Anyone who loves reading will enjoy it.

As a fun bonus, the hardback’s cover is visible on the paperback version in the store window.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

It’s hard to find a comp title that strikes the tone of this book, but here are a few that tackle the subject of life not turning out the way you expected. In the spirit of the novel, read something else someone has personally recommended to you!

  • The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings – The emotional aftermath of a boating accident and family secrets set against the backdrop of Hawaii’s beauty. This is both sharp and humorous and the closest comp I can think of.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – More serious in tone but rich in details. The story of how a peasant girl from a fishing village is sold into the life of glamour and guile that is being a professional geisha in pre-WWII Japan.
  • Scribbling the Cat by Alexandra Fuller – Personal memoirs of a woman raised in Africa who kindles a friendship with a Rhodesian war veteran. They journey from Zambia to Mozambique meeting other veterans and reliving his past. A fascinating and heart-wrenching look into the struggle for survival on the war-torn continent.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Golem and the Jinni | To Live a Thousand Lives
  2. Trackback: Lily and the Octopus | To Live a Thousand Lives

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