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  • The Storied Life Of A. J. Fikry

Algonquin Books

The Storied Life Of A. J. Fikry

Algonquin Books

The Storied Life Of A. J. Fikry

£48.00 £28.80 Save: (40.0%)
£28.80 £48 Save £19.20 (40.0%)
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Product Description Product Description
  • The Storied Life of A J Fikry
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Customer Reviews

It is such a lovely little bookFirst let me say-this is not your normal review. I started doing the treadmill. And it was really long and tedious. Then I started listening to music and that helped a bit. Then one day I took my kindle and reading while I was working on the treadmill made the time go by faster. I was looking for a book to read-and stumbled on to the Storied Life of AJ FIkry. Let me say, this isn't one of those blockbusters, or torrid romances, or brainless memoirs. Thank goodness. This is such a great little book. I limit myself to reading it while I am working on the treadmill-and I find myself looking forward to each morning when I can read a little more of this lovely book. The time on the treadmill passes by so quickly, I am sad when I have to put in the bookmark and wait till next morning to visit my friends at the bookstore. I am not finished yet, but I know I will be sad when I am. It is a lovely book. The characters are real and they make you smile and sometimes even chuckle. Kudos to Ms. Zevin5A slow but emotional lifterI was pleasantly surprised by many turns in this novel. I actually didn't have any idea what the book was about when I started reading - and, at this point - having finished, I think I know what it's about but I'm unsure that I could really describe the "type" of book to anyone who asked. There's a line that stands out (not a direct quote) that says something like - each book hits you in a different way depending upon where you are in life when you read it. This book, although different from my life, still affected me emotionally... yet, not like it did my friend who recommended it. She was in tears at the end of the book. I did feel sad, but she has children and I do not. Maybe, because I am at a little different spot in life than she is, that is why the book was a little different for each of us. Still, it was an interesting read.4Thoroughly entertaining!This is a love story: love between adults, love of a child, and love of books, not at all the type of book I generally read. I LOVED it! A.J. has been rather a curmudgeon since his wife died. He runs a small bookstore on a small island. When a child is abandoned in his store, he first fosters then adopts her. She becomes a reader, and books are integral to the plot. Add in a publishing house representative, a sister-in-law married to a writer, a cop who isn't a reader (yet), and several other rolks (including an alcoholic actor who impersonates a beloved author) and you have a story that will make you giggle, make you cry a bit, and thoroughly entertain you from beginning to end. I cannot give a higher recommendation.5Good premise, poor delivery, cardboard caricaturesI love books about bookstores. I like quirky characters. I like a good premise. This book had all these but I didn t come away with any great fondness for the writing style or the characters. It didn t ring true. It was choppy. It did not evoke any feelings of sentimentality or sadness because these were cardboard characters. Maya, as a child, children do not speak that way. The slow pace of the courtship I almost just gave up. These are thirtysomethings acting like junior high kids. The cop story line was totally unbelievable too. Sorry, it had so much promise but ultimately let me down.2I loved the idea of this bookI loved the idea of this book. I was intrigued by several of the characters. But I did not care for the writing. I found it simplistic. And the present time frame didn't appeal to me. I had to read this for a book club. I knew I had read the first chapter or so, and I waited until the last moment to finish it. Or maybe I didn't. I found myself recognizing the plot as I hurried through the book. I had actually read the book, and then totally forgotten it. Not the sign of a great book. In my opinion, this book has been "dumbed down."2Certainly differentI am torn between liking this book and thinking it's a quirky mess. The good and bad things that happen are abrupt. There isn't much leading up to and no emotional after effects of the life and story changing events. At the same time I like the quirkiness of the characters and the story. I can imagine going to the book store and loving it. I think the characters critiquing of the books and bookstore itself are the main characters because that's what I loved and felt warm in my heart about. I did have a fondness for A. J. It was a pleasant read although I could have put it down at anytime and probably forgotten it. I think this book will be different things to different people. If anything I said made sense and helped you decide I'm glad but I think you have to read it for yourself to form an opinion..3A Wonderful, Insightful, and Compassionate Multi-leveled StoryI tremendously enjoyed this deceptively simple-seeming story. I found it full of wisdom and human insight. Yes, it tells the life of independent bookseller A. J. Vikry, and it does so with warmth and compassion. We learn of his triumphs, his foibles, and his tragedies, and I think the author would make most readers share each of these with him--whether he is co-raising a child with his co-parent Google or finally summoning the nerve to propose to his love.But there is even more to this book than this, although "this" would have been enough for me. Another reviewer commented on Vikry's observation that people respond differently to different kinds of literature at different stages of their lives. Vikry says that he used to prefer full-length books but now most enjoys the short story, and I think this statement is key to another aspect of this work. Vikry's life parallels that of the modern history of the independent bookstore. As he becomes ill, so too are "big box" companies replacing the small bookstore everywhere. The people of the island are proud of the prominent place the bookstore occupies on the main street. They see it as proof of the intellectual life of the island. Yes, it sells books, but it is also a communal meeting place and the location of ten different Reading Groups. Yet how many of these small bookstores still survive? Vikry dies before his time; his full-length narrative becomes a short story, and the bookstore almost dies with him. And what will become of it when the older, childless couple who finally do take it on are no longer able to run it? If this book is a eulogy for A. J. Vikry, it is also one for the local bookstore--a dying place that many of us mourn as we do A.J.5Buy This Book Now!!!! - - - Love A. J. Fikry and Bookstores!!!!!On my of my road trip, I picked this book up because it had a story about a bookstore owner, which I hope one day to become. Never heard of the author, but I will always give a author and book a try. There is only a few words to say about this book -I LOVE IT!!! I LOVE I!!!! and I LOVE IT!!!! moreA. J. Fikry is a lonely (his wife died two years earlier), snappish and cantankerous bookstore owner of Island Books in Alice Island. Sales has hit a slump and one of the most expensive book in his store, Tamerlane by Edgar Allan Poe, has been stolen. He has given up on the store, the people in the small community and the love of the books in his store and his heart. His books are how he has lived his life. His life experiences, relationships with bookstores, books and, in some cases if he really likes their work, authors, is really what I'm sorta made of. A life where when you read a book, you either lived it or what to live it. You talk, walk, breath, sing your day based upon the book you just finished reading or remember reading years ago.It becomes a part of your memory where when you run into someone or something, you refer it to a book that had an impact on your life and that's how A. J. Fikry lived his life. Life just sucks for A.J. and I truly understand why, but one day out of the blue, a small package arrives at his store, a over the top and eccentric publication press sales women comes calling, and a chief of police who did not read much, until he was forced, not really forced, just wanted to keep an eye on A.J., became a savior and friend. Each word, each saying, each sub-story brings you closer to a book and another book and another. Inter wind into each character, especially A.J., is life at a bookstore or life in and out of a book. You will laugh, cry, become pissed and will love bookstores, especially independent book stores, over and over again. I literally cried when I finished this book, not because of something bad or good that happened in the book, but because I wanted to read more about each of the characters and see their lives unfold into the future.If you love or even like small independent bookstores, buy this book, now!!!A. J. made me feel so happy with my love of books, so very happy.This book reminds me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel and The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey MooreThe Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-EatNow my problem is finding another book to read. It's so hard to find another book to read after you read such a damn good book with simple and great writing. It's so ding dong hard.5Love of All Things Book!I was attracted to this book by its name, "The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry". It immediately put me in mind of books like The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Henry Fry" and "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" and others that I put in the genre of "Gentle Reads". What I loved about the book was it's author, Gabrielle Zevin, and by association, her main character, A. J. Fikry's absolute love of all things BOOK! The story is about books, bookstores, who we are when we read books and who we are not, change and ultimately love.I think I wanted more from the book, maybe more depth in the characters and I thought it ended too soon. But it was filled with thoughts and ideas worthy of highlighting, such as: "it is better to be alone than to be with someone who doesn't share your sensibilities and interests. (It is, right?)" and "What If there is only an equal ratio of happiness to unhappiness in the world at any given time?" One of my favorite aspects of the book was the references throughout to literature. What bothered me is that the author mixed in made up books with actual ones. I found that confusing and almost unfair. After all if the mentioned book sounded worthy, I'd immediately take a quick break and put it on my Wishlist, as I did when I first referenced The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. Between3 1/2 and 4 stars.4Exceptional, extraordinary and beautifully written"We aren't the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved."This will be one of those rare unicorns of a book that will go on my favorites shelf and that I will recommend to all of my friends.Everything about this book completely and utterly captivated me to a point where I spent all Labor Day reading this book and basking in all the emotions it dredged up. You will want to finish this all in one sitting so beware. It is also a book that you will want to read and re-read which brings to mind a point A.J. Fikry made that books come to you during certain times of your life where they will mean something special and relevant to what you are going through and at opposing times they may mean and touch your heart in an entirely different way.The storied life of a.j. Fikry is one that will remain in my heart and mind. It's a story that I can only imagine for some reason or another will resonate with all readers.Read this book!! You won't be sorry! You can thank me later!5
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