A.J. Fikry owns a book shop on a small island that he has run in his own particular way, by himself, since his wife died. He is snarky and curmudgeonly and generally unpleasant to even his friends and family members, let alone to strangers like Amelia, the publishing rep. tasked with selling him a collection of books for his store. But in a short span of time, two major events happen to A.J. First, his prized possession, a first edition of Edgar Allan Poe's poetry, is stolen from his home. Just as he is trying to piece together what might have happened under his own nose, a mysterious but life-changing package is left on the front steps of the book store. Despite his best attempts to withdraw from the world and live a stagnant, isolated life, A.J. is about to change forever.
Why It's Worth Reading:
Two main reasons - 1) It's a sweet, simple story that, while occasionally predictable, will take you right into the lives of the people of Alice Island where you will promptly become enamored with each and every one of them, even the villains. 2) It's a love story to books, bibliophiles, and avid readers everywhere. This is the first book that comes to my mind now when I'm chatting about books with other people who I know love to read as much as I do. "Have you read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry? I know you'd love it." Gabrielle Zevin has written several widely successful YA novels (Elsewhere being the most popular around here), but this book could be read and loved by teens, parents and grandparents alike. Seriously, start a family book club like Mrs. Maguire (it's true - ask her about it) and make this book your first selection. You won't be disappointed.
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: originally NetGalley, now library
Awards: Goodreads Choice finalist in Fiction. Plus, Mrs. M. Kreger, Mrs. Henderhan, and Mrs. Cote are big fans. Maybe we should make our own award?
Do We Own a Copy?: Many copies