The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

By Gabrielle Zevin

  • Release Date: 2014-04-01
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 542 Ratings)


A New York Times Bestseller, a #1 Indie Next Pick, and a #1 LibraryReads Selection

“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

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. 

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.

“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

“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

“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

“Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty.” —Publishers Weekly

“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


  • Book love

    By Crzyhrt
    Imaginatively written and plotted. Characters that touch you. I didn’t want to stop reading. It was that good...
  • Wonderful!

    By Querilovesbooks
    I laughed, I cried, I loved every word.
  • Great read.

    By 12)?/&&
    Great read. A great book, you really become invested in the characters and their great little book shop.
  • The author will criticize the title and f this review

    By Fladaddy
    And will probably fail my sentence structure, but this is a very good book. One of the best I've read. Original. Read it for yourself as I can't described it. It's an emotion on its own.
  • Touched

    By Lelehow
    Loved every bit of this book. I loved how A.J. left little notes too. I wish there would be a sequel to see what happens to Maya and Amelia. Every last bit of it was touching. Very well written.
  • Brilliance

    By BPerlin
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevi touched me on so many levels. A story about a bookstore and bookseller that turns into something completely unexpected. I don’t have the right words to give this book enough credit. This is such a moving, intelligent, clever novel done in a way that you can easily see the surroundings, feel the characters and be right there with them. An endearing, feel good, feel emotional story that is perfect for the holidays or anytime you are looking for some humanity and inspiration. I savored this slowly not because I was not enthused but because I wanted to take it all in properly. The language, the smart dialog had me re-reading certain lines twice. Little gems that are not only enlightening but original. Not sure I have ever read anything quite like this but the author and her prose impressed me. Never met her, though Amazon won’t let me give her an honest review because of their friends not reviewing friends policy. Still, if I could I would give her a big fat 5 star review and suggest this to everyone who appreciates smart solid writing without trying too hard. There are lines I wish I wrote and I marvel at the talent that comes across effortless. I read a ton and don’t often gush about a book or the writing but this book deserves attention. There are similarities to Mark Barry’s The Night Porter. Smart, intellectual with a theme that not only has heart but is relatable to us wanna-be authors who are trying to make our mark in the publishing world. I applaud this little piece of brilliance and look forward to reading more from Miss Zevi. Quote ~ “You took that turn a little fast, darling,” Daniel Says, She thinks about driving them both off the road and into the ocean, and the thought makes her happy, happier than she had been if she’d only killed herself. She realizes in that moment that she doesn’t want to be dead. She wants Daniel to be dead. Or at least gone. Yes, gone. She’d settle for gone. “I don’t love you anymore.” “Ismay, you’re being absurd. You always get like this at weddings.” “You are not a good man,” Ismay says. “I’’m complex. And maybe I’m not good, but I’m certainly not the worst. It’s no reason to end a perfectly average marriage,” Daniel says. “You’re the grasshopper and I’m the ant. And I’m tired of being the ant.”

“That’s a rather juvenile reference. I’m sure you can do better.” Ismay pulls the car over tot he side of the road. Her hands are shaking. “You are bad and what is worse is, you’ve made me bad,” she says. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” A car whizzes by them, close enough to rattle the walls of the SUV. “Ismay, this is an insane place to park. If you want to argue, let’s drive home and do it properly.”
  • beautiful and thought provoking

    By Twinsmum2012
    a lovely, sentimental read
  • Loved it!

    By GDC
    Everyone once in a while I read a book that I wish would not end. This was one of those for me.
  • The storied life of a j fikery

    By Mrs cpee
    Loved this book !
  • Loved it!

    By smich44
    Read the book in a day.