Combining the zest of Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple and the charm of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry does not disappoint. Fikry is a curmudgeonly book seller who is not really dealing with the death of his wife and is far more comfortable with his stacks of books than people. Fussy he is about those books too! No vampires or maudlin memoirs in his book store. Amelia Loman is Firky’s new sales rep for Knightly Press. Let’s just say their first meeting does not go well, bringing out the worst in Fikry’s prickly character. Under that crusty exterior, Fikry’s heart beats true, full of passion for well written words. A rare book will be stolen from Fikry and something surprising left in his store, those two events will change everything. At the beginning of each chapter is a book review by the irascible bookseller. If you love books, enjoy reading, and like your story spiced with just the right amount of humor, do not miss this incredible book. I did not stop turning pages until the story ended, and then I was sad because I would have enjoyed reading even more about these delightful characters.— Deon Stonehouse
This is one of those stories that grabs you right from the beginning. You immediately connect with the characters, they are real. It is the story of a bookseller whose store off the coast of Massachusetts is failing. It is failing because he is grieving over the death of his beloved wife. He is cranky and drinks too much, and he loves his books more than his customers. However, the reader soon realizes there is much more going on. There is an unconventional relationship with his lovely young publishing rep and a surprising new friendship with a local cop. The author also weaves in a couple of mysteries and surprises which force the bookseller into joining the human race again. It is an uncomplicated story of love, loss and the gifts of human kinship.— Lynn Hornbuckle
The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books—the only bookstore on Alice Island—has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go.
One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: “I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.” A search for Maya’s mother, A. J.’s rare book, and good childcare advice ensues, but it doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the transformation of both bookstore and owner, something of particular interest to the lovely yet eccentric Knightley Press sales rep, Amelia Loman, who makes the arduous journey to Alice Island thrice each year to pitch her books to the cranky owner.
About the Author
Gabrielle Zevin is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, spent more than four months on the New York Times Bestseller list, reached #1 on the National Indie Bestseller list, and has been a bestseller all around the world. She has also written books for children and young adults, including the award-winning Elsewhere.
Actor, screenwriter and audiobook narrator, SCOTT BRICK definitely gives new meaning to a hyphenate career with credits in film, television, stage and radio. He studied both acting and writing at UCLA, spent ten years with a traveling Shakespearean company, and then went on to become a freelance writer. In 2000, Brick ventured into narrating audiobooks and quickly found himself embraced by the audio world. He’s won numerous Earphones Awards for his narrating skills, as well as Audie Awards. AudioFile Magazine named Brick “one of the fastest-rising stars in the audiobook galaxy,” and proclaimed him a Golden Voice.
“Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty, and her affection for the book business is obvious.”
“In this sweet, uplifting homage to bookstores, Zevin perfectly captures the joy of connecting people and books. . . . Filled with interesting characters, a deep knowledge of bookselling, funny depictions of book clubs and author events, this will prove irresistible to book lovers everywhere.”
“Not only does Brick illuminate plot subtleties, he also honors the author’s passion for books, bookstores, wordplay, and the connections between love and literature.”
—AudioFile [Earphones Award Winner]
“[A] 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.”
“Zevin has done something old-fashioned and fairly rare these days. She has written an entertaining novel, modest in its scope, engaging and funny without being cloying or sentimental. On top of all that, it is marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both.”
—The Washington Post
“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry has a little bit of mystery and a little bit of romance, but is at its core a love story: love of books, love of family, love of community. It is as enchanting a book as you will read this year.”
“Fikry and his motley group of friends and family are easy to cheer for. . . . Much like Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, this book could easily become a dark-horse bestseller. It is, after all, quite charming.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[A] jaunty novel.”
“[Scott Brick] does an excellent job. Prepare to be enchanted by this work.”
“Anyone who loves books, bookstores and the world that reading opens up will love this book.”