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  • Published: Chapel Hil, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2014.
  • Year Published: 2014
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Description: 260 p.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9781616203214
  • 1616203218


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The storied life of A. J. Fikry

by Zevin, Gabrielle.

There are no copies available and 7 requests on 16 copies

Where To Find It

Call number: Fiction

Additional Details

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.

Community Reviews

A Book for Book People

This book captured what it was like to work in a bookstore and love every crazy second of it. There were so many passages in this book that just spoke to the common thread that runs through every person that loves their time as a bookseller. The romance of the story is ok, to me it was more of a romance between book people and the books, or about the passion of books and loving those holy spaces that are filled with them. The actual "romance" I could have lived without, but it serves to advance the timeline. All in all, I loved this book, and it spoke to me in a way I've been missing since I am no longer a bookseller by trade. This story just feels like a love letter to those holy spaces filled with books and stories, and to the people who delight in sharing the stories with others as their calling in life.

It was OK

In between an "it was ok" and a "liked it." A good, fast, well-written read with some solid literary reference backing that was also the first more or less accurate depiction of what the book business is like nowadays (except for the whole publisher sales rep thing...does that actually happen in the real world?). But the end didn't totally fit and felt a little forced, and there just seemed to be something missing.... I also am getting incredibly tired of this trend of present tense writing, so that didn't help to sell this for me.

Loved this book

Ohhhhhhh, wow. This was absolutely beautiful. I read it from the library, but will be getting a copy for my shelf.

I'm not sure there was anything about it that didn't appeal to me: the mystery of the first edition that I wasn't sure was going to be resolved, A.J.'s reviews and what we come to understand them to be, his transformation over time, the way we learn about the island community through the book store, and mostly A.J himself (and branching into Maya, over time and eventually through her writing).

Simply astonishing. I worried when I heard that it was a book that referenced so many other books that it was one of those books where you had to have read them to understand, but it isn't. (Stories about college English majors are often like that.) If you can *appreciate* a book and a bookstore, then this is a wonderful world to dive into.

And A.J.'s first time at a restaurant with someone (I won't say who) sparks a conversation so wonderful, so beautifully written, that I read it three times in a row, just to savor it.


Fiction about Books!

Interesting short novel about a depressed bookseller and his family and friends on a (fictional) Martha's Vinyard-type island. There's a lot of stuff about classic books, short stories, and the publishing business, and a bit of a slow-moving romance along with some parenting stories. I liked it but didn't absolutely loooove it like some people (this is a big seller right now). There were a few cliches in the plot that annoyed me too much for me to embrace this book and rave about and want to keep it forever and re-read it in a few years.....but I did enjoy most of it.


I loved this book! I picked it up thinking it would be a light read and, although it only took me 2 days to read it, I got punched in the heart with how meaningful it was. This novel is about a quirky man who owns a bookstore, but its deeper themes are about what makes family and how reading connects people. I highly recommend this novel!

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