April She Reads Book Club Selection: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle ZevinLess than two weeks of the spring semester remain for me, which is why I haven’t been writing much here at Southern Spines. I have one large research paper and a big essay-only final both happening next week, so I’m trying to sequester myself from social media and the Interwebs as much as possible. It’s a shame because I have so much great content to share with you!

Before I cloak myself in virtual obscurity, I must tell you about the April She Reads Book Club selection, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I have to read a lot of books–for work, for school, for the Southern Spines blog. Books litter my office; you’ll find them on shelves, in boxes and in plastic bins on the floor. My iPad overflows with ebooks and audiobooks that await my attention. Hardbacks from two different libraries fill my backpack.

Reading on deadline can suck just a smidgeon of fun from the act of reading. The phrase “Required Reading” sounds more like a punishment than a privilege. But reading The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry brought me nothing but pleasure. I loved everything about this book.

The main character, A. J. Fikry, is the owner of Island Books, a widower and an unapologetic book snob. A. J. starts shutting down and drinking too much after his wife’s death, but chance forces him to reconnect with life and the people in his community. As a reader, you will become so engrossed in the stories of the people of Alice Island, you will forget that a mystery lies at the center of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. When someone leaves a strange basket at the bookstore, A. J. enlists the help of the town’s police chief to investigate the circumstances behind the abandoned package.

Gabrielle Zevin, author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin, author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin plays to an audience of zealous book lovers. She precedes each section of the book with the equivalent of a “Staff Recommendation” from A. J. and sprinkles literary allusions throughout the pages. We learn much of what we know about A. J., the chief, and the other characters by what they read. Because, as the book says, “You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question: ‘What is your favorite book?’” 

To learn more about Gabrielle Zevin, visit the author’s website at gabriellezevin.com. To read what my fellow She Reads bloggers are saying about The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, check out this post on the She Reads website.

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4 Responses to April She Reads Book Club Selection: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

  1. Karen Swim April 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Hi Alison! Wow this sounds like great story! I had not heard of this book so appreciate you sharing the review. Guess I’m adding yet another book to the digital library. Thanks!

    • Alison Law April 29, 2014 at 5:47 am #

      Karen, you will find that you’ll want to add several books to your digital library after reading A.J. recommendations within the book.

  2. Amie Lout April 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Yes great review, I had not heard of this one either. I bet our book club would really enjoy this. We are currently reading Strange Birth by Julian David Stone, juliandavidstone.com is the site. 1950’s New York about the book of TV and the politics involved with it. Really been a great read, I wasn’t sure at first but the whole club has found it really interesting I recommend it. We needed a book on board for when we complete this one, so Zevin’s book might be it!

    • Alison Law April 29, 2014 at 5:46 am #

      Thanks, Amie, for stopping by and for the tip about Strange Birth as a book club read.

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