You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, “What is your favorite book?”
Finally! A book for book-people! Just kidding, all books are for book-people, but you’ll forgive me for being especially fond of a novel whose subject is a quirky book-seller and in which each chapter begins with a review of a real book. Oh, and the story is wonderful as well.
Bookstore owner A.J. Fikry has achieved curmudgeon status before reaching the age of 40, mostly isolating himself from new people after the sudden and tragic death of his wife, Nic. Then, his world is upended with the arrival of baby Maya, who is left in his store with a note from Maya’s mother begging him to raise her child in a world surrounded by books. Slowly, Maya grows on him, and as his love expands, so does his ability and desire to connect with others. Forged together, A.J. and Maya’s circle of love begins to influence and change lives for the better, demonstrating that a life can be re-made, that lost love does not equal lost life. This is a heartwarming, fun, and charming read, here is one of my favorite quotes:
We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And I think these really do live on.
The emotion here is palpable, and attention to the power of love combined with the book’s sense of fun and whimsy are what makes it a great read. It is as if someone took The Rosie Project and A Man called Ove, smashed them together, and set it in a book-store. The perfect read for any book-lover or someone looking for an endearing, lovely, and moving story.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Published: April 1, 2014
I read this as: a library book
If you enjoy this you may also like:
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman