"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Friday, April 18, 2014

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

I work at a county library and was tidying up the "new releases" shelf when I stopped for a moment to flip through the pages of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Thankfully I didn't have any patrons in my section of the library at that time because I was compelled to immediately sit there on the floor, in front of the shelving unit housing authors whose names begin with the letter 'z', and devour the first 40 pages. As soon as I returned home I downloaded it to my Kindle and picked up where I had left off on the library floor. I finished it that same night (a feat less impressive than you may initially think since the book is only a little over 200 pages and an easy read).

I love this book. I marked quote after quote, making the hi-lighting feature on my Kindle redundant by hi-lighting the majority of the text. I laughed a lot, cried a little, and being a book-lover and librarian, I could personally relate to the experiences of the patrons and employees of Island Books. My favorite parts, out of the many "favorites" I could list, were A.J.'s short story reviews/reports written addressed to Maya throughout the novel. The wisdom and heart of A.J.'s character comes through most poignantly in these short sections and I loved every single one of them.

There was only one element to the tale that kept me from committing to a 5-star review... A.J. went from grieving widower to a man in love with very little explanation provided to the reader. An appropriate amount of time passes, as far as that goes,  but I would have liked to travel that road with him a little bit rather than skipping right to it. Overall a rewarding reading experience that I would recommend to anyone looking for a feel-good book.

You will find an official plot line description at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18293427-the-storied-life-of-a-j-fikry?from_search=true.

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