September Book Discussion: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto "No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World." A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, but large in weight. It's that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn't take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.'s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

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  • Marcie

    I just got out of another app at 3:15, darn. I liked the book but it seemed almost too "light" for the subject matter. How did May a turn out?!

    September 28

  • Nancy

    I am not going to be able to make it either. Read the book though.

    September 28

  • Helen P.

    I'm sorry to say I can't make it today. :(

    September 28

  • Melissa S

    Ha! Good catch, Amy! Sometimes I just need a little more sleep :)

    1 · July 25

  • Amy H.

    Just because this event title seems confusing to me, the book is The Storied Life of AJ Fikry *by* Gabrielle Zevin.

    July 22

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