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

storied life of aj fikry

Photo Credit: Algonquin Books


This book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair review.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

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.


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY is a hard book to review because as you begin talking about some of the things that happened, you run the risk of spoiling for other readers. A.J. is quite the character- prickly and a bit unlikeable. But, he grew on me quickly- and I found myself laughing at some of his wry observations (especially about love) and quickly enjoying A,J.- even though he is a book snob (seriously, A.J. it’s like you reached out of the book and just stomped all over my heart when you began disparaging THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THE BOOK. Seriously!)

Everywhere I have looked on the internet, this book is being touted as “a book lover’s book” and the praise has been high. Mighty high. And for a bit, I was reluctant to read because of the “hype factor“. But, I gave in. I read and I really enjoyed! It was a fast read- less than 300 pages, which I applaud Gabrielle Zevin for- she could have dragged this book out a bit and I think that would have diminished it’s impact. There were a couple of things that I saw the writing on the wall about, but I was having such a good time in A.J.’s world, that it did not detract from my enjoyment!

Looking for a book that is short, enjoyable and will make you feel warm and good (and yet provide you some serious thinking for days after the book is closed)- then let me introduce you to THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY! It’s got something for everyone!

Want to know what other bloggers are saying about this book? Check out the She Reads Blog Network and read all the chatter about the April Book Club Selection!


*This book was sent to Traveling With T from Algonquin Books via She Reads in exchange for a fair and honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

T @ Traveling With T

T Traveling With T pic sign off



14 thoughts on “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

  1. I’ve given in to the hype before and been disappointed but that didn’t stop me from using an Audible credit for this book. I hope to listen to it soon! Loved your review!

  2. Great review T! I have heard so many great things about this book and am on a waiting list to read it from my local library. Your reaction to the book was very helpful and I’m looking forward to reading this one!

  3. melissa says:

    I can’t seem to catch up with She Reads. I finally finished this one.This was a cute book. I thought it was so funny when he recommended a book to a customer. She bought it, read it-and came back to ask for a refund because she didn’t like it!

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