Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday Intro: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

On the ferry from Hyannis to Alice Island, Amelia Loman paints her nails yellow and,while waiting for them to dry, skims her predecessor's notes. "Island Books, approximately $350,000.00 per annum in sales, the better portion of that in the summer months to folks on holidays," Harvey Rhodes reports. "Six hundred square feet of selling space. No full-time employees other than owner. Very small children's section.  Fledgling on-line presence. Poor community outreach. Inventory emphasizes literary, which is good for us, but Fikry's tastes are very specific, and without Nic, he can't be counted on to hand-sell. Luckily for him, Island's the only game in town." Amelia yawns - she's nursing a slight hangover - and wonders if one persnickety little bookstore will be worth such a long trip. By the time her nails have hardened, her relentlessly bright-sided nature has kicked in: Of course it's worth it! Her specialty is persnickety little bookstores and the particular breed that runs them. Her talents also include multi-tasking, selecting the right wines at dinner (and the coordinating skill, tending friends who've had too much to drink), houseplants, strays, and other lost causes.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

A.J. Fikry is everywhere this year and thanks to the perfect alignment of circumstance (craving a lighter, gentler novel and getting to the top of the library hold list), my time to read it has finally come. After the first quarter, I am not disappointed. This brief summary from amazon makes me think it will only get better:
A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.   
Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.
What do you think? Would you keep reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

38 comments:

  1. I adored this one; the audio is excellent as well. enjoy JoAnn

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    1. Diane - I'm curious enough to listen to the sample... off to audible ;-)

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  2. Yes, it is a fun read. Comfort for the literary soul.

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    1. Heidi - "Comfort for the literary soul." - that's exactly it!

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  3. Awh - I absolutely loved this one! Hopefully it's proving to be the lighter book you needed after We Are Not Ourselves :) PS - I'm now 20% in and am liking it better than I did.

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    1. Sarah - Yes, the perfect antidote to We Are Not Ourselves. Glad to hear you're enjoying that one more now.

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  4. I enjoyed this story. I am amazed with how clever Gabrielle Zevin is.

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    1. Pat - Have a feeling I'll be adding her other books to my wish list!

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  5. I really enjoyed this one. It's light and sweet and smart all at once. Sounds like We Are Not Ourselves you definitely need light and sweet!

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    1. Katherine - We Are Not Ourselves put me through the emotional wringer...this is just perfect!

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  6. Everyone so far commenting has read this book. I have not, but after seeing it all over blogland and reading the comments above, it is about to go to the top of my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Grammajudyb - Hope you like it as much as I do!

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  7. Yep, I think I would. And in fact, I think yours is finally the post that broke the camel's back and is going to make me finally try to get my hands on it! :)

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    1. Debi - Hurray! Hope you love it, too :-)

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  8. Love it! It was a super reading pick-me-up exactly when I needed it.

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    1. Andi - It seems to be serving the same purpose for me right now :)

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  9. I've heard mostly good things about this book and it's on my wish list to try. It sounds like it would be good! I hope you like it!

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    1. Literary Feline - I'm about 1/3 done now and it's just perfect for my mood.

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  10. Yes, I want this one! I love the idea of an indie bookstore, a quirky owner, an inviting location..bumped up to top 3 of my to-buy list, so thanks.

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    1. Rita - I love all those things about the book, too, as well as all the literary name dropping. SO much fun!

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  11. "Persnickety" is one of my favorite words! I'd definitely keep reading. This sounds like the kind of book I adore.
    My Tuesday post features BETTER THAN YOUR DREAMS.

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    1. Sandra - Ha! That is a great word... always makes me smile when I read it. This book is wonderful.

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  12. Even though I've had my eye on this one, you reeled me in with that intro. Must add book! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I doubt you will be disappointed with this one, and it's the perfect pick-me-up after We Are Not Ourselves. I was emotionally drained after that one!

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  13. Great teaser! Not something I would normally pick up, but you got my interest.

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    1. Yvonne - It's such an enjoyable book :)

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  14. In a heartbeat!!! I want to rush out and get this book and continue reading it right now. But....I can't. Sometimes I feel like I'm in school with these darn reading lists. Anyway, terrific start to what looks like a gem of a book.

    Enjoy!

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    1. JaneGS - 1/3 done and I'm starting to think "gem" is the perfect word to describe this one. It's also a perfect follow-up to the emotionally-draining We Are Not Ourselves.

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  15. This one is up next on audio, after I finish The Silkworm!!!

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    1. Sandy - Diane says it's great on audio... sounds like a winner either way!

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  16. The blurb doesn't too much for me but everyone who has read it told me I HAVE to read it so I have a copy, waiting patiently for me to pick it up. I don't care for the title. What a mouthful.

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    1. Ti - I agree with you on the title... could have been either catchier or easier!

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  17. I would keep reading and I did. It's a really lovely story. I may have to check out some of Zevin's backlist now!

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    1. Lindsey - I haven't even finished and am already thinking about her backlist!

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    1. Melissa - I just finished today and am disappointed to report that after loving the beginning, it went downhill for me. I'm going to wind up in the very small minority that didn't love it :(

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  19. A great read! Although, I do agree with you that the last chapters didn't live up to the reast of the book for me!

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    1. Stacy - I think I would have been more tolerant if it had not followed such a stellar book...

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