Pick of the Week: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

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Cantankerous bookstore owner A.J. Fikry has lost his wife and has alienated most of the townspeople on the small island where he lives and works. Yet one day a two-year-old girl is abandoned in his store with a note saying, “I want her to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about those kinds of things.” When her mother turns up deceased and since the father is unknown, it’s up to A.J. to care for little Maya. And suddenly – against his better judgment – he finds himself becoming an adoptive father, and he considers it his mission to make her into a smart, discerning reader. “He wants Maya to read literary picture books if such a thing exists. And preferably modern ones. And preferably, preferably feminist ones. Nothing with princesses.” Slowly, fatherhood changes A.J., and he finds himself reconnecting with the world again.gabriellezevin

This might sound like a clichéd plot, but it’s not. A.J.’s unique personality, his love of good fiction, and the quirky cast of supporting characters make this into a book that is an absolute joy to read. Funny, wry, heartbreaking and hopeful, it’s a love letter to books and bookstores, and it’s also a story about how simple human connections can make all the difference in a life.

- Andrea Larson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Andrea Larson left her corporate marketing career to follow her love of books and now has her dream job as a Readers’ Advisor at Cook.  She’s currently enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She loves all things Disney and lives in Green Oaks with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a cat.   

 

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Guest Wednesday, 22 October 2014