July – The storied life of AJ Fikry

July was a busy month for most of us, and we only managed to read one book. The book that was chosen for July was –

The storied life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin


I admit that I am finding it a little difficult to remember this one, and I am not sure that this is a good sign, *runs off to check notes*. Ahhh yes, the grumpy bookseller with a sad past, I liked him, he was human, and was wittily written. I had assumed, on picking up this book that AJ Fikry would be old already, I don’t know why, but I had. This is a love story, in fact it is two love stories, both with the same hero, the owner of a failing bookstore on an island. I liked him for not giving up on his bookstore, I liked him for being grumpy to his customers, in spite of the bookstore failing, because that is who he was. The success  of the bookstore in the past was largely down to his wife, who was charming and friendly, now that he is alone in the store, things are very different.

I loved the quotes from books, that started the chapters, it made me want to read some of the books. I identified with the sales rep from the publishing house, as I used to work in sales for a record company, and I know how it feels to have to walk into a shop where the owner doesn’t want to see you. The theft of his precious book (Tamerlane), was a problem for me, yes he was drunk, but someone came in and cleaned up and took the book, it didn’t take a genius to work out who. I loved the romance of this book, it wasn’t soppy or over sentimental, but had real heart and an honest about it that I enjoyed. There were things in the book that I loved and things that I didn’t, but there was nothing that I disliked enough to complain about in the notes I made in July, and I think it was a nice wee read.

I am glad I knew nothing about this book when I started reading it, as it ended up being a rather sweet story, with a few great little twists. It also contains one of my favourite lines in any book I have read recently –

“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question – What is your favourite book?”

As a group we gave this book an average 4*, which is pretty good, and I gave it exactly that, it was nice, it was easy to read and the characters had heart.

Have fun reading!!


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