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!!