Another book about books? Read to find out how this one is different...
Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
This was our first book club read and I was so thrilled we were starting the discussions with a book about books! I always feel this category should have its own genre (every booklover's dream)
Well, this post as the book is dedicated to all those people who have been influenced, affected or changed due to books in a way or another. Cheers, booklovers!
Sometimes books don't find us until the right time.
Let us start with what makes this book unique when there are so many books about books to splurge on?Well, this feels more like a collection of short stories. The book is about a bookstore owner - Mr. A. J. Fikry. The story starts post his wife's death when he is grumpy and sad. But one day, he receives a package which leads to a series of events and him meeting many people making him realize there are many things to look forward to in life.
The book starts on a gloomy note and Mr. Fikry is arrogant and indifferent. But slowly, the book starts to grow on you. It starts feeling like walking into somebody's life and atually empathizing with the things they have been through. Multiple famous book and publication references makes you relate to the content. The story is based on a very small quaint island where people in the community know each other very well and they are concerned as well as happy for each other. Mr. Fikry's bookstore is the only one on this island and tourists majorly visit it during the summer time.
The story is simple but steady and engaging one. All characters are layered but authentic.They do have their endearing quirks and thus the plot flows in a easy and light way.Even though the plot follows AJ and is mostly about books, there is a nice element of mystery to the storyline as well.
There ain't nobody in the world like book people
There are a couple of instances especially in the second half where I felt the book was a bit melodramatic especially towards the end (Felt like watching a movie) Some of the scenes are underutilized and the writing may seem a bit abrupt. (The book suddenly moves a decade ahead in time and you may feel something is missing) But, if we look at it as a collection of short stories and not continuation of one story, that can be pardoned.
Overall, it is a warm read which uplifts your mood with the flow. The character graph of AJ is worth mentioning and this book is bound to take you on a roller coaster of emotions both funny, serious, dark, light, happy and sad. In the end, there is also a mention of how #ereaders trying to replace #paperback books and a new digital age coming up. I found that very interesting and made me love physical bookstores even more! I would urge all booklovers to pick it up and honestly, a very good one to come out of a reading slump.
People tell you boring lies about politics, God and Love. You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question - 'What is your favourite book?'