The Storied Life Of AJ Fikry

The Bloggers' Book Club read "The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry" for October. At first I didn't think it was that appealing, but I got into the story fast. And loved the book. 

The story is about a man named A.J. Fikry. He is old school, a book seller on Alice Island, who lives above his store. He abhors the electronic way of reading. Like I said, old school. (Like me.)

His wife is dead, his life is pretty predictable, book sales are down, and a rare collection of Poe poems, which he cherished, has been stolen. 

Then life becomes totally unpredictable. He comes in from a run, and finds the front door is open. 

He hears a cry, and finds a young child plopped on the floor of one of the book aisles. There is a note to him. Saying the mother wants her child, Maya, to live there and be a reader. 

The mother writes that she has no one to help her, the baby's father is not in her life, and that the child is 25 months old. She wants her child to grow up in a place with books, and among people who care about such things. 

At first he is horrified. Who would have done such a thing? Leave a small child in an empty book store. And what does he know about children? 

But he takes the child upstairs, and calls the police. It seems he might have to care for the little girl until social services has time to drop by and fetch her. 

But A.J., despite all his reservations, becomes attached to little Maya. The child is quite precocious and she steals his heart, one bit at a time. After a time he is allowed to adopt her.

The other story here is that A.J. has found himself attracted to a book rep, who he managed to be quite uncivil with last she visited his place of business. He wants to rectify that. A.J. is not a smooth sell. He will have to win her over somehow. 

So this is a story about a man who does indeed have a heart, though it will have to come out of the freezer. A young child who becomes his by way of a simple letter asking him to take her. A book rep that A.J. has feelings for, and a few other interesting characters. 

I'm not going to tell you what happens, for it would ruin the book for you. Let's just say that I opened the book thinking I would probably not like "The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry." I certainly would not have bought it on my own. 

But to my dismay and ultimate satisfaction, I am grateful to the member of this book club who did choose it. Because it broadened my horizons in terms of book choices. And the story moved me deeply.

Please visit the other members and she what they thought of this unique book: 
Carmel @ Our Fifth House
Cassie @ Primitive And Proper
Kirby @ Kirb Appeal
Katie @ On The Banks Of Squaw Creek

For November I get to choose a book. It is "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

{Note: The opening graphic is from The Guardian}


  1. Loved this book! As a Gabrielle Zevin fan, I had to read it. What a jewel. Anyone who is sitting on the fence about this book, just read it. You won't be sorry. Love your writing, Brenda. You are so talented.

  2. This sounds like such a good book...I will have to see if the library has it! :)

  3. Have you read Mr.. Penumbra's 24Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan? It was amazing! I loved A.J. Fikry and his

  4. My book club read this a few month's ago and we loved it!

  5. Sounds interesting. I will see if my library has it. :)

  6. Isn't it always great when you're pleasantly surprised about something? I don't read a lot of books, but love watching movies. Sometimes, I feel the same way about movies that I wouldn't normally think to see.

  7. Sounds like an interesting book. Different for me too on what I normally read. I'll have to check it out.

  8. At first, I thought "too predictable." And then I thought "where's the conflict?" But then it kicked me in the butt and it told me to love it and I did. Haven't bought The Good Girl yet, but I will as soon as I can. I am going to post AJ on Friday.

  9. i agree with what kirby said exactly! i thought- predictable and cheesy, but then i couldn't put it down and really loved it! :) my post will be up sunday!


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