2015 Women Writers Reading Challenge–Book #6: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

IMG_1937I pride myself on being able to choose good reading material, especially when the reader in question is me. I give fairly good recommendations, and I normally enjoy everything I read (or I don’t make it past the first page). Sometimes though, there’s a book that makes an even bigger impression. If I’m lucky, I stumble upon two or three (maybe up to five) books a year that really make an impression on me. Those are the books that get five stars, that I recommend to everyone, and that I hope to buy and add to my collection. This book definitely makes the list this year.

I’m definitely one of those people who likes to read books about books, so if you’re not one of those people, this book probably won’t have the same impact on you that it does me. But if you do love the worlds of libraries and bookstores, this book is immensely satisfying. It’s a quiet book with deep characters, simple and elegant prose, and beautiful little moments.

I won’t give a thorough summary (you really just need to read this book) but it follows the life of A.J. Fikry, recently widowed, and his bookstore. He begins to lose touch with his books and the stories in them because of his wife’s death, but soon finds new love and learns how to write his own story (which I mean figuratively because he’s not a writer). It’ll make you laugh and cry; it’s one of those books with a beautiful, subtle power.

What’s the last book you read that made you fall in love with reading all over again?

(In case you’re interested, my top five last year, in no particular order: The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood; The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov; White Teeth Zadie Smith; The Gallery of Vanished Husbands Natasha Solomons; and Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside Andrea di Robilant)

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