One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. So put up your feet, grab a good paperback and let’s get reading!
Gabrielle Zevin’s “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” is a surprisingly real human story, a literary work of art and a page-turner. Zevin makes the reader fall in love with the characters, even the ones that aren’t always so lovable. The title character A.J. Fikry is the cranky owner of Island Books. His wife has died. His store is failing. A treasured book, which is his hope for his retirement fund, has been stolen. Then on top of everything, a young child has been abandoned in in his bookstore with a note. The mother wants her baby girl to grow up to be a reader in a place with books and among people who care for them. There are a lot of questions. Who is the child? Who stole Fikry’s valuable edition of Poe poems? How can his store, and his life, be turned around?
We watch as Fikry falls in love, slowly makes friends and learns how to turn his business around. We love that he learns to love the little girl left in his store, and cheer for her as she grows and learns to love the written word herself. It beautiful story of an unlikely father and a daughter, who brave the world together. Toward the end, story lines are wrapped up, and we realize how closely intertwined the lives of everyone we meet are. This book will make you laugh and cry, but most importantly will make you feel.
Click here to see my goals for 2015