The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.
And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.
As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.
I sit here before laptop as I watch the season finale of King of the Nerds. And I’m pouting. Neither Brian or Katie made it to the final-two showdown. The only two contestants that sparked…
Hello. This is Shaun speaking. Typing? Whatever. That’s me up there in the slideshow with my reporter face on. It’s cute, isn’t it? What can I say? I take my good looks from the good parts of my daddy and mommy and I have to say that I’m one awesomely,…
In which my son blogs about me.
In the not too distant past, I wrote about a small fenced-in, Texas city called Gospel which played…
This tree grew from the seeds of a poisoned apple, you know, so I’ve never tried one, but a few weeks ago I saw a strange thing. A family of raccoons came out in the middle of the night and started eating those apples. I watched them, followed them to their den, and they didn’t die. They didn’t even seem sick. So I thought those apples aren’t poisonous for raccoons. But I kept watching the tree and a week later I saw some squirrels gnawing at the apples, and they didn’t get sick either. So you know what else I thought? Maybe those apples aren’t really poisonous at all. Maybe poison doesn’t have to grow from poison. Not always. This tree, I think just maybe it grew the way it wanted to grow. Those seeds, they were stronger than the magic.
You humans always talk about magic and destiny like it’s the most powerful thing in the world. Like it controls you.
I guess it does if you want it to. Maybe it does other humans, but you, Rump? You were born with magic. I can smell it stronger on you than any magical object I’ve ever found, even stronger than this tree.
It’s the people who cause the trouble, Rump. Not the magic itself. If you’re so full of magic, why should you be helpless?” —
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
This has become my favorite children’s book.
What best can I do? Exactly what I’ve done. My voice for the voiceless.” —
Philip K. Dick
If only I had stairs.