The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Book Review


Finished reading:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabriele Zevin ★★★★


I put this book on my TBR list when it came out in 2014. I loved the idea of a sweet bookstore and a main character who is so passionate about being a bookstore owner and his love for books. I honestly had no plans of when I was going to read it or how I was going to acquire a copy to read. Fate had it this book came out in Croatian translation recently and seeing it made me pick it up right away!



Every chapter starts with a little review on a story. The sheer amount of footnotes and notes about many other books and author information was gratifying to read trough. This is one of those books about books I love so much.securedownload

I work in a bookstore and seeing the main character A.J. in action in his bookstore was a real thrill. He’s got his bookish standards and his tastes. He is a man of character and knows what books to recommend.


There are so many moments in this book that made me happy and emotional. The book and quote choices were spot on. It gave me a few ideas for RL book club meetings and organisation.




This book was emotional experience for me in more than one way. There were tears! I do not reread books often but this one might be an exception. The way it ended gave me a completely new perspective on the whole book and the book quotes and recommendations are something I will definitely need to come back to!



JULY 31.

31) The book that reminds you of someone special

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

This is one of the rare books that has been preceded with iPad app and Academy Award–winning animated short film.

YES you understood correctly first there was a short movie and then came the book!

It is a book for dreamers and book lovers.


It is best described as an “allegory about the curative powers of story”.

The book was inspired by William Morris, children’s books publisher at HarperCollins and Joyce’s mentor. Joyce wrote a story about a man who gives his life to books when he was on an airplane flight to visit Morris. Joyce read the story to Morris, who died a few days after that.

Here is a link for the much praised short movie

I read this book and had to gift it to someone special who is as much of a dreamer and has imagination with similar curative powers.




JULY 26.

26) The novel you wish you’d written


So Many Books by Gabriel Zaid

Ok, so it’s not a novel, as in work of fiction, but actually literary criticism on book industry from the turn of the century. The reason I wish I had written it is connected to the fact that I have a masters degree in Information sciences and this books represents for me the enthusiasm of someone who considers the book industry area which one is interested professionally and passionately.

While reading this book I remembered how much I enjoyed going to college and learning. I do miss it. This book is about dreamers and professionals. It is one of the ultimate reading materials for anyone who dare call himself book lover.

Here are some quotes from the book that show how timeless the ideas from this book truly are.


“What does it matter how cultivated and up-to-date we are, or how many thousands of books we’ve read? What matters is how we feel, how we see, what we do after reading; whether the street and the clouds and the existence of others mean anything to us; whether reading makes us, physically, more alive.”
Gabriel Zaid, So Many Books




JULY 20.

20) Your Desert island novel


While I was trying to decide which book would be a good company if I ever find myself stranded on a deserted island few options crossed my mind.

  • Option A#

I’d like a book that will make me so absorbed in her world and characters so that I forget I’m alone on a deserted island. Something that will inspire me to think about the things that are to be read in between the lines.

This is why I choose Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton

Ok, so it is not exactly 1 book but 22 and counting. But I don’t care and count it here anyway!

The reason I find this series inspirational is the actual lack of things happening. Let me explain…

This series is written in first person from point of view of main heroine Anita Blake. And the author has created a really great world and filled it with large variety of creatures which make for some very interesting reappearing characters.


Unfortunately, not all of those characters get the same amount of spotlight. Some of them are very dear to me and I like thinking about what they were doing/feeling while the main heroine was doing her thing – which is running around, waving a gun and hunting the bad guys as a US Marshall.

This series goes from overlong scenes where main character is confused by her love/sex life to the very short, and sometimes, amazing action packed scenes which end way to quickly. And almost every book has a rather annoying narrator ending which explains what happened from the point of the view of the main heroine – I say annoying since with all the drama that is spread trough the book only thing that gets resolved is the bad guy dies and case is closed. The personal drama is ever flowing and it never gets resolved unless it comes to bloodshed – which so happens it does more than often.


This leaves the reader with a sense of heaviness –  a great big burden that stretches from one book to the other and then you turn around and see ten books just flew by while you were reading in a hopeless quest to get some closure or even book time for your favorite characters.

I would really like to read more about my favorite characters so I could use my time on the deserted island to daydream about what would the story be like from their point of view.

  • Option B#

I’d like a book that will take my mind off my predicament by presenting me with how fictional characters got out of predicaments similar to that of being stranded on a deserted island.

This is why I choose The Odyssey by Homer

This is one of the books I’d like to read. And just like being on a deserted would be a journey for the mind I think that Homers Odyssey would be a fitting equivalent as a reading adventure.

Odysseus on his journey home

Calypso and her island

Penelope losing it a little every few years

  • Option C#

There are some books that are on my reading list but I just can’t make myself read them. Being on a deserted island with nothing better to read instead would be a prefect way for me to make myself read them.

This is why I choose Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Again it is not one book but a series of formidable plump books – but give me a break I need more than one book if I get stranded on a deserted island!

Game of Thrones (first book in the series) is one of the rare books I did not finish. I did not give up on it! I merely put it off for later…how much later I really don’t know.

I think it is because I watched the series before giving a book a chance and can’t get myself into it now.