A.J. Fikry lives on Alice Island, and owns the only bookshop in this tourist spot. He's in his early 40's lives, above the bookstore, and is disgusted at life, people, and the garbage they read. One night, his life is changed for ever, and we find out A.J. is not the curmudgeon he so wants to be.
This is a novel that will appeal to anyone who loves books, works in bookstores or works in the book business. It makes you think about what you love to read and why, and how it shapes your world. It reminds us that some books become part of us and in some ways become a playbook for how we think and live.
If you haven't read Gabrielle Zevin, I highly recommend her first novel Elsewhere, which is so wonderful it made me a fan of hers for life. A.J.'s story will make you smile, get a little teary, and sigh at the end. And he sums up life quite nicely with this quote:
"We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected stories."
Rating: 7/10 for quirky characters, a memorable bookstore, and a short but sweet story.
Available in hardcover and e-book.