Genre: Contemporary / Family Life
Book Length: 290 Pages
Amazon Link: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Author Website: Gabrielle Zevin
(NOTE: Every chapter begins with the title of a book, along with notes from A. J. Fikry. I'm skipping the notes and posting the opening of Chapter One here.)
On the ferry from Hyannis to Alice Island, Amelia Loman paints her nails yellow and, while waiting for them to dry, skims her predecessor's notes. "Island Books, approximately $250,000.00 per annum in sales, the better portion of that in the summer months to folks on holiday," Harvey Rhodes reports. "Seven hundred square feet of selling space. No full-time employees other than the owner. Very small children's section. Fledgling online presence. Poor community outreach. Inventory emphasizes the literary, which is good for us, but Fikry's tastes are very specific, and without Nic, he can't be counted on to hand-sell. Luckily for him, Island's the only game in town." Amelia yawns - she's nursing a slight hangover - and wonders if one persnickety little bookstore will be worth such a long trip. By the time her nails have hardened, her relentlessly bright-sided nature has kicked in: Of course it's worth it! Her specialty is persnickety little bookstores and the particular breed that runs them. Her talents also include multitasking, selecting the right wine at dinner (and the coordinating skill, tending friends who've had too much to drink), houseplants, strays, and other lost causes.
The Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
"A long time ago, a girl wrote a novel, and she tried to sell it, but no one wanted it. It was about an old man who lost his wife, and it didn't have supernatural beings in it or a high concept to speak of, and so she thought it would be easier if she retitled the book and called it a memoir."
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.