Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Zevin, Gabrielle (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)

It may be a little bit cheesy and a little bit nerdy, but any book that starts off by mentioning "Old School" by Tobias Wolff and finishes by mentioning "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell has a million of my votes.

The plot is nothing complex, and I think the author knew she had to keep it that way because her characters are so rich, vibrant and amusing. Summary? Depressed bookseller finds new loves and finally ends up understanding what living is all about.

This book is very, very obviously a book for voracious readers. It reminded me of reading "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" except that I think this one is better written (or at least doesn't have as hysterically wacky a plot-line). Even though there's one big hole in this novel (I'll give you a hint, it's a police matter), it was so enjoyable to read a book by an author who loves to read and who made me remember how important reading is to me (yes, sometimes I actually forget!). Zevin loves to read all over the map in terms of type and genre of novel, she has very specific opinions about her likes and dislikes, and she has channeled those straight into the book. It's just a joy to read. I was smiling, if not laughing, for at least 2/3 of it.

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