Monday, May 26, 2014

A Bookseller, a Book Seller, and a Baby

The Storied Life of A. J. FikryThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Click the link or the picture for your copy from BookPeople in Austin, Texas.  Also, the Paris Public Library has this book in many formats.

(Via Audio). First, if you have lived in America for the last twenty years, beware that the cover feel is not what you get. It basically looks like Harry Potter (come on, tell me you agree) but this is not a magic bookseller story.  Instead, it's a magical story - aka well written page turner- about a bookseller and what happens when he finds a baby in his store.  Now don't spin off from there into "Three Men and a Baby," it's not that either.  Rather, the story is about real life situations that are interesting and difficult, and characters that you care about (a bookstore that is going under, a new book sales rep with a favorite little book, a widower faced with the challenge of going on, a surviving sister with difficulties of her own, a cop who starts a bookclub, an abandoned baby who grows into a bright young girl).  It's one of those sneaky books that take literature and life situations and put them in front of you for your consideration, such as is demonstrated by these little quotes:

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“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, "What is your favorite book?” 
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"We aren't the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think these really do live on.”
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"Sometimes books don't find us until the right time.”

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 “Do you like Moby Dick?" he asks.

"I hate it," she says. "And I don't say that about many things. Teachers assign it, and parents are happy because their kids are reading something of 'quality.' But it's forcing kids to read books like that that make them think they hate reading.”


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