Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Challenges: I Love Libraries
Description: Hanging over the porch of the tiny New England bookstore called Island Books is a faded sign with the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.
A.J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly. And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming him or for a determined sales rep named Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light. The wisdom of all those books again become the lifeblood of A.J.’s world and everything twists into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: I heard a lot of buzz about this book and based on what I heard, I knew that I wanted to read this book and I wasn't disappointed at all.
I think my primary enjoyment of the book had not to do with the fact that the world that Ms. Zevin created was the world of books, but rather the way that she drew me into A. J.'s world and made me feel like I was a part of that world. I felt as though I live on the small island in the story and honestly, if I had a bookstore like that A. J. ran in my hometown, I probably would frequent the store more than an online store to buy my books.
I also liked the numerous bookish references that the author employed within the book and that it was a fairly short read.
Bottom line: Really enjoyed how the author used language to draw the reader into the book. I also felt that the book could have been a little longer, as I felt that the ending was a little rushed. I would recommend the book to those that enjoy books that talk about or reference books or take place in quirky locations. Highly recommended.
Pages for 2014: 23,793