Thursday, 10 April 2014

The collected works of A J Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

A fun book!

The last one I read was Mr Penumbra's 24 hour bookstore and that was last year.
Not because I deliberately avoid them but because they lurk in plain clothes on bookshelves.
As an avid reader and nerdy booklover I enjoy books about books so The collected works of A J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin was going to end up in my sticky mitts at some point.
The snag being that when I went to Red Lion Books I could only remember from the blurb that "it's about a bookseller who has a baby dropped on his doorstep with a funny name, possibly Filkry" "author?" "no, sorry, I don't know that either"
Due credit to them, an excited young bookseller exclaimed "I know that one" and almost leaped across the shop to get it from the shelf it had sat on for a whole day.
Fikry it is then.
That's why I love bookshops.
Home with the purchase and it's a book that grabs you immediately and lets go around 4 hours later. So not a long book, not a complicated read, but fun.
Widower A J Fikry owns a bookstore on Alice Island USA.
The shop is open but he's lost enthusiasm.
He's got family support and local support but not his important person anymore.
Great characters surround him, a local divorced police officer, a sister in law married to a man who has trouble with zips, particularly those of the trouser variety and one day a baby is added to his circle. The baby has a letter attached asking him to care for it. Shortly afterwards the mother is found drowned.
He has no idea what to do with one of those but Google has its uses.
When he finds that the baby is due to be farmed out to any foster family he decides that a specific request from the mother gives him a certain obligation.
Life gradually changes.
So far so women's lit with a pink cover.
But that is underselling this one.
It has excerts from great books, it has a sub-story, mystery, a bit of crime, some romance, teenage angst, bookselling trials and tribulations.
Excellent, great one for a book club as well because nobody won't have time to read it.

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