A New York Times Bestseller, a #1 Indie Next Pick, and a #1 LibraryReads Selection
“This novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love--love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory.” —Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child
A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.
Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.
“Readers who delighted in Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Jessica Brockmole’s Letters from Skye will be equally captivated by this adult novel by a popular YA author about a life of books, redemption, and second chances. Funny, tender, and moving.” —Library Journal, starred review
“Wade into summer reading with this sweet yet soulful tale of love, loss, the power of friendship--and books. Like sunshine on a breezy spring day, you won’t want it to end.” —Family Circle
“Zevin perfectly captures the joy of connecting people and books . . . Filled with interesting characters, a deep knowledge of bookselling, wonderful critiques of classic titles, and very funny depictions of book clubs and author events, this will prove irresistible to book lovers everywhere.” —Booklist
“Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty.” —Publishers Weekly
“A wonderful, moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation that will sing in your heart for a very, very long time.” —Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A crotchety bookstore owner on a windblown island off the Massachusetts coast plans to drink himself to oblivion after losing his wife, but a shocking delivery alters his life forever. Author Gabrielle Zevin has concocted a marvelous love letter to reading—and a supremely fun and moving story about connection and community that will appeal to fans of The Rosie Project and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Drawn in bright colors and hilarious detail, Zevin’s characters are perfect company.
The only thing that's "storied" in the life of A.J. Fikry, a curmudgeonly independent bookseller, in this funny, sad novel from Zevin (The Hole We're In), is his obvious love of literature particularly short stories. Fikry runs Island Books, located on Alice Island, a fictional version of Martha's Vineyard. It's a "persnickety little bookstore," in the words of Amelia Loman, the new sales rep for Knightley Press. Her first meeting with Fikry does not go well. He's disgruntled by the state of publishing, and bereft because his beloved wife, Nic, recently died in a car accident. Soon after the meeting, he suffers another loss: a rare first edition of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Tamerlane (Fikry's primary retirement asset) goes missing. But then Fikry finds an abandoned toddler in his bookstore with a note saying, "This is Maya. She is twenty-five months old." Somewhat unbelievably, Maya ends up in his care and, predictably enough, opens the irascible bookseller's heart. The surprisingly expansive story includes a romance between Fikry and Amelia, and follows Maya to the age of 18 before arriving at a bittersweet denouement. Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty, and her affection for the book business is obvious.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good book but irritating lapses in time.
I really enjoyed reading this book and for the most part, I would recommend it to other readers. However, I feel that by the author skipping years at a time in between chapters, the storyline is hard to follow at times. I feel like if the author would have gone the route of telling the whole story with even the small details in more of a chronological order, then it could have made a great series rather than just one book about the topic.
What a Beautiful Book...
I cannot recommend this book highly enough - there is something very special about this book, as it describes a way of life, and love and books, in only the way someone who has lived it, pulls back the veil and asks you to come on in - it is a mood of the moment, which meets you half way, and walks you across the threshold as you are invited in the slice of life through the intersection of so many, who laugh, and cry, and hold, and turn away and rekindle those special moments and people, all at just the right time, as well as just the wrong time - you must get this book, and curl into your favorite reading corner, with a Do Not Disturb sign, as you savor each page, and each passage....there is just something very special about this book, and I know I will come back to passages again and again....thank you....
beautiful and thought provoking
a lovely, sentimental read