Monday, January 19, 2015

A Storied Life

I don't think a semi-pro basketball game with several thousand elementary and middle school kids, teachers, and parent chaperones is the absolute craziest place I have ever tried to read a book, but it is the craziest place I tried to read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin.

 After finally mastering all the intricacies of a bulk mailing and ushering several hundred auction donation requests on their way, I was in serious need of a good book and Her Royal Spyness just wasn't cutting it.  I had given up on getting to A.J. Fikry before it had to go back to the library, but then I decided that I didn't want to admit defeat that easily. So, I started reading it on Wednesday and by Friday I had conquered the irascible bookseller at the heart of this charming story.  It's good to branch out and try new genres and challenge myself as a reader, but nothing beats the pleasure of a story that satisfies from start to finish at a quick clip.  

I was far enough along on Thursday that I really couldn't bear to leave the book behind when I boarded the bus with Boo and the rest of his class and joined a third of the public school population of our town at the local arena built by the NBA to house a semi-pro team, the development league of the Golden State Warriors.  The team has quickly become an integral part of our community and bestows its largesse any time it can, including inviting all local public school children to attend at least one tournament game during the week.  

Alas, I didn't get very far with the book during the game, but I quickly made up for it.  It's hard to say too much about the book without giving away the story, but it involves a young widower who owns a bookstore on a fictional island off the coast of Cape Cod.  It's not exactly magical realism, but the time is not exactly linear either.  The characters are wonderful and most of the action takes place in a bookstore.  There's a little action, a little love, and a lot of books.