Bad decision. Very bad decision.
When I finally got around to opening the cover and reading the first page, I was enamored. I fell in love with the writing style, with the story line, with the characters. With the book.
And I am still in love.
This is a magical book for book nerds like me.
A.J. Fickry is a crotchety old man. “Old” at the ripe physical age of 39. But the emotional, angry, obstinate, irritable, disagreeable age of a man who has lived 90 years of misery.
His shop, Island Books is suffering financially because of his demeanor. He is even rude and mean to the new book rep, Amelia from Knightly Press, even though she has taken two buses and a ferry to make her way to him. Very mean.
He hates everyone and everything. Nothing makes him happy. Not even the extremely rare copy of Tamerlane, the first work published by Edgar Allen Poe, a poem attributed to “A Bostonian.” Very rare because only 50 copies were ever printed.
And A.J. owns one that he sometimes rescues from locked glass case and stares at and talks to while he drinks.
Awaking one morning from a drunken stupor to find Tamerlane stolen, A.J.’s life takes a dramatic turn. Even more of an emotional turn when he returns home a few weeks later to find a baby named Maya alone in his shop with a letter asking him to keep her.
The years that follow A.J.’s and Maya’s lives brings you deeper and deeper into the story and more and more in love with this man and his life.
For me this was a book that I could not read quickly enough, and yet I did not want to read it quickly because that would bring the ending too soon.
An amazing book, beautifully written and a must read for book nerds like me. Trust me, you will love this book!
The audio version, read by Scott Brick in a soothing, somewhat melodious voice adds so much to this book and to bringing A.J. Fickry to life. Very calming, inspiring and a tone and inflection that makes you believe you actually have come to know A.J. personally. Worth a listen!