Friday, January 1, 2016

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Along with baking, I love reading. With my 3 year work anniversary being in December, and my aunt knowing how much I love to read, I ended 2015 with a couple of gift cards to Barnes and Noble. I generally have some anxiety when buying new books. Sort of a fear of missing out mentality. What if the book I spent my hard earned money on ends up being horrible? What if I hate the writing style? What if there is something better out there? I do better at book sales where the stakes aren't as high.

I thoroughly believe that books do in fact come into your life when you need them the most. It's one of the reasons I buy books I've already read. Sometimes you need to go back to one part of a book and reread it because the author manages to say something you're feeling, but don't know how to say yourself. This story was no exception. I heard about almost 9 months ago, but didn't pick it up until now. I've been to the library many times since then but never sought it out.

I used part of the gift cards to help round out my collection of "Outlander" novels. I also ended up buying a couple of books I had never read and never heard of. My last buy was a book called "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin. It was featured on NPR in March/April, and I've been waiting to read it since then. I had to go to two separate book stores before I finally found it. The staff member at the first store mentioned how much she liked it when I asked if there were any more in stock. Always a good sign. When I finally found a copy on 28th street, I opened it up and felt disappointment to see that it was written in third person present tense. This is my least favorite form of writing, as I prefer third person past tense. I figured that since I'd been looking forward to reading this book, I'd give it a go. I found a comfy chair and cracked it open. 

4 pages in and I was hooked. I stayed up last night reading. I read it until it was over and it was lovely. It struck a chord, or many chords really. I think every chapter had something in it that gave me the feels. Bits like "Her mother likes to say that novels have ruined Amelia for real men." Or "Sometimes books don't find us until the right time." Or even "A place is not really a place without a bookstore." It's a book about someone who loves books. Give it a go. It's worth it.

I'm about halfway through my 50 book goal that I started in June. I used to read 50 books in a summer when I worked at the library. Now that I work, it's not something I have as much time for. I do cheat a little bit by including audio books on the list. When I'm driving, I can listen. When I'm at work, I can listen. I'm working on spending less time directly in front of a screen and spending more time reading or coloring or baking or even doing yoga, so here's to a book filled, colorful, delicious, flexible new year.