Prepare yourself. I’m going to gush over this one. Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is joining the ranks of books I love.

From the description:
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.

I read this book in one night.

Fikry is a bit of a prickly character, and I wondered where the Poe theft was going, but in time, all was revealed.

Zevin introduces each chapter with commentary on a particular literary work.  I had to look up summaries of a few of them to make sure I had the full context.  And as Fikry was providing his thoughts on each book for his daughter, I suspected what was happening, and I was right.

The book is at times funny, often poignant, and terribly bittersweet.   But it’s also satisfying and heartfelt. And of course, surrounded by thoughts about books- how one person’s drivel is another’s favorite genre. How opening ourselves up to others, opens us to all kinds of new experiences, including books we read.

And, for those of us who love books, how books and the relationships we build with others who love them, can enrich and change our lives.

I’ve been telling everyone I know they need to read this book. Do yourself a favor and check it out.