On this gorgeous summer morning, with little humidity and lots of sun, I wanted to take a few minutes to write a quick post, as we will be going away for the weekend and I will not be able to post at my usual time.
I finished a book yesterday that we will be discussing at my Volunteer book club meeting next Friday. The Storied Life of A J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is a short novel that is both moving and thought-provoking, not surprisingly a popular choice for book clubs. It tells the story of A J Fikry, a curmudgeonly bookstore owner on Alice Island, a fictional small island accessible by ferry from Boston. He is recently widowed and is slowly sliding into alcoholic oblivion. When one major event and then another occurs in his life, he is forced to make choices that may alter his life significantly. That’s all I want to say about the plot for now, but will write more about it after my meeting next week. I will say that it was much better than I was anticipating. It was well-written and succinct, a story of love and redemption, an homage to bookstores, readers and the printed word, and Zevin demonstrated a real gift with language, as evident in her many skilled turns of phrases. It brought to mind a few books I’ve read recently, and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman or The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.
And I listened to an audiobook recently, The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. It tells the story of Chip, a pilot whose is forced to land his plane in the water, killing 39 of the 48 people on board. He is haunted by these dead souls, and he and his family move away in the hopes that this will be a fresh start. What happens instead is that his family members, a wife and twin daughters, are drawn surreptitiously into a group of citizens in the small town who call themselves herbalists but seem to have a sinister hidden agenda. And the pilot’s hauntings are becoming worse, not better. Imagine Rosemary’s Baby meeting The Shining with a dose of The Exorcist, add two narrators, one of them pretty bad, and you’ve got this unfortunate book. I would not recommend it to anyone.
That’s all for today. Have a great long weekend!Bye for now…