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Bettie's Books

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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

bookshelves: published-2014, spring-2014, books-about-books-and-book-shops, north-americas, chick-lit, contemporary, families, flufferoonies, fradio, lit-crit, midlife-crisis, young-adult, amusing

Read from March 14 to 29, 2014


Description: Beguiling, funny and poignant, The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry is largely set in Island Books, a failing independent bookshop in the middle of an island community off the American coast. A. J.Fikry, the shop's owner, is struggling to come to terms with a devastating loss, Amelia, a sales rep for a small publisher can't find the right man, and Maya, the baby found abandoned beside the piles of books, with a note, all gravitate to its teetering stackes. Island Books brings them together and offers life lessons gleaned from reading which are passed on and shared.

Gabrielle Zevin is an award winning American novelist, writing for adults and young adults. She is also a screenwriter; her first screenplay was 'Conversations with Other Women' which starred Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart.

Madeleine Potter has appeared in numerous films, television series, and theatre productions. She is well known to Radio 4 audiences for We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Great Swim and Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Hari Dhillon reads from A.J. Fikry's journal. Hari has read for Book of the Week and Book at Bedtime and starred in Holby City.

The abridger is Sally Marmion and the producer is Elizabeth Allard.

Episode 1 - Amelia, meet A.J - A.J, meet Amelia

Episode 2 - An unlikely discovery in the children's section of the bookshop presents A.J. with a dilemma. Madeleine Potter is the narrator, and Hari Dhillon reads from A.J. Fikry's journal.

Episode 3 - A.J. Fikry acts out of love when he makes an extraordinary commitment.

Episode 4 - Maya and A.J. open a book each, and what they find inside leads to delight and opportunity.

Episode 5 - Amelia's favourite book finds A.J planning a trip to Providence with Maya and his trusted friend, Lambiase.

Episode 6 - events take a curious turn when A.J. plays host to an author.

Episode 7 - a celebration and a reckoning.

Episode 8 - Maya reflects on her past and the mother she never knew.

Episode 9 - there are new beginnings and some unwelcome news.

Episode 10 - secrets are revealed.

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You remember the days when Scotch, Cake and Watermelon deconstructed what makes a good pop record (be kind, I'm talking relative here) and then wrote zillions of the things, pandering to the masses and earning themselves shedfuls of money? Well a similar deconstruction is what seems to have done concerning popular reads and their readers. It won't matter that this is a 3* read, three stars are solid gold in the pocket aren't they, and Ms Zevin Should Be So Lucky as to have a big enough purse to handle the rewards.

A charming middle of the road read.

You can catch it here