The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry & The Little Paris Bookshop

Book Pairing

Storied Life of A.J. Fikry   Little Paris Bookshop

Two charming and very popular books that will grab your attention and make you smile.  These tales are quite similar in tone and themes.  Not only are they novels about book shops surrounded by a small community, they also feature protagonists who need the company of literature to keep them grounded and give them comfort during a time of grief.  In the first story, A.J. Fikry is coming to terms with his wife’s death, while trying to run a bookstore on Alice Island in New England.  His sorrow is doubled by the fact that she was pregnant when she died.  Although the locals are used to his literary snobbery and limited tastes in books, they depend on his business to give the town a sense of belonging.  Fikry’s rigid personality is forever changed by a surprise left to him one night and also by lovely Amelia (an eccentric sales rep for Knightley Press).  Indeed, when several officers of the police department come together to form a book club, it is easy to see the effect of the bookstore’s existence.  The second novel focuses on Jean Perdu, who true to his name, is lost on a metaphoric level.  Though he is close to fifty, he is still pining for a lover who had left him years ago and cannot let his sorrow escape his daily thoughts.  He owns a barge on the Seine, filled with titles galore, to help feed the cravings of various readers who come to visit.  In his own way, he is a therapist, helping to match people to their perfect book.  However pessimistic and highbrow he is with particular works, buyers usually trust his suggestions.  When a young aspiring author arrives on Perdu’s boat, a new adventure begins and the literary apothecary begins to open up, becoming someone he never imagined—even allowing himself to love again.  Another thread between the two books is that each story has titles suggested throughout.  If you ever needed ideas for reading, you can certainly jot down their list of recommendations.  No doubt, you will laugh and cry after reading both and you will remember the characters for a long time.


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