The Southwest Book Club starts off the new year discussing The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevon. This enchanting and unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love. A New York Times Bestseller, a #1 Indie Next Pick, and a #1 LibraryReads Selection.
Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library. No registration needed. For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, January 20
Southwest Library Meeting Room
If you are unable to attend the meeting or you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!
1. The author chooses to begin each chapter with a description of a short story. Discuss some of the ways the stories relate to the chapters with which they are paired. Is A.J. creating a canon for Maya? How does the book itself function as a kind of canon? If these are A.J.'s favorites, what do they say about A.J. as a reader and as a man?
2. Were you surprised by the outcome of the short story contest? What do you think of A.J.'s comments to Maya about why certain books and stories win prizes and others don't? Does the knowledge that a book has won a prize attract you to reading it?
3. Compare Maya's "fiction" about the last day of her mother's life to Ismay's version. Which do you consider to be more accurate and why?
4. At one point, A.J. asks Maya, "Is a twist less satisfying if you know it's coming? Is a twist that you can't predict symptomatic of bad construction?" What do you think of this statement in view of the plot of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry? Did you guess who Maya's father was? If so, what were the clues?
5. How do you think the arrival of the e-reader is related to the denouement of the story? Is A.J. a man who cannot exist in a world with e-books? What do you think of e-books? Do you prefer reading in e- or on paper?
6. The author chooses to end the novel with a new sales rep coming to an Island Books that is no longer owned by A.J. What do you make of this ending?
Discussion questions obtained at BookBrowse.com.