Just Read

The Storied Life Of AJ Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin

I think expectation spoiled this book for me. I kept reading about this book on every book blog that I read, all wonderful things. I wasn’t sure about whether this book was for me the few times I came across it in bookstores, but wanted to read it all the same because of the sheer number of good reviews it had received. I downloaded it on my Kindle recently and read it in a couple of days, ending up disappointed with it.

The Storied Life Of AJ Fikry is, as the name suggests, the story of AJ Fikry, a youngish bookstore owner who is a bit weird. He has recently lost his beloved wife and is sinking into a life of despair and nothingness. One fine day, he finds a little girl, Maya, in his bookstore, left in his care by her mother. The book goes on to narrate how AJ Fikry deals with this unexpected finding.

The storyline was simple and very much realistic, well narrated too. Most of the characters are good-hearted and likeable – and I think that was my problem with the book – most everyone was too saccharine sweet. AJ Fikry is a book lover, and I loved the way he thought of the various books he read throughout his lifetime and the ones that he sold. I think every book lover would be able to relate to those parts.

I was expecting the book to be mind-blowing, but it turned out overly simple. I was, kind of, underwhelmed with the book, if you know what I mean. It wasn’t a bad read per se, but it wasn’t great for me either. Judging by the number of people who have loved this book to bits, I would say, maybe, it is just me who feels that way.

Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage – Molly Wizenberg

This turned out to be yet another book that was spoiled for me by expectation. Two disappointments in a row, sigh!

I loved, loved, loved Molly Wizenberg’s debut book, A Homemade Life, and can’t stop recommending it to people. I think it is a great foodie memoir, written with a lot of warmth, one that I was able to completely relate to. As soon as I knew the author’s second book – Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage – was out, I wanted to get my hands on it. I found a great deal on Amazon for the book recently and immediately downloaded it, much in glee. Sadly, it disappointed me to no end.

Delancey is the story of how the author and her husband, Brandon, went on to open a restaurant and how their life changed after that. I had expected the warmth and love that reflected in A Homemade Life, but this book fell extremely short of that. The narration of the story seems lifeless, without any kind of passion or love. There were some descriptions of food that were beautifully done, I must say, and those were the only parts of the book worth reading. Food is what this author writes about best, according to me.

I am not sure if I am the only person who felt this way about Delancey, though. So, if you have read and loved A Homemade Life, maybe you would like to give this one a try too and see for yourself?

Have you read any or both of these books? What were your thoughts about it/them?

What are you reading these days?


12 thoughts on “Just Read

  1. No youre not the only one who felt thatw ay about Delancy. I discussed it here with Monika http://sinamontales.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-best-homemade-pizza-ever-and-bit-about-delancy-a-man-a-woman-a-restaurant-and-a-marriage/

    I havent read it, but considering I was disappointed with A Homemade Life, I didnt feel too tempted to pick it up after reading a couple of reviews on Goodreads, and then MOnikas and now your thoughts.

    I personally feel its a tough battle turning a blog into a book and this is where many niche writers fall short.


    1. @Haathi

      I think I have told you earlier that I adored A Homemade Life. That’s why I was eager to pick up Delancey. I found the first book so warm and full of love, which was not at all there in Delancey.

      Personally, I think the author writes about food the best. Even in Delancey, the parts where she writes about food (few and far between) were lovely. The parts where she writes about the running of the eatery she started with her husband are, comparatively, bland.

      I agree – turning a blog into a book is not an easy job.


      1. Yes, I remember you enjoyed Homemade Life.. I meant *I* dudnt enjoy it, so especially after reading your review of Delancy, I am not tempted to pick it up now. But The other memoir you mentioned does sound good!


  2. dear girl next door, congratulations on becoming a mother! this message probably comes a little too late but I had been off internet for a while and today I decided to catch up on my favorite blogger and here she is a MOMMY! My best wishes and warm hugs to both of you! 🙂


  3. I think it is perfectly ok not to like a book that everyone loved.

    Contrary to your experience,A J Fikry was a fantastic experience for me…I just loved it and it is a book that I read in a single day. That is an achievement considering I have two young kids.

    I know that I expected a masterpiece, but somehow I was hooked with the simplicity of it.

    My husband is reading it and I am not expecting a good feedback from him. He is just reading it to indulge me and does not like to read romance books.


  4. Opps.. two disappointments in a row! Sigh.

    I am reading The Shadow of the Wind right now. I have heard it from a lot of people about how great this book is, but somehow its not working for me. I am half way through and I feel like not reading at all. I wonder if my opinion changes when I complete it.


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