For those of us who consider our favorite books family members, for those who make friends with the characters in the books they read, for whom a treasured excursion is to a book store or library, for those who love not only the story, but the feel of pages-- the call of the words on a page, this is a marvelous find. There's something about a well done curmudgeon that I adore, and AJ Fikry, with his gentle thaw while never quite losing his unique outlook on life, totally captivated me and my literary heart. The rest of the characters are wonderful, and evolve in a totally realistic, human way. Gabrielle Zevin, incorporated both books I love, and books for me to add to my reading list, which is always a plus. And, I got to enjoy all the literary references (who didn't see The Book Thief coming when that customer complained about the book Fikry sold her?), and puns (A good mandarin is hard to find? How perfect). Plus, she's got six books under her pen that I can go back and explore, should I want to. I only wish that The Late Bloomer was a real book. Sounded like a good'un.
An interview I heard with the author on NPR is here.
Now, I'm off to update my reading wishlist.