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url 2015-07-10 05:11
Finalists for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Awards announced


"Shelter Us: A Novel" by Laura Nicole Diamond

"The Book of Life" by Deborah Harkness

"Life #6" by Diana Wagman



"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" by Caitlin Doughty

"A Curious Mind" by Brian Grazer

"To Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of the Modern City" by Josh Kun


T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award

"Marry, Kiss, Kill" by Anne Flett-Giordano

"The Replacements" by David Putnam

"The Cartel" by Don Winslow


Children’s picture book

"The Farmer and the Clown" by Marla Frazee

"The Book with No Pictures" by B.J. Novak

"Ninja Bunny" by Jennifer Gray Olson (Dan Santat)


Middle grade

"Space Case" by Stuart Gibbs

"The Fourteenth Goldfish" by Jennifer Holm

"Echo" by Pam Munoz Ryan


Young adult novel

"The Young Elites" by Marie Lu

"All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven

"Nimona" by Noelle Stevenson


Glenn Goldman Award for Art, Architecture, and Photography

"Both Sides of Sunset" by Jane Brown

"Why L.A.? Pour quoi Paris?" by Diane Ratican

"100 Not So Famous Views of L.A." by Barbara Thomason

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review 2014-04-07 04:27
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

originally published at http://www.thenovellife.com/2014/04/storied-life-aj-fikry.html


Gabrielle Zevin has created a novel that is pure 272 pages of love to the small independent bookseller.

what in this life is more personal than books?

An unhappy, poor and not-too friendly bookseller who has practically given up on living finds a package that changes him forever. A kindly Chief of Police, a one-hit wonder author and his wife Ismay who also happens to be A.J.’s sister-in-law and Amelia the galoshes-wearing, forever-optimistic sales rep for Knightley Books all of the characters are just as unique as a three-headed frog and as lovable as a “box full of chocolates!”

There ain’t nobody in the world like book people.

The writing is engaging, pulling you in from the first page when Amelia is disembarking the ferry in search of Island Books on Alice Island.   A.J. is the unlikeliest of heroes which adds to the charm of this novel ~ we can all be a hero in someone’s life; we can all make a difference. Those who put books in the hands of others that gets them reading, well, there’s a special medal somewhere for those bookish folks!

A novel of not knowing the effect our actions have on others {both good and not-so-good}, the meaning books have in our life, and learning it’s all about the connections. A beauty of a read that will have you nodding your head over A.J.’s notes about a particular novel and opinions of the E-reader while thinking of ways to travel to his Island Books & just to meet the cantankerous bookseller.


Fair warning ~ grab a box of kleenex and be prepared to cry, smile, laugh and cry once more. But after the final page has been turned, you’ll feel as though there IS good left in the world, that most people want to help, and bookish folks have been redeemed.  Highly recommended ~ both men & women will enjoy this one!

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