Alias is one of those tv shows that I just missed. Never really thought about it until 15 years after it debuted. I knew people watched it, I knew it was a thing, but I didn’t watch it. This summer, though, I started checking out all of the Alias DVDs at the library on a whim. Since then, I’ve become something of a Jennifer Garner completionist. This coincided nicely with my quest to become a Timothy Olyphant completionist. They co-starred in a rom-dramedy (?) called Catch and Release. This book is kind of like that movie. It’s funny, sometimes it’s a gut punch, there’s some relaxed sex that is like sex actual adults have (instead of vampires or cool people).
Anyway, indirectly, Alias primed me for Catch and Release, which primed me to enjoy this book that is gorgeous and also a gut punch that I won’t be reading again. Sometimes things are too good or too true to draw from too much.
Ok, enough stalling. The plot: A.J. Fikry is a curmudgeonly bookshop owner in some little tourist town in the Northeast called Alice. His little bookshop is awesome, but he is not. He is cranky beyond the charming way, and he’s something of a burgeoning alcoholic. Things…haven’t gone his way. Fortunately, the people in his small town aren’t all that bad, and through a series of lit-fic-rom-dramedy events, Fikry gets the opportunity to explore a fuller life.
What I enjoyed the most was Zevin’s writing. She loves books, and not in the way people on pinterest love books (aka “carve them up into shapes”). She loves what books contain and mean and how they help us borrow words we can’t find ourselves. What, she asks, is more personal than books?
It’s a pretty book with laughs and some ugly sobs, just like real life.