Books And Music: The Playlist for The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Today’s post by this month’s featured author, Gabrielle Zevin | @GabrielleZevin

A.J. Fikry Zevin Pic

I didn’t have a playlist when I was writing The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, but since I like reading other people’s playlists, I decided to make one anyway. I can imagine that if you listened to these songs chronologically (and hit pause/repeat a lot), they’d more or less provide you with a mini soundtrack for the novel.  I’ve given you some rough page and quote indicators of where the songs could go.

1. “Lloyd I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken” – Camera Obscura

“Amelia the bright-sider believes it is better to be alone than to be with someone who doesn’t share your sensibilities and interests.” — p. 8

2. “Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed” – Silver Jews

“The difficulty of living alone is that any mess he makes he is forced to clean up himself.” — p.  19

3. “Adventures in Solitude” – The New Pornographers

“I’m not what you’d call an alcoholic, but I do like to drink until I pass out at least once a week.” — p. 35

4. “Simple Twist of Fate” – Bob Dylan

“Surely the owner of this bundle will return at any moment with an explanation that makes perfect sense.”— p. 49

5. “The Infanta” – The Decemberists


6. “September Gurls“– Big Star

“I’m the queen of lost causes, though.” — p. 91

7. “Left Alone” – Fiona Apple

“That’s one of those things you say to sound smart, right? But really you’re trying to make someone else feel stupid.” — p. 107

8. “Summer’s Life” – The Shaky Hands

“That June, the good weather makes A.J. and Amelia forget these and other objections.” — p. 134

9. “Garden Rose” – Lavender Diamond

“What kind of pipe is that?” – p. 147

10. “In Spite of Ourselves” – John Prine & Iris DeMent

“A good marriage is, at least, one part conspiracy.” – p. 155

11. “Everyday I Write the Book” – Elvis Costello

“He’d like to leave them before they leave him.” – p. 166

12. “Thirteen” Elliott Smith

“I know my mom. She always likes to carpool.” – p. 182

13. “We Used to Wait” – Arcade Fire

“What is so great about the times?” – p. 216

14. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” – R.E.M.

“Well, the thing is, I rather like your brain.” – p. 243

15. “Dead & Born & Grown” – The Staves

“In the end, we are collected works.” – p. 249

16. “Arrivals” – Aqualung

“…the owners won’t take what they can’t sell.” – p. 257

17. “Innocent When You Dream (78)” – Tom Waits

Acknowledgments/putting the book on the shelf music!

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.


  1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry | One Little Library - April 17, 2014

    […] you’re interested, author Gabrielle Zevin put together a playlist to go along with the book. You can also read Gabrielle’s post about this […]

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