The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Abbi Waxman

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable family members, Nina is horrified. It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction.

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“Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin

The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone's radar.

Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They're all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It's a disaster! And as if that wasn't enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn't he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It's time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn't convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It's going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Advance Galley Reviews

Thank you to First To Read and Penguin Random House for this ARC. What a fun perfectly crazy read about books, life and who we are and who we aren’t. Absolutely loved it. If you need a light feel good read, this is it!

This book will not go down in history as one of the greatest books of all time. Fine. However, it made me laugh, it made me cheer for characters, and I could relate to many of the situations. So for me, this was a 5 star book. Ms. Waxman's casual campy writing style blends perfectly with the quirky cultural and literary references sprinkled liberally throughout the book, along with a few mishaps that I think she included just to make sure the reader was fully paying attention. I was somewhat jealous of Nina's simple life. She never seemed lonely and perhaps that might be the books only fault: finding her family didn't seem to fill a hole since the hole was never noticed before. This book is perfect for an afternoon read, a beach read, a cheer yourself up read, or for anyone who enjoys books enough to have a Goodreads account!

The cover is a great indicator of the delightfulness of this book.

Unfortunately time got away from me and I didn't have a chance to read this book.

Nina is a late twenty-something bookworm living a well organized, abet anxious, life in LA, when a lawyer walks into her bookstore to inform her that the father she never knew has died. Suddenly Nina's world has widen to include not only a dead father but siblings, neices and nephews, even a great neice or two. Not to mention the hot guy on the opposing trivia team suddenly has the hots for Nina. Her world is becoming unstable and that is definitely not on her schedule. Writing with a witty, distinctively original humor, Waxman once again sucked me into her story as through I really was Nina, dealing with her twists and turns, anxiety and love of books. Being a highly bookish, somewhat shy introvert myself  and dealing with my own anxiety, I completely related to Nina on several levels. I spent a very entertaining few hours deep in the lives of these interesting well written characters, needing to know what would happen next but not wanting to story to end. And as is the hazard of any truly dedicated book lover, I also spent sometime expanding by TBR list with all the books referenced in the story. Not to mention enjoying Phil, Nina's witty and protective cat. I give this novel an enthusiastic 5 Stars.

I loved this delightful book! Who wouldn't be drawn into the quirky life of awkward, introverted, book loving Nina, her friends and new family, the bookstore where she works, her trivia competitions and, of course, Tom; it is funny, charming and very enjoyable.

I don't know why it's so hard to review this book for me. I enjoyed it. I finished it. I laughed out loud at times. The characters were different but not extreme. The planner inserts were cute and the day to day issues relatable. I connected with Nina and her small comfortable life like mine. But the family issues does a Hallmark about face full of kumbaya and fulfillment that just rubs me the wrong way. I felt so seen when Nina had her attack and had to tell him to leave. But then he ghosted and she had to confront him, make the romantic declaration and win him back?? Fuck that. The middle sagged. The big reveal about LI's job felt stupid and contrived. So...

I really enjoyed Abbi Waxman's previous novel Other People's Houses, so I was looking forward to this book and I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved this! I love quirky characters and Nina is definitely in that category. I was completely engaged in the story and I laughed out loud several times throughout the book. The novel did end very abruptly so I wish it had a smoother ending. All in all, I highly enjoyed this book and it's one of my favorites of the year.

Nina has her life just the way she likes it: a job in a bookstore, a member of an awesome trivia team, has her life in complete order in her planner, an only child with no family obligations to get in the way of reading, and her cat named Phil. When her father she never knew passes away, this changes her life forever...she inherits a WHOLE family. I absolutely loved this book! Waxman writes a character every book lover can relate to. And the novel reads like you are watching an awesome chick flick. It is so easy to read and all you want to do is find out what happens next to Nina. I recommend to every book nerd and chick flick lover.

5 stars! I loved this book! It was funny and sweet, and I found it a pleasure to join Nina Hill as she navigated some unexpected circumstances. Nina is an introverted book lover who thinks her job at a local bookshop would be ideal without the customers. She has created a structured life run by schedules. And then she gets the unexpected news that her father- who she never knew- has left her an inheritance and an extended family. Along with that, she is romantically intrigued by a man on a rival trivia team who is equally intrigued by her. With a history of anxiety, change is hard for Nina, and she faces these situations with a combination of humor and fear that is very relatable. I will definitely read this book again. I loved all the literary references, and the story made me smile regularly. Abbi Waxman has become a go-to author for me. It was also a pleasant surprise to visit some characters from an earlier novel; they played a bit role in this one.

This is a sweet, quick read that is sure to delight any introverted booklover as the leading lady, Nina, is charming and infinitely relatable. There is a little bit of everything in here. There's romance, family drama, and fun with a wonderful side-helping of books and trivia. There's also a very realistic portrayal of what it means to suffer from anxiety and a well-developed reminder of the importance of giving people a chance without judging too harshly. It's not one of those books that will change your life or that will get a lot of literary praise, but it's vastly enjoyable and incredibly relaxing. Definitely, something I would recommend.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a cute, breezy read. I enjoyed Nina’s “bookish” personality and her interactions with her new family. I enjoyed the build up to the romance, but the actual romance was a little cheesy for me. Also, some of the characters and dialogue just seemed a little off or one-dimensional, and the pacing didn’t completely work for me. Still, I enjoyed the book overall and think a lot of other people will enjoy it as well.

I was very excited to read this book based on the description. Once I got into the book I found it hard to focus on the story. It did not grab my attention and I could not finish the book.

This book was so charming. There were so many aspects of Nina that I related to, so it was so easy to just get completely wrapped up into her story. I loved the awkward romance between her and Tom, and really enjoyed the family dynamic between Nina and her new found relatives. Especially her relationship between Peter, the way they fed off each other was so fun to read and made you wish you could be friends with them. My only issue with this was that it felt a little pretentious at times when it came to dialogue. There were just things like certain word choices and phrases, mostly in regards to the younger kids in the book, that I just felt weren't believable. Aside from that, I flew through this book because I just couldn't put it down.

Some parts of the story I liked, some parts I didn't. There were quite a few things about Nina I could relate to though which is always nice when you are able to feel a connection to the character. Nina Hill is an only child and was raised mostly by her nanny as her single mother was hardly ever around. Nina works in a bookstore and loves to play trivia with her friends. She likes structure and is thrown for a loop when things don't go according to plan. When she receives news that the father she never knew has died and she actually has quite a few siblings, nephews, nieces, and other relatives, let's just say Nina's simple and comfortable life is about to change. Her romantic life is also about to get interesting when a man named Tom takes a liking to her. Books and reading were definitely a big part of the story which I loved and along with some of Nina's other personality traits were things I could easily relate to. I might be in the minority here but I didn't really care for whole new family storyline. I was much more invested in her romantic life and how she had to adjust when random things would happen which nudged her out of her comfort zone a bit. Overall a solid read, but not perfect. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

I am completely ashamed of myself for not having read Abbi Waxman before and I intend to remedy that ASAP. This book was perfect for me and for all book lovers. It was hilarious. I laughed so hard, I cried. I had to wipe actual tears from my eyes. It was also sweet and tender but not sappy. It was so good, I was sad when it was over even though I stayed up late to finish it in one sitting.

Right from the beginning, this writing sucked me in. I loved it. I wish I was better with words to describe it, but seriously. I'm not a laugh out loud kind of person, especially when reading, but I laughed several times over random lines, messaging my friend who was reading at the same time as me. There were so many good ones! When this is published, I'm going to buy it and basically highlight the entire thing. This is a very quotable book. Nina was a fantastic character. I adored her. I liked Tom too, though - spoilery, kinda, can you remove that one line about him meeting the other woman who did say yes to his invitation? I feel like that won't go over well with the romance crowd.. but whatever. Anyway. I really felt for him when Nina was being unknowingly mean to him. I loved their relationship. I loved that it was a hint of a romance but this would appeal to non-romance fans too - I recently finished another book with a closed door sex scene and this one was handled SO much better. Didn't feel like the door was being slammed in my face. I realise most people won't even notice or be bothered by that, but I would and I thought it was done really well in this one. I loved Tom's cheesy line at the end. I loved Nina's friends, I loved Nina's family. I loved Phil the cat. The writing in this book is seriously amazing. I couldn't get enough of it. I do think the story stalled in its unputdownable-ness around the 3/4 mark but can't put my finger on why. It picked up again towards the end. This was just a ridiculously enjoyable book that I would recommend to almost everyone.

I absolutely loved this book. It truly read as a love letter to Los Angeles. I am very familiar with Nina's stomping grounds in LA, and the author described the places perfectly! Her daily to-do lists were fun for each chapter, and I liked the subplot about finding her father and the inheritance. I did find the ending a bit lackluster, only because I wanted more! I will definitely be passing this one on to my bookish friends. What a treat!

I was very excited to read The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. Based off of the synopsis, the character, Nina, seemed interesting. She had a cat, worked in a bookstore, loved all things bookish, and came off as awkward and quirky in the first couple of chapters. There was a plethora of book related references in the section of the story that I read. That being said, I didn’t end up finishing the book. All the things that initially interested me about it weren’t enough to keep my attention. Ultimately, this book just wasn’t for me, but I still think the story would appeal to many others.

I just LOVE Abbi Waxman - she writes lovely, silly, sweet, poignant, surprisingly insightful characters who live ordinary lives, with all the extraordinary nonsense that inhabits them... Her characters leap off the page and into your mind and heart, and they do so not only because of the thoughtful way that they are crafted but because they are so eminently relatable. In this story, what should by rights be a trope - single girl who loves books more than people - is instead a glorious study of what it means to live a life that seems satisfying right up until it isn't anymore. And anyone who has lived has lived that particular experience, which is what makes it so resonant. What makes it so enjoyable is the marvelous cast of supporting characters, which complement Nina so well and turn the entire story into a panoply of the highs and lows of life. It was a delight to read and once again confirmed that as soon as I finish an Abbi Waxman novel I can't wait for the next to come out!

"Even in the most organized life there is room for whimsy. It just needs scheduling. As her heroine Monica Gellar would say, Rules help control the fun." The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is my third book by Abbi Waxman, her books are always such a joy to read. She will forever and always be an author I will forever and always pick up. From her first book The Garden of Small Beginnings and Other People's Houses, the chaos of characters intertwined in the everyday playfulness of life that she creates is pure genius. This book is of no exception and follows the same writing style that I have come to love with Ms. Waxman. Nina Hill loves books, she lives books, is a self-proclaimed introvert, and trivia guru. She prefers a life of solitude, not to say that she doesn't have a small very understanding village behind her encouraging her through life. Well Nina's village is about to get a whole lot bigger, after the father she never knew dies and lists her in his will. Nina goes from only child, content with her cat Phil living alone, to having a multitude of family members that make the Brady Bunch look small, including brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, great and grand. Don't worry there is a visual family tree for reference. Her life is thrown into anxiety hell, not to mention an extremely attractive non-reader Tom throwing her hormones into pandemonium. Nina's very scheduled managed life(raft) is taking on water and she's just trying to keep herself a float. I loved the quirkiness about Nina, and being someone who herself suffers from anxiety, felt some comfort while reading. "In public Nina was a quiet, reserved person; in private she was an all-singing, all-dancing cavalcade of light and motion. Unless she was a quivering ball of anxiety, because that was also a frequently selected option. She was very good at hiding it, but anxiety was like her anti-super power, the one that came out unbidden in a crisis. The HULK gets angry; Nina got anxious." I loved the visual planner pages, helping us get a glimpse into Nina's everyday planning life (However, as a side note, the script font was a little difficult to read), the numerous pop-culture trivia quips, and the fantastically hilarious sarcastic banter between all these characters. Fun, clever, witty, and oh so smart of a read. Can't wait for more by this author, she is clearly a favorite for me!

Honestly this book was so heart warming and funny at the same time. I absolutely love it!! Nina was the most reliable character ever (at least in my case, I have anxiety). The book draw me immediately and I am so glad to have read such wonderful story. Thanks for the advanced copy.

A young woman who's passions include all things books along with the local trivia scene learns a lot about herself and finds love along the way in Abbi Waxman's The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. I'm sure a lot of women can relate to her independent nature as well as her introverted leaning and fight with anxiety. Overall, the characters were thought out, although I wish there had been a little more development of Tom. The book does focus on Nina's life, but since some sections are written from Tom's perspective the story would have benefited from more development of his past and current character. The story way quite cute and fun. I was quickly drawn in and finished the book in a day. I highly recommend this book for contemporary romance fans who like a little spirit in their female leads.

I received a copy of this book via First To Read for the purpose of giving my honest review. This humorous book is a light hearted read. Nina is an avid reader (aren't we all!?) and trivia buff. She would much rather spend her days at the bookstore she works at or home with her cat, curled up with a book. Her life is thrown off a bit when she meets family she had no idea existed and meets a man she begins to fall in love with. Nina must learn that it's okay to be bookish and introverted, while still maintaining meaningful relationships. I really enjoyed the tone of the book. It's very current and was written in a playful tone.

This was such an enjoyable and fun women’s fiction read. I relate a lot to Nina with her love of reading and cats and anxiety. I wish I could go into her world and become one of the employees at the book store. I could never join the trivia team however.

I loved it! Plain and simple, I just loved this book! Nina Hill is me in an alternate reality! I sometimes dream about this ideal scenario where I am working in a bookshop and earning enough to live comfortably while occasionally having some funds to indulge in planners and fancy stationary. The bookish life of Nina Hill breaks a lot of stereotypes about people who love to read . For once,the lead is not this sweet faced angel of a person but an actual real person facing issues like anxiety over meeting her new found family. I wont go too much into details, otherwise I will end up mentioning a lot of spoilers. But yes, would definitely recommend this to my fellow readers just to get a new perspective on

I really enjoyed this book! I liked Nina’s character and could relate to her a lot, as I’m sure most bookish people will be able to. I also appreciated her character development throughout the story and the relationships she developed with her family members. There are a couple small “plot holes” that I noticed.. for example, when Nina has lunch with Peter for the first time, they exchange phone numbers when they’re done, which doesn’t make sense because he had already given him her number prior to that and told her to text him to make those lunch plans. The second one I noticed was when they were talking about Nina’s family members at one point, Katherine was referred to as Rachel.. I’m assuming her name must’ve been changed as one point during the writing process. All in all though I really liked this story and it was a light, easy read. The author’s style of writing pulled me in right from the beginning and I liked the easy humor she writes with. Will definitely recommend this book when it’s available!

Nina Hill is a book lover and trivia nerd who enjoys perfectly organizing and planning her days and weeks. In other words, she's an extremely reliable character. I think most readers are jealous of any character who gets to spend her days working at bookstore since we love to romanticize that alternate universe. Nina had an unconventional childhood raised largely by a nanny since her single mother traveled the world as a professional photographer. Therefore, Nina is shocked to find out the identify of her now deceased father and the large immediate family, that until know, she never knew existed. Top that off with a subplot following Nina's romantic relationship with the captain of a rival trivia team and you have a charming storyline to enjoy. This is my first Abbi Waxman novel and I found her style of writing delightful. Fast paced and witty I finished this book in a matter of days. Some might focus on the quirkiness of Nina, but what I appreciated the most was the realness of Nina's anxiety and evolution of Nina's coping mechanisms. Ultimately, I think this is what draws you to Nina's character much more than her quirkiness. Depending on your focus you might suggest that occasionally some of the characters could be more developed, but I find it depends on what you see as the main plot line of the novel. Overall, I think Waxman has created a delightful story that pulled me in immediately. Her style of writing makes it so easy for me create a visual in my mind of what I am reading. I would definitely recommend this as a read for others. I would be remise if I didn't point out there were some references that I wish would have been changed, for example, when Nina refers to grilled cheese as her spirit animal. If it's not cultural appropriation it's at the very least culturally insensitive and should be changed. For a book that makes so many other great references there were a few that stuck out and I'm surprised weren't caught sooner.

Nina is socially awkward to the max but not in an Eleanor Oliphant kind of way. I don’t know if it was the cover but I was getting some major Eleanor vibes when looking at this book. Nina and Eleanor also have pretty ridiculous self-absorbed mothers. Nina is hilarious and so observant but that’s where the Eleanor comparisons end. This book also focused on some mental health topics but not in such an intense way. It was not as devastating and mental health informing as Eleanor. This is a much lighter read in my opinion.   I really love Nina. She resonates with me. She can’t make plans because it’s her one night of the week that’s free and she uses it for reading. Um, yes. I have often declined plans on my one free day knowing I just wanted to read in the bathtub. Her humor is great and I adore that she recognizes her own awkwardness and has no issue poking humor towards herself.  I had some issues with Tom. I really enjoyed his character but he also seemed to struggle emotionally here and there. More of an understanding of his character could have been beneficial. His attitude and actions towards Nina were justified but I still felt like they were a little dramatic from a character that seemed relitively calm throughout most of the novel. It was this that kind of had me a bit confused while reading but not in a confused way that I couldn't understand the book obviously. I loved how Nina's father was tied in at the end and how Nina's relationships grew with her family. I wish there was a little bit more on how her family stayed (or didn't stay) in her life and how the family dynamics were with Nina. I really enjoyed that portion of the story and felt like it ended a little abruptly. All in all, WOW. I love Nina and I loved the book! I'm sure this will be getting some rave reviews and will be seen from many book bloggers for great reasons! I highly reccommend this light yet serious read!


More to Explore

  • The Garden of Small Beginnings
  • Other People's Houses

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