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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Paperback – Illustrated, July 9, 2019
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From the Publisher
“Move over on the settee, Jane Austen. You’ve met your modern-day match in Abbi Waxman. Bitingly funny, relatable and intelligent, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a must for anyone who loves to read.”—Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck With That
“It's a shame The Bookish Life of Nina Hill only lasts 350 pages, because I wanted to be friends with Nina for far longer.”—Refinery29
“I hope you're in the mood to be downright delighted, because that's the state you'll find yourself in after reading The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.”—PopSugar
“The Bookish Life of Nina Hill will put a smile on your face the entire time you’re reading it. It’s a light, fun summer read with a cast of colorful and lovable characters that you wish were real and that you had on your trivia team. This book is the perfect beach read or pick-me-up for a cloudy day.”—Hypable
“[A] quirky, sweet story.”—Woman’s World
“In this love letter to book nerds, Waxman introduces the extraordinary introvert Nina Hill…. With witty dialogue and a running sarcastic inner monologue, Waxman brings Nina to vibrant life as she upends her introverted routine and becomes part of the family. Fans of Jojo Moyes will love this.”—Publishers Weekly
“Waxman has created a thoroughly engaging character in this bookish, contemplative, set-in-her ways woman. Be prepared to chuckle.”—Kirkus Review (starred review)
“Book nerds will feel strong kinship with the engaging, introverted Nina Hill, who works in a bookstore, plays pub trivia, and loves office supplies… Readers will be captivated by Nina’s droll sense of humor.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Full of pop culture references (bonus points for readers who catch the Men at Work one), and the handwritten planner entries are reminiscent of those in Bridget Jones’s diary….Will appeal to chick lit fans who enjoy copious rapid-fire dialog.”—Library Journal
“...charming and relatable for any introvert who would rather pass time with fictional characters than people, but will rise to the occasion with the right support.”—BookTrib
“Book lovers will absolutely relate to the central character in Abbi Waxman's third novel.”—O, The Oprah Magazine
“If you relate to staying in and JOMO (joy of missing out), you’ll relate to Nina.”—Betches
“[F]ast, light, and fun.”—Modern Mrs. Darcy
Praise for Abbi Waxman
“Brilliant. Simply brilliant. The Garden of Small Beginnings is funny, poignant, and startling in its emotional intensity and in its ability to make the reader laugh and cry on the same page . . . I loved this book!”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street Novels
“[A]summer beach read with meat. . . Waxman develops and explores the characters and their relationship in depth.”—The Washington Post
“This is my favorite kind of book—hilarious, sad, joyful. Beautifully written. Fun. I dare you not to enjoy it.”—Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank With Me
“What a treat!! Abbi Waxman is one of the wittiest voices in the world today. The Garden of Small Beginnings is a beautiful book full of humor, heart, and deep insight.”—Molly Shannon, actress
“Funny and poignant. Guaranteed to make you laugh and cry. May make you want to play in dirt and grow a new life of your own.”—Wendy Wax, USA Today bestselling author of Best Beach Ever
“Meet your new favorite writer.”—The Daily Beast
“Waxman’s skill at characterization . . . lifts this novel far above being just another ‘widow finds love’ story. Clearly an observer, Waxman has mastered the fine art of dialogue as well. Characters ring true right down to Lilian’s two daughters, who often steal the show.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Waxman takes readers from tears to laughter in this depiction of one woman’s attempt to hold it all together for everyone else only to learn it’s OK to put herself first.”—Booklist
“Kudos to debut author Waxman for creating an endearing and realistic cast of main and supporting characters (including the children). Her narrative and dialog are drenched with spring showers of witty and irreverent humor.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“The Garden of Small Beginnings is a quirky, funny, and deeply thoughtful book.”—HelloGiggles
“Waxman’s voice is witty, emotional, and often profound.”—InStyle (UK)
“This novel is filled with characters you’ll love and wish you lived next door to in real life.”—Bustle
“It’s impossible not to fall in love with Lilian, a young widow who is still trying to come to terms with the death of her husband four years later . . . If you are thinking to yourself, ‘Forget it, I’m not reading a gardening book,’ don’t worry . . . THIS IS NOT A GARDENING BOOK! It is, however, a feel-good, hate-to-put-it-down kind of book!”—Chick Lit Central
About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0451491874
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451491879
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Berkley; Illustrated edition (July 9, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #23,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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1. Nina herself. I was never attached to this character because she never read as a real person to me. Nina is a so-called introverted, socially phobic person with major anxiety and panic disorders. YET she is able to work a full time job with no problem, has lots of friends, belongs to a bunch of social groups (trivia, book clubs etc) has a bunch of lovers and shows zero anxiety while being around Tom in her behavior. She is flirty, coy and witty. As a person who really does suffer from these disorders, I was annoyed by this book because it did NOT at all describe what life with these issues is really like. I can't work full time because of my anxiety, I don't have one single friend because my social phobia is so bad and I have had very few relationships because of my social anxiety disorder. Just because a person would rather read books than socialize DOES NOT make them anxiety disordered. Nowhere in this book does Nina behave like a person who really suffers from these disorders. This really bothered me.
2. Abby Waxman is known for her quick witted characters who ALL have the gift of gab, witty banter and cutesy scenes of clever repartee, but I started to notice that just about EVERY single line of dialogue is written this way. Nobody speaks like this in reality. Yet all of these characters are constantly giving witty remarks followed by further witty remarks followed by further witty remarks follow by...and on and on for 300 pages. Halfway through none of it was funny. It was contrived and extremely annoying
3. No plot whatsoever. It was almost like this author is getting paid by the word. So redundant and stuffed with so many unimportant scenes. It's just 300 pages of quick-witted thinking and dialogue and long diatribes that are supposed to be funny and clever, giving pats on the back to dozens of books most of us probably haven't read, so a lot is lost on the reader. There is also no reason at all why this Tom guy loves Nina as much as he does. She is rude, self-obsessed, insensitive, and obnoxious. At the end, when he tells her how he wants to be with her no matter who she is or what she becomes, her answer is "Boy, that was the cheesiest thing I ever heard." What an awful person to make such an awful response to a man who you've given the run around to but have decided now you do want him. I really could not stand Nina.
The WORST part of this book is that in the end, Nina happens to find so many people in her life whose only similarity to her is that "hey, we like books too!" Even her dead father mentions in his letter "I like books too!" So happily ever after for Nina who is surrounded by people who "like books too", therefore bursting her self-confidence where she once had none, curing her social anxiety and getting rid of her lifetime of introversion. All because we all like books!! WOW!! Really poorly done. She needs a much better editor and should learn how to develop a plot so we're not reading pointless paragraph after paragraph so the book can make the 80,000 worded novel.
The main character is described as being an introvert and having social anxiety many, many times. But she has tons of friends and schedules social time every night of the week. This is not what introversion or social anxiety is. It's as if the author decided that being introverted means liking books and having a cat -- with the occasional use of Xanax. So cliche.
The author constantly used the phrases "___ frowned" or "___ narrowed his/her eyes." So overused and do people really frown during conversation in real life? No.
The whole trope of "girl meets guy, hates guy, but then learns to love him because he is hot" doesn't sit well with me. Also the fact that he "cures" her anxiety...come on. I know this is a summer beach read, but this kind of relationship is so unhealthy and unrealitistic. I was honestly shocked that this was the romantic plotline.
There were some parts that contained substance, but other parts made me feel like I was reading a trashy romance novel.
The characters constantly go to the movie theater, buy tickets, but then leave. Who does that?? People don't spend $20 on Arclight movie tickets and then just go home. This happens at least 3 times in the book.
All of the female characters sound the same. I had trouble keeping them apart for this reason.
The book had a happy ending, but unfortunately I wouldn't recommend it. I would say it would be great for children, but the sexual language wouldn't be appropriate for them.
I enjoyed The Bookish Life of Nina Hill so, so much! Nina is single, lives alone (except for her cat Phil), loves to read, and works at a bookstore. She thrives on routine, using her planner, and being in control of her life. I related to Nina on so many levels and from what I'm seeing around bookstagram, many others readers have as well. I've seen this book described as a love letter to bookworms and I couldn't agree more!
Interspersed between the chapters are pages from Nina's planner and this planner loving girl loved them! What a creative way to gain more insight into Nina's character. Wouldn't it be fun to see planner pages from other popular book characters?!
Abbi Waxman's writing was incredibly entertaining. This is my first book of hers and I will absolutely be reading more! The diaglogue through the novel is clever and funny, very conversational, and delighful to read.
Nina's story is whimsical, hilarious, and so much fun to read! 5 book loving stars from this fellow book nerd!
Top reviews from other countries
Nina Hill might be more devoted to her carefully scheduled life of books, the bookshop where she works, her quiz team and her cat Phil but she has friends, it's just that as an only child she values her solitude. Okay, not everyone would schedule "nothing" as an actual activity once a week which cannot be missed, not even say for a date with a hot guy, but I think that just makes her a little eccentric.
Nina's quiz team "Book 'Em Danno"'s greatest rivals are "You're A Quizzard, Harry", Nina loathes (but also fancies) the rival team's captain, a big athletic looking guy who knows more about sports than Nina's team. Tom, her quizzing nemesis, turns out to be Nina's opposite, a man who rarely makes a plan but he also has the same sense of humour, likes the same nerdy films and seems really sweet, even if he doesn't read books.
Then Nina discovers that she is not an only child. Her mysterious father turns out to have been married three times (as well as having a short-lived affair with Nina's mother) and she now has half-siblings ranging in age from fifty-nine to ten, nephews, nieces, great nieces and great nephews. She has also inherited something from her father, who turns out to have been very wealthy, and so parts of her new family worry that she is a gold-digger.
This was sweet, funny and relatable, I love books and quizzes (although I don't pretend to the sort of in-depth knowledge that Nina possesses) and my idea of heaven is scheduling reading time. If you are looking for a quirky romance I can highly recommend this novel.
For me the main problem is the personality of Nina herself. Her character is described as having social anxiety and finding easier to spend her time with books than with people (this is written on the back of the book!!), but her behavior is contradictory and doesn't make much sense. She IS part of many social groups, has friends, talks easily about her private life with her colleagues, and she displays none of the social anxiety's sufferers typical difficulties when she is with Tom. She is flirty and witty, and self-assured (a bit arrogant actually).
The plot is also quite flimsy, with a ridiculous end in which both Tom's and Nina's dialogue is absurd. (I will not elaborate on this point because I don't want to spoiler anything). The continuous throwing in of book quotes or references seems to be there just to justify the title and to make the reader feel ignorant.
I gave the book 2 stars because I liked some of the side characters, like Phil the cat or a few of Nina's newfound family members. They made some of the pages funny.
Throughout the book I was heading for a glowing 5 star review, until I reached the very last chapter. Story lines that were developing promisingly were still hanging - particularly those relating to Nina's new family. After that chapter I anxiously turned the page to see them resolved but no, that was the final one. While Nina's life was resolved with a speed that felt rather rushed, almost everyone else remained in limbo. Maybe I'm being too much like Nina in expecting all the loose ends to be tied up, but there seemed to be great potential in doing so.
Nina Hill is very content with her life. She has a fulfilling job in an independent bookstore, is part of an excellent trivia team and lives with a cat named Phil. She is something of a loner preferring to read rather than socialise.
Then the father she never knew existed dies and includes her in his will. Suddenly she has a ready made family of brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews all living locally! Plus, the rather dishy leader of a rival trivia team is interested in getting to know her. Is she ready to allow other people into her bookish life?
This was a charming, quirky novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I adored Nina and certainly could relate to her bookish interests. It was a complete delight, full of wit and warmth. The kind of feel good novel that I could just relax into. The audiobook edition was well narrated by Jessica Preddy.