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Friday, August 30, 2019

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Another novel that involves books, bookstores, literary references, and quirky characters. They are my reset kind of novel, when I need a mental break from the daily "stuff" and pure escapism. My partner finds that in movies, I prefer books. 

Nina is a 29 year old women who lives with her cat Phil, works in a bookstore, and is so organized it makes my teeth hurt. Plus, I'm a little envious of the organization, I've got to admit. But Nina is a little too organized, and her mind is running a million miles a minute. She's on a trivia team, and her head is stuffed with bits of facts about everything. Life is pretty good for Nina, until she finds out that the man who was her father has died, and she's in his will. 

This man was someone Nina never knew. Her mother, a world traveling photographer, had a quick fling, found out the man was married, and that was that. Except Nina arrived 9 months later. She had an unusual childhood-she was raised by a nanny while her mother roamed around the world, checking in but really leaving Nina to be raised by her beloved Lou. Lots of things contributed to grown-up Nina's love of being alone, anxiety, need for order, and overwhelming love of books and reading. 

Now, she finds out she's got a family she never knew about, and darn it all, that cute guy Tom on an opposing trivia team is giving her a look that's hard to resist. So much potential change is giving Nina a bit of anxiety. Just how much can she handle? Is she ready to open up her heart, and her life, or will she let her safe life continue the way it is?

Nina's internal dialogue is witty, and her quips with Tom are sweet. And what really got my heart was the fact that Nina loves books--absolutely loves them, and Tom doesn't really read much at all. That's my fate in life, too. Books are a HUGE part of my life, and by golly I love a man who hasn't read a book since high school. And yet, he gets me and my book obsession. Phew. I think if we both were avid readers, we'd probably never talk about anything else but books, so it's good we've got lots of other stuff to talk about. And he remains impressed when I randomly spit out bits of information and facts that "I read somewhere". 

I just realized Abbi Waxman also wrote The Garden of Small Beginnings , which I bought a few years ago, and still sits on my bookcase, unread. I'll be sure to read it now. I thoroughly enjoyed Nina's tale, and had moments of chuckling out loud while reading. Of course it had a satisfying ending, and I didn't expect anything else. 

Rating: 4/6 for a fun, lovely little tale about books, reading, trivia, romance, and finding your tribe. Conquering anxiety even when it wants to pull you down. Knowing that all those little baby steps can lead to some place wonderful, if you can just be brave enough to try. 

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio.

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