The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Book - 2019 | First edition.
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t
TeaD4
Oct 17, 2020

A fun and easy story to read during the pandemic! Nina's love of all things books is reflected in details throughout the story, and will make anyone who loves books and being in bookstores/ around shelves of books absolutely delighted. There are parts of the story that are quite predictable, but little twists and turns will keep the reader entertained.

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Lunarchi
Sep 18, 2020

I love books that include books as a part of the plot or theme. I noticed The Bookish Life of Nina Hill in one of our local public library’s book chats. I thought it might be of interest and it was. Nina Hill was a millennial who worked in a bookshop, read constantly and had an apartment full of books and bookshelves. She also had a cat, which is another one of my favorites for story plots and real life. Nina had a relationship with a young man who had a book connection, too, although I won’t give away any spoilers. It was a quick, “beach read” type of book… light and somewhat predictable. I’d recommend it as a quick and easy read.

FPL_Lori Sep 16, 2020

This is a fun and light-hearted read about a quirky bookworm with social anxiety. Nina Hill works at a bookstore, has a cat, and with the exception of trivia nights and book clubs, leads a very quiet life. Until things happen. She finds out who her father was, and consequently inherits other family members who want to be a part of her life. Then, there is that cute guy from the rival trivia team... seems he might want to get to know Nina, as well. Highly recommended for anyone who identifies as "bookish" and enjoys a light read with a bit of romance.

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e0026718080
Sep 12, 2020

It's a really fun book that successfully took my mind off of my current troubles. Sometimes we need something a little witty, very light, and very cute to get through the week. If that's what you're in the mood for, this is the book for you.

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DAISYKINS
Aug 23, 2020

Perhaps my expectations were too high. Found it tried too hard to be witty, also surprisingly shallow. Just didn’t find it finish worthy.

a
AMWayment
Jun 22, 2020

Nina Hill's life is perfect as it is, thank you very much.

She has an adorable little apartment, a fabulous job at a local bookstore (Knight's), and a grumpy cat (Phil).
Nina looked down and smiled...with the plentiful sarcasm and soothing rows of book spines. It was heaven on earth.
And on her wild days - she plays trivia at a local bar (provided it isn't one of the places she's been banned from) (it happens, okay?). Tom, her greatest rival, can be a bit of a jerk and Nina takes extreme pleasure in showing him up.

Her life comfortably circles around books. And honestly, she wouldn't have it any other way.
"Are your criticizing Harry Potter?"
"Never. I'm a Ravenclaw."
But unfortunately, what you want and what you get isn't always the same thing.

Nina's mother is a world class photographer and as a result, Nina spent most of her childhood curled up with a good book along with her live-in nanny.

In short, Nina is not overly fond of adventures (at least in real life).

Now, nearly thirty years old, Nina learns that not only did her mother actually know who Nina's father was... but also her father is dead.

And she's in his will.

But in order to claim it, she must meet...her (many) relatives (shudder). Strangers. Dangers. And all that.

Annnnd, all this turmoil continues to spiral.

TSCPL_Miranda May 19, 2020

I loved this book! Funny, heart warming, and uplifting, with lots of literary references sprinkled throughout. Nina believes that there are five perfect things in the world--reading, cats, dogs, honeycrisp apples, and coffee. She's a trivia queen, works in a bookstore, she's in two book groups, and she needs an evening dedicated to reading and alone time, of course. Her life is fun, organized, and balanced, even if it is so busy that she literally pulls out her planner to schedule in a date at one point. Nina has never known her dad, so she's surprised to hear from a lawyer that he has died, and left her something in his will. Suddenly her quiet life is connected to family that she never knew she had, right in her home of Los Angeles, and she finds herself thinking hard about the people in her life, and what she might be missing.

This was such a fun, light romp that I think most bookworms can probably relate to.

Nina Hill is alone, and she likes it that way. She's a bookworm who works at a bookstore, a trivia master, a perpetual organizer whose life always goes according to schedule. But two things happen in Nina's life at once: she discovers a long-lost family through the father she didn't know she had, and she develops a crush on a rival trivia player, Tom. Nina is forced to decide whether being alone is actually all it's cracked up to be, or whether, if she opens her heart, she may find that people aren't all as bad as she thinks.

This one hits home for me in many ways, and I relate really hard with Nina. I suffer from what can be pretty intense anxiety, I love to plan, I'd rather read with my dog at home than go meet friends on a Thursday night. I've had people who make me think that maybe I could include them in my alone time, and most of the time, it falls apart, because I prioritize my me time, and that's just the end of that.

For Nina, this changes (spoilers, I guess, but also...you saw it coming), and it's pretty great to experience that change along with her as her new family and her relationship bring her out of her shell. Overall, this one is just a lot of fun - there are some interesting, hilarious scenes, including but not limited to: a wedding with a camel; some cannabis-infused baked goods as well as a food fight; and a K.I.T.T. Knight Rider car (not all at once, don't worry). It's all unexpected and funny while also being very lighthearted and predictable in ways that contemporary fic usually is.

A highlight of this one for me were the planner pages at the start of most of the chapters. I LOVE PLANNING. And being able to see Nina plan her days and then read about them unfolding, either in the ways she planned them or not, was so satisfying.

Ultimately, I guess, this is good for readers who like fluffy fic that conforms to expectations but also involves them deeply in the MC's life. As a bookworm, I saw a lot of myself in Nina, and I really enjoyed experiencing her days with her. Keeping the hope alive that one day someone will come along who is as good to be with as being alone is a daily struggle, and I think I read this one at the right time, because I often don't enjoy being presented with these ideal situations that never happen in real life. I don't know if I believe they exist, or that those people exist. But for now, for today, I can live in this fun dream world with Tom and Nina.

r
Ren_M
Jan 29, 2020

Cute book. Too many magical coincidences to take seriously. Likely destined to be a movie on the Hallmark Channel. Not sure why it has been chosen for many book clubs (unless they're secretly wine clubs with a literary excuse), as there is basically no depth or subtext to it. Recommend it for reading on a plane or while on vacation.

a
Adw555
Jan 27, 2020

Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A book about an introvert who loves to read - sign me up!!

PLOT SUMMARY: Nina loves her job at the bookstore, her weekly book club meetings , her trivia team, her cat and most especially her alone time. In order to keep her anxiety in check, Nina loves to plan, plan and plan some more. So when she finds out the father she never knew existed is now dead, and she has a large extended family who is quite interested in meeting her, well it’s quite a lot to take in.

Added to the mix is Tom, the handsome member of a rival trivia team, who is very appealing to Nina and actually seems quite smitten with her. If only she could get over herself, she just might have a chance at real happiness. But the more we get to know Nina, the more we realize that’s a very big “if”.

PROS: Lovely, heartwarming and just easy!

CONS: Requires absolutely no thought and I was totally in the mood for it! Not much in the way of a plot, but fun characters and situations made it difficult to put down.

YES or NO: Definitely a YES - this book is filled with light hearted, sweet characters and I laughed out loud more than a couple of times. Delightful!

5 Stars

s
squirrelee
Dec 20, 2019

I really wanted to like this book, but I think it lacked depth. I am all about a fluffy book now and then, but this one was cringeworthy at times for me.

t
theojones41
Nov 22, 2019

Kinda cute. Anxiety ridden young woman meets young man, forms bad opinion, changes mind three or four times, inherits a fortune and a new family, and presumably will now live happily ever after.

m
msf_grpl
Nov 20, 2019

This was a quick, mostly entertaining read. The dialog and narrator comments were quick witted, humorous, irreverent-- but overdone, so that it soon wore thin and I found it annoying at times. Quirky characters and coincidences can get too quirky and unbelievable... But overall enjoyed the read.

k
kvanmooresma
Nov 19, 2019

I wasn't a fan of the last couple of pages, but other than that, the book was delightful. I've seen comments from other people that didn't like her personality, and I will admit that she's got some quirks, but I loved the absolute introvertedness of her. So many of her character traits are completely in line with myself or with introverted friends, and it's fabulous to have a main character who is so relatable to people like me. And as a bonus, I literally laughed out loud multiple times.

s
sloanelCPL
Oct 19, 2019

chick lit, lit lit, chick lit lit -- sounds like a flavour instead of a genre -- a chick lit lit rom com. Very satisfying. Some nice descriptions of the adaptations we make to manage anxiety, and some nice explorations of complementarity -- the grounding effect of someone who is not anxious on someone with a vulnerability to anxiety. It was fun to read about a protagonist who, although prone to anxiety, is so completely comfortable in her sexuality. The embracing of a new family member might be a teeny bit idealized, but not too much for a chick lit lit rom com.

JessicaGma Oct 19, 2019

This was a quirky read about someone who has well managed their life to mitigate their anxiety, and well, life had other plans in mind with a surprise family to learn all about. Nina was fun, and some of the other characters were a hoot. This book has some great lines about loving books, such as "Being surrounded by books was the closest she's ever gotten to feeling like a member of a gang. The books had her back, and the nonfiction, at least, was ready to fight if necessary". AMEN sister, amen.

LPL_BeckyB Oct 16, 2019

Charming! Funny! Has a happy ending! Just what I needed on a gloomy day.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Oct 07, 2019

If bookish introversion is your jam, Nina Hill is the romantic heroine for you!

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Book_girl12
Sep 27, 2019

This book was great!

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DM_kcls
Aug 30, 2019

I read about 79 pages into 'The Bookish Life of Nina Hill' and asked myself "why?". I went to GoodReads and Amazon and read all the worst reviews, I guess to talk myself out of continuing to read it. But then, I had 2 more days before I had to return it to KCLS, so I decided to stick with it. Around the middle of the book, I found myself a bit more engrossed in the story and by then end, I found myself smiling.

Isn't that what a book should do, make us smile?

To be honest, I pretty much hated the title character in the first half of the book. She is neurotic and obsessed; while she has friends, she claims she can't make friends; while she claims she has no life, she incessantly schedules her days around all the events she's planned. I pretty much call that a life. The conversations between her and the other characters are mostly one-liners and quips that would do Johnny Carson or Jerry Seinfeld proud, but, after a while, they became tedious rather than funny or charming

The other characters in 'The Bookish Life of Nina Hill' were never developed really well. There was a wealth of them to choose from to explore further, but alas, they weren't and were left as flat caricatures.

So: 2 stars for an interminably boring beginning with a title character I did not like, 4 stars for an ending that made me smile and a bonus half star because 'The Bookish Life of Nina Hill' celebrates books and those of us who read them:

"They say you always remember your first time, and Nina definitely did. Walking into the Los Angeles Central Library to get her first library card, when she was eight or so, was still a memory she treasured. The entry hall of the library was as beautiful as any cathedral, and Nina had looked around and realized she would never run out of things to read, and that certainly filled her with peace and satisfaction. It didn't matter what hit the fan; as long as there were unread books in the world, she would be fine. Being surrounded by books was the closest she's ever gotten to feeling like a member of a gang. The books had her back, and the nonfiction, at least, was ready to fight if necessary."

3.5 stars for 'The Bookish Life of Nina Hill' which is far, far better than 'Other People's Houses', which was utterly awful, but not nearly as good as 'The Garden of Small Beginnings', which was wonderful.

sjpl_rebekah Aug 26, 2019

This was a smooth, enjoyable read. The author’s personality comes through very strongly, though I am not sure if this is intentional or unintentional. I found her wit to be charming for the most part, though I wish that the reader had received more insight into Nina’s thoughts. It was fun to see a lot of my own character traits in Nina: bookish, anxious, and obsessed with planners.

The plot felt very formulaic, and at one point a character made an off-handed joke about something that later actually happened. I wonder if this was meant to be a humorous jab at the formula.

In terms of the long lost family storyline, I was not too sold, but I was definitely sold on the characters, which is why this rating hovers between 3 and four stars for me.

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RosaReads2
Aug 13, 2019

I read this author's Garden of Small Beginnings a couple of years ago and loved it. The blend of poignancy and humor was wonderful. Waxman did it again with this well-written heroine and her growing cast of friends and family. Nina is a mix of anxiety, self-deprecation, and intelligent arrogance. I wouldn't normally think those traits could work together to endear me to a character, but it was the perfect blend for a lovingly imperfect heroine. Although I found this story to be a bit lighter in tone than the previous book I read by the author, it still had its moments of poignancy and lots of witty banter and commentary. The romance was entertaining, but I felt it was secondary to Nina's character growth. There was a moment after the half-way mark where I thought the story was slowing its momentum. Yet, by the end, the story was the perfect pacing for Nina's life and learning who she was, is, or who she ultimately wanted to be. Another fabulous story by this entertaining author.

b
Bookbybook
Jul 20, 2019

Would have given it a higher rating but I was turned off by so much vulgarity and profanity. I ended up not finishing it because the unrefined tone was so jarring and out of place with the charming story. When the author just focused on telling the story, I enjoyed it. But, I wouldn't recommend it. It's seems there's a competition among authors to see who can use F** in the most inappropriate places, and it appears that this author wants to be a contender for the title.

b
Bookbybook
Jul 20, 2019

Would have given it a higher rating but I was turned off by so much vulgarity and profanity. I ended up not finishing it because the unrefined tone was so jarring and out of place with the charming story. When the author just focused on telling the story, I enjoyed it. But, I wouldn't recommend it. It's seems there's a competition among authors to see who can use F** in the most inappropriate places, and it appears that this author wants to be a contender for the title.

d
darladoodles
Jun 30, 2019

If you love books, can you find love with someone who doesn't? How do you cope with the knowledge that you are not an only child of a single, world-travelling mother; but instead have a large complicated, extended family with stepmothers, step brothers and sister and more? How do you help your boss keep her bookstore open when the rent is past due? These are the dilemmas Nina Hill is facing in this book. Sprinkled throughout are her planner pages for the day revealing key details about her current state of mind. This is a great title for summer and vacation reading, but it also helps us to consider issues like heredity, family dynamics, anxiety and books! Also includes random trivia facts. Bonus!


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