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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Written by: Abbi Waxman
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Instant USA Today best seller!

“Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.” (Number-one New York Times best-selling author Emily Giffin) 

“Meet our bookish millennial heroine - a modern-day Elizabeth Bennet, if you will... Waxman’s wit and wry humor stand out. She is funny and imaginative, and Bookish lands a step above run-of-the-mill romantic comedy fare.” (The Washington Post

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 own...shell. 

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.

©2019 Abbi Waxman (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“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 best-selling author of Good Luck With That)

“The author of 2017's heartfelt The Garden of Small Beginnings is back with another winner.” (PopSugar)

“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)

“Abbi Waxman offers up a quirky, eccentric romance that will charm any bookworm.... For anyone who’s ever wondered if their greatest romance might come between the pages of books they read, Waxman offers a heartwarming tribute to that possibility.” (Entertainment Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Loved it!

This book exceeded my expectations. I started it because I thought it was a nice and easy weekend read, but the book offered much more. It was funny, witty, insightful. It perfectly depicts my generation (the "Millennials") and correctly shows that beyond the proverbial organically sourced avocado toast we offer deep substance. The author depicts a complex personality in the main character, Nina Hill, and masterfully interlinks her present life with the layers of history that formed who she is.
It is a great book for so many reasons! There is something for everyone in it (well, at least for most people).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great story

I enjoyed this immensely. Very engaging. I look forward to more books from this author.

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  • J. Kit
  • 2019-07-15

Good feeling read

This book is a refreshing read. It is Insightful, quirky and humorous all in one book. Just sit back and enjoy.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • H Price
  • Jackson, MIchigan
  • 2019-07-10

Charming & Whimsical

Ohmygoodness. What a charming, whimsical, lovely book!

Nina is perfectly content with the solitude of her quiet, organized, bookish life. Then her father, whom she never knew, dies and leaves her with a crazy family - many of whom share character and/or physical traits with her. And then she meets Tom; but does she really want to come out of her safe shell for the chance of a relationship with him?

I didn't want the book to end, and will probably re-read it very soon. And the narration was perfect.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • shelley moreno
  • 2019-07-20

Wonderfully written perfect summer reading

It can be hard to find a book with good writing that is it too heavy and at the same time not too superficial. This is that book! The characters were well defined with her realistic crisp dialogue. I live in Los Angeles so I loved reading the descriptions of my home town. This author knows how to paint a picture with words. And I loved the narrator. A young voice that is not annoying. She captured the emotion. Loved it. I just want more now!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynette Garet
  • San Clemente, CA
  • 2019-07-18

I loved this book

Emily Rankin was amazing, as usual, but the story was really lovely too. I found myself laughing out loud and “awe”-ing over several passages. It was sweet, lighthearted, and romantic. Just what I was in the mood for.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Brooklyn Bookish
  • 2019-07-12

Loved!! Valentine to Introverts Everywhere!!

Perfectly captures love of books and book discovery and a character who struggles with social anxiety all while meeting a family she never knew she had. That sounds overly serious, but it is not. It is filled with: millennial humor, fantastic banter, simmering romance, charming family and friend characters and many pop culture references. Nina’s love of reading and need for alone time felt cribbed from my own brain. As a dedicated planner and list maker, I loved the Today is the Day journal entries opening the chapters. Nina and several other characters share a love of trivia, and the description of the competitive bar trivia contests were hilarious. In fact, the entire description of life in Los Angeles was perfection, the jacaranda trees, the east west divide, the traffic, the parking, the wealth. The romance started slowly and I rooted for Nina to overcome her suspicion of Tom, a non reader(!) Highest praise: I really did not want it to end. I plan to read it again soon and can’t wait to recommend it to others. Narration was excellent.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel Altmaier
  • 2019-08-16

Engaging story but not well written

I wanted to like this because I also love books, but the dialogue was just so bad that I found myself rolling my eyes most of the time. the character of Nina is engaging and interesting and I kept listening because I wanted to know what happened to her, but the story broke down every time it shifted away from her inner thoughts. I didn't like the occasional jumps into Tom's mind - too heavy handed in telling the reader what was going on instead of leaving us guessing like Nina. In general, I thought the romance plot exhibited the same failure of many romantic comedies - there was no actual reason for Nina & Tom to fall for each other. They were hardly even capable of speaking to each other for most of the book! Some of the side characters were very well done - I really liked Archie and Millie. The narrator didn't do a great job with distinct voices though. Overall, a fun story but not well executed.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Jake's Handler
  • 2019-08-09

Chick lit, but...

I was looking for a beach read and found it in this book. The author writes witty, intelligent dialog. The reader uses just enough tonal inflection to keep it interesting. Love the story line, loved the book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Evelyn Overall
  • 2019-08-09

Just boring

The only character with any definition is our protagonist. It's cute but nothing really happens, no one learns anything or grows. It's just sorta a long winded meh of a novel.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Melody Robidoux
  • 2019-08-04

So Enjoyable!

Excellent narrator of a sweet and fun story about books, anxiety, introversion, and the ability to change. I really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • erikkayep
  • 2019-08-03

Ugh

Just couldn’t. Loved “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”, because Eleanor was both flawed and likeable. I did not like Nina, admittedly b/c it didn’t take me long to drop this book. Too much about her doe-eyes and her her brown-Golden-red hair 🤮.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful