March 23, 2020 by TinyNavajo
Yes, I do know that I am late, but I have been doing chores around our new house and I tend to get sucked up in what I’m doing and forget the time. But here is a post! And I hope that all you guys have found something to occupy your time in isolation as well so that you’re not going completely stir crazy!
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
♦ ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊
*Published July 9, 2019*
This book caught my eye as I was looking for different books to read and to add to my Beat the Backlist list, and while I don’t normally do contemporary books, this one sounded just up my alley enough for me to contemplate reading it.
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.
I loved Nina and how much I connected with her and her love for books and being alone. I loved that she suddenly discovered her long lost family and how much she is actually like them and that she can have a family and still be Nina. I liked quite a lot about this book, but I don’t think it’ll be a book that I’ll remember much about after a few days. Still wonderful, but not game changing.
All in all, Nina and I seemed to be very similar people, at the start. If I wasn’t married, I would most likely be living in a small apartment, with all of my books, and either working in a bookstore or library. Granted, my library job right now is quite amazing, if I do say so myself. But! I would be a bit self isolating, as in I wouldn’t go out partying or clubbing all that often. I would most likely be doing what Nina is doing. At the same time though, that thought scares me just a little bit. Nina isolates herself just a little bit too much, and that is why I am actually quite glad that she finds a new family through her father’s side. She is forced to interact in some ways with all of her new family members and they, along with her persistent suitor, pull her out of her shell just a bit at a time.
Nina is an interesting character; she reminded me a lot of me, or a me that could have been at least. I will say that I read this book at the beginning or the year, or pretty close to it. I didn’t really remember much of it, and I had started writing this review once I had finished this book…a couple of months ago. And I am really glad that I did, because that it how much of an impact it didn’t leave on me. It was cute, it was fluffy, it was nice to read almost like a comfort food. So, what books are comfort books to you? Like, you just enjoyed reading them because they were fluffy and easy to read? Comment below and let me know!