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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

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

Critic Reviews

“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)

Editorial Review

Smooth, sweet summer listen

The first thing that stood out to me about The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was the language. Conversations that actually sound like the ones I hear and participate in every day? Impossible! You'd think it's easy, but I've listened to more than my fair share of well-intended attempts at capturing contemporary speech that just fall short on authenticity. And the "quirky" main character is another trendy go-to these days that at times can feel cliché. Well, I'm thrilled to report that Nina Hill is *actually* quirky, and her conversations with those around her *actually* sound like they could take place in the real world. Combine that with a bright and lively performance from Emily Rankin, and you've got the perfect light listen to start your summer off with a smile. —Lavina K., Audible Editor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good feeling read

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • H Price
  • Jackson, MIchigan
  • 07-10-19

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie
  • BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States
  • 07-16-19

Disjointed

This book was very disjointed. I found it hard to like the main character and to believe in the randomness of this book and it's bipolar characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful