A just absolutely delightful book

“Do you know the best feeling in the world? […] It’s reading a book, loving every second of it, then turning to the front and discovering that the writer wrote fourteen zillion others.” (329, 2019).

When was the last time you read something that just completely and utterly charmed you? For me it was about a week ago, when I picked up The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman. I know! How lucky am I?! I cannot say enough good things about this book. I absolutely devoured it, reading it every chance I got. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. It’s SO good.

“Everyone has a different five perfect things.” (180, 2019).

Top of Nina’s five perfect things list is reading. I think it’s at the top of mine too. Overall, I read a lot, and always have done, but while I read many stories that are engrossing, or well-written, or that have great character development, or are funny or relatable, it’s not often I read something that truly feels just a little bit magical. This is one of those books. It’s magical.

“Nina knew that double whammy: the emotion itself and that feeling of not being able to put it into words.” (184, 2019).

Maybe it was just so to me because the main character, Nina Hill, resonates so much with me? I think anyone who really loves books, and has done so since before they could even read themselves, would find the same. There were multiple lines in the book that made me stop, put the book down for a minute, and just rejoice in them, or that made me interrupt Hayden’s reading so I could read them out to him as well. The feeling Waxman describes above – that double whammy – actually made me choke up slightly because I know exactly how that feels. It’s like nostalgia for something you maybe never had. And until I read it there, I thought it was just me.

“Nothing. The first thing you should always do is nothing.” (265, 2019).

A soothing thought, coming at what is very nearly the end of a year in which I’ve given myself permission – for the first time in my entire adult life I’d hazard – to be okay with not constantly moving forward, and to try to accept the joy of simply being as enough. Plus, it’s just good advice. How many tricky situations could be avoided if we all had enough confidence to just pause for a minute before acting?

You should read this book. Seriously. It’s The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman, 2019, Berkley (Penguin Random House): New York. If you read it, or you’ve already read it, please tell me your thoughts! I’d love to hear how it affects others (even if it doesn’t and I’m just an oddity!)

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