Abbi Waxman

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

book | Fiction | Jul 2019
US → Berkley (Ed. Kate Seaver)
UK → Headline Publishing (Ed. Jess Whitlum-Cooper)

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. 


Sophie Baker manages the translation rights for The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Film Rights


Contact Alexandra Machinist for more information

Translation Rights Sold

Chinese Complex
Global Group Holdings
Editions Bragelonne
General Press Publishing House
AST Publishers

Waxman’s perspective includes a wry narration of Nina’s life as well as getting into Nina’s head, and it’s this style that will continue to build her deserved readership.

Booklist Starred Review

With witty dialogue and a running sarcastic inner monologue, Waxman brings Nina to vibrant life as she upends her introverted routine and become part of the family. Fans of Jojo Moyes will love this.

Publishers Weekly

The author of 2017's heartfelt The Garden of Small Beginnings is back with another winner...


Full of pop culture references (bonus points for readers who catch the Men at Work one), and the handwritten planner entries are reminiscent of those in Bridget Jones’s diary. . . . Will appeal to chick lit fans who enjoy copious rapid-fire dialog.

Samantha Gust
Library Journal

Waxman has created a thoroughly engaging character in this bookish, contemplative, set-in-her-ways woman. Be prepared to chuckle.

Kirkus Review

Book lovers will absolutely relate to the central character in Abbi Waxman's third novel.

O, The Oprah Magazine

. . . charming and relatable for any introvert who would rather pass time with fictional characters than people, but will rise to the occasion with the right support.


This book is the perfect beach read or pick-me-up for a cloudy day.

Danielle Zimmerman

This is a charming book for people who love books more than people, or love cats more than people, or love everything and want a charming read.


Abbi Waxman never fails to write characters that are both deeply relatable and best friend material. Her latest is Nina, an introverted bookworm who is forced to come out of her shell when she’s introduced to a set of family members she didn’t know existed. You’re going to love her.


It's a shame The Bookish Life of Nina Hill only lasts 350 pages, because I wanted to be friends with Nina for far longer


If you read Elenor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman and are craving another novel featuring a quirky, lovable main character, try The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman.

Augusta Chronicle

[Nina is] a modern-day Elizabeth Bennett. . . . a feel-good book that shines, one that offers a heroine we can root for from page one. . . . As in her previous novels, including 2018’s Other People’s Houses, 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

Full of pop culture references (bonus points for readers who catch the Men at Work one), and the handwritten planner entries are reminiscent of those in Bridget Jones’s diary. . . . Will appeal to chick lit fans who enjoy copious rapid-fire dialog

Library Journal

[Waxman] looks at the world with a refreshing sardonic optimism, allowing her to inject humor into her observational style while never losing the palpable emotion at the heart of her story...a fizzy, off-beat novel with a dollop of satisfying romance, that’s heavy on its love affair with literature and the role that books can play in making sense of our lives...

Maureen Lee Lenker
Entertainment Weekly

Alexandra Machinist
+1 212 556 5600
Email Alexandra Machinist
Sophie Lambert
+44 (0) 20 7393 4200
Email Sophie Lambert
Translation Rights
Sophie Baker
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Sophie Baker