Sponsored by Gallery Books.
The author of the “engrossing” (People) international bestseller The Room on Rue Amélie returns with a moving story set amid the champagne vineyards of France during the darkest days of World War II, perfect for fans of Heather Morris’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Welcome to Read This Book, a weekly newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!
Since this week has been a bit wild with so many closures, disruptions, and uncertainty due to the spread of COVID-19, I think what we need is a happy recommendation. This week’s pick is The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman.
“Nina had looked around and realized she would never run out of things to read, and that certainty filled her with peace and satisfaction. It didn’t matter what hit the fan; as long as there were unread books in the world, she would be fine.”
Nina Hill has a very routine, orderly life. She schedules everything–her job at her local independent bookstore, meals, working out, trivia team nights, and even her reading time. She likes books better than most people, and is completely content…until she learns the father she never knew has died, and she has scads of siblings, nieces, and nephews, some clamoring to meet her, some suspicious of her very existence. And if that wasn’t shock enough, her trivia rival is super cute and seems to actually like her?
This is a really gentle book about comforting and happy things, with enough drama and conflict to keep the book moving, but not enough to upset the reader. While not many of us may be able to relate to discovering your deceased father is actually pretty stinking rich and might have left you a lot of money, or meeting family you never knew you had, the challenges that Nina deals with are pretty common. She struggles with the desire to eat healthier and exercise more, but she also doesn’t know how to deal with her emotions or what to do when her anxiety gets out of control. But Nina’s desire for peace and fictional worlds is definitely relatable to book nerds, and her snappy humor and trivia prestige will make book nerds feel as though they’ve discovered a kindred spirit. The romance is very sweet and not too sexy (no on-the-page sex), and the plot is full of cute twists and charming coincidences that will make you smile.
Definitely pick up this book if you want something funny and reassuring, with a touch of family drama and escapism all rolled in one! Bonus: I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Emily Rankin, and it was lovely!
And if you want to keep up with how COVID-19 is impacting the book world, including resources to support authors and indie bookstores during this difficult time, check out Book Riot’s story stream of COVID-19 updates.
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