She thought of books as medication and sanctuary and the source of all good things.
I think if I had a fantasy alternate life, I’d be living Nina Hill’s life. I literally felt like I was reading about a version of me living in a parallel universe! I think every reader who loves books to the point of obsession will be able to relate to Nina Hill in the same way 🙂
This book was my Goodreads book club Book of the Month selection for January, and although I won’t rate it highly, it is definitely one of those feel good books that you’ll be glad you read. Reading this book was like going on a coffee date with your best friend. You can spend hours, laughing, nodding in harmony and not do anything worthwhile or learn anything new, other than feel great afterwards. That’s a good thing for readers like us. Sometimes we’re off to fight wars in fantasy worlds, sometimes we’re cunning thieves, sometimes we’re learning about the struggles of racism or casteism or classism, sometimes we’re dreading that dystopian world, sometimes we’re a superhero or a superhero detective, but sometimes, we’re just us. And this book is that – it’s just about us readers 🙂
There isn’t much of a plot, but there are real characters that you want to be friends with, there’s a guy who you secretly wish was your boyfriend or partner 😀 and then there’s Nina’s job and her home. I want all of that to be honest. I want to work in a bookstore. I want to be a regular at a coffee shop. I want friends who get me and are witty and sarcastic and quote from books and are always recommending books or shows based on books – in the physical life, people I can have a book club with and face to face discussions with and go to the pub with. I want a home or a reading room with walls stacked with books and that reading chair, overlooking a beautiful garden or the ocean. I want coffee and hot chocolate and alcohol (replace wine with whiskey/gin maybe). I want a dog, because I’m not a cat person, but then I’d have to be careful of my books or train my dog so that he doesn’t chew off my books..ahem. I want a lot of quite and solitude. I want Thursdays marked as ‘nothing’ so that I can read all evening and go to bed. Sigghhhhh!!! I’m literally day dreaming right now, thinking about Nina Hill’s life. I want my partner to say stuff like 😀 😉
Let’s go home and be alone together.
Nina acquires a couple of things in the story and her life changes quite a bit, but its still similar in lots of ways. I deal with a lot of anxiety and stress too and I could totally relate to the way Nina dealt with her anxieties – by avoiding people/situations that would make her anxious. I do that a lot too. But sometimes you just have to do certain things and get anxious. Those times, I just breathe, try to talk to myself, or listen to music or the best option – read. Sometimes I drink to avoid feeling anxious and be socially awkward. In that way, I could relate to what her dad was like. I loved her nanny Lou’s advice:
The first thing you should always do is nothing..
All the supporting characters are so amazing too. I just adored Nina’s boss- Liz, another book nerd/book lover. I wish I had a boss like her 🙂
All in all, its a Bridget Jones kind of book – great friends, lots of humor, easy writing, easy reading. A perfect book for a date with a book kind of day, or for reading on a beach. I didn’t rate it high, but I enjoyed it nevertheless and would recommend it to all book lovers out there 🙂