• DECEMBER 2019 •


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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

By Abbi Waxman

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.

  1. Did you enjoy this book? Rate it out of 5.
  2. At the outset of the novel, Nina appears very happy, although she really prefers to be alone. How does that change by the end of the novel? What role does solitude play in your life?
  3. Nina loves books and is a self-proclaimed introvert. What does she find so appealing about reading? Do you think both extroverts and introverts can be passionate about reading books? How do you think the experience is similar and different for both personality types? Why do you enjoy reading?
  4. Nina has found a group of friends who share her love of books, trivia, and popular culture. At the opening of the novel these people are her chosen family. What interests are you passionate about? Do you have a chosen family of like-minded people, or are your friends drawn from a wider pool?
  5. Nina was raised by her nanny, Louise, a woman who wasn’t her biological parent, but who loved and cared for her very deeply. Does Nina consider Lou family? What part fo you think biology plays in the formation of family?
  6. After discovering her father, Nina realizes his personality resembles hers in many ways, something she feels conflicted about? What traits does Nina share with her father? What does she like about sharing certain personality characteristics with him? What does she find difficult about it? What attributes or flaws do you share with your parents and how does that make you feel about yourself and about them?
  7. Do you think Nina will be permanently changed by discovering her family or will she remain essentially the same?
  8. Tom is not a bookish person, but his character complements Nina’s. Why do you think Nina and Tom work so well together as a couple? How do they
    complement one another? In what ways have your relationships succeeded or failed because of how well you “fit” together?
  9. For Nina, a bookstore or library represents sanctuary. What do you think that is? Do you feel similarly? What are some of your favourite bookstores or libraries? What are other happy places in your life?

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