6 Books to Read If You Love Nora Ephron's Movies

Hi, there! It's been a while. Seeing that we're in the middle of a global pandemic I thought I'd revive the ol' blog. We've all been staying home, avoiding real pants and, for some of us, seeking solace in books. I know I've certainly turned to them as a source of entertainment and a way to tune out.

I'm at the point in my quarantine reading life where I've just fully given into romantic comedies. The first few weeks I had ambitious plans, chipping away at my TBR pile. But then this week, at 2am when I couldn't sleep, I downloaded a rom-com to my kindle from the library and thus began my rom-com binge. There's something deeply comforting about a story where you know two characters will end up together, it's just a matter of finding out how it happens.


I'm a relatively new romance reader, dipping my toes into the genre for the first time in 2018, and have quickly discovered what I like and what I don't like. I'm not big on steam, I love a rom-com that features a bookish character or a character who is part of the movie business, and any book with a direct reference to You've Got Mail is gold in my eyes. Very specific criteria, I know, but what can you do?!

So, if you too love watching You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and When Harry Met Sally then I highly recommend these books.


1+ 2. Waiting for Tom Hanks and Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey

Waiting for Tom Hanks is the book that set this whole rom-com reading binge off for me. Annie, our leading lady, has an uneventful life in the midwest with aspirations to work on a movie set after a childhood full of exclusively watching Nora Ephron movies with her mom, and find her Tom Hanks. She loves romantic comedies through and through and lives for meet-cutes. So, imagine her surprise when a romantic comedy is filming in her town and she gets a job on set. She then meets Drew, a hunky actor, and the rest is history. I loved this one because of it's cast of quirky characters and the endless romantic comedy movie recommendations that Winfrey peppers throughout the story (I watched While You Were Sleeping after reading this one and I can't believe I had never seen it!).


The sequel, Not Like the Movies, comes out in July but I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy via NetGalley and it was just as delightful. In the follow-up we follow Annie's best friend, Chloe, as she comes to terms with her destiny to be with Nick, the sometimes grumpy, lumberjack-ish, coffee shop owner. Highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Waiting for Tom Hanks in anticipation of Not Like the Movies coming out in July.


3. Beach Read by Emily Henry

I devoured Beach Read in a few hours on a recent Sunday and it was a pure delight. January Andrews is reeling from her father's unexpected death and her breakup with her longtime boyfriend, Jacques. She is on deadline for her upcoming romantic comedy novel and she escapes to her father's beach house on the shores of a small beach town in Michigan. She quickly meets her next door neighbor, Augustus 'Gus' Everett, who is a rival from her days in college and the hottest literary fiction writer of the moment. They try to strike inspiration in each other by teaching each other about their genre of choice - him taking her along on gritty interviews as research and her planning dates for them that are straight out of a romantic comedy.


We go along as they befriend each other, help one another through their grief, and support each other through writers' block. I loved the setting of this one, January was a positively delightful character, and I loved the insights into a writer's life.


4. Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters

Evie Summers is stuck in her job as an assistant at a film agency. Due for a promotion many years ago, she is desperate to do anything to finally become an agent. The only thing that stands in her way is getting her agency's biggest screenwriter Ezra Chester, Hollywood's indie film darling, to finally deliver his romantic comedy screenplay that he's been 'working on' for way past the deadline. Striking up an agreement to help each other, he vows that he will deliver the screenplay on time and she vows she will help him understand the romantic comedy genre by showing him that meet-cutes can happen in real life. What follows is Evie putting herself in a series of situations to stage meet-cutes so that she can deliver inspiration to Ezra.


I loved Evie's character and her cast of supportive friends that help her through this career hurdle. This one was cute and I, again, loved all the nods to the classic romantic comedy movies.


5. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

This charming novel follows along as introvert and bookworm Nina discovers if reality can ever live up to fiction. Working at a bookstore, keeping to her same routine, and turning to books whenever things get hard Nina is happy with her life as it is. But, when she discovers that her father (who she never knew) passed away and left her with a hoarde of brothers, sisters, and other relatives she has to overcome her introvert ways and embrace her new found family. Added to the mix, she meets a cute guy via her trivia team, and she has to decide if she should let love it.


As a fellow introvert, I really identified with Nina and loved seeing an bookish introvert as the leading lady in a romantic comedy. I read this one last summer and I'm still recommending it all the time to people.


6. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Basically, the book version of You've Got Mail. Beth and Jennifer know that their work emails are being monitored but they can't take it seriously. When Lincoln O'Neill is hired to act as "internet security officer" his main task is read everyone's email. He quickly realizes he's falling in love with Beth and they begin corresponding via email without meeting in person (sound familiar?!). This one was sweet and felt like a mix of The Office (I got some Jim and Pam vibes) and You've Got Mail. Plus, I will read anything that Rainbow Rowell writes.

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© 2019 by Michelle Martin