This is one of those books, one of those reading experiences, that I wanted to curl up in and live in. I didn’t think Abbi Waxman could top The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, but with Adult Assembly Required she returns to Larchmont and her quirkily endearing cast of characters and just completely melted my heart. We meet Laura in the opening pages, a recent transplant to L.A. for grad school. After an unsuccessful job interview, an apartment fire, and a freak rainstorm, she dazedly wanders into Knight’s Books in Larchmont, and is immediately taken in hand by Liz, Polly and Nina. Between the three of them, they dry her off, offer her fresh clothes and, in Polly’s case, a place to live. The boarding house Polly takes her to is the kind of place we all wish we could land when life is being unkind. A lovely room for affordable rent (doesn’t that sound like a dream these days?) in a beautiful home in a gorgeous neighborhood with a spectacular garden, good food, and good-hearted (and one particularly handsome) residents. Honestly, it’s the LA equivalent to Penelope’s Gloucestershire cottage in The Shell Seekers.