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The Reading List: Book summary and reviews of The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List

by Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams X
The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
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  • Published Aug 2021
    384 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.

Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, in West London after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.

Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a list of novels that she's never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she's facing at home.

When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list…hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Adams's winsome debut follows a widower who takes up reading in order to honor the memory of his wife...Adams is a brisk and solid plotter, and has an easy hand with creating characters who are easy to root for. Readers will be charmed and touched." - Publishers Weekly

"The author explores many difficult topics with grace, like mental illness, grief, abandonment, and self-doubt. Although the pace starts off slow, things pick up in the later pages and reach a satisfying conclusion. A quiet and thoughtful look into loneliness, community, and the benefits of reading—suited for true bibliophiles." - Kirkus Reviews

"A remarkable, heartwarming debut about the power of fiction." - Popsugar

"The story is an absolute joy. A captivating and exquisitely crafted debut." - Heidi Swain, bestselling author of The Winter Garden

"If you love books, read this. If you love people, read this. If you love crying with sadness, crying with happiness, and feeling like you have been wrapped in the blanket of someone else's life, read this." - Debbie Johnson, bestselling author of Maybe One Day

"A wonderful read about the fundamental power of books to lift our lives from the mundane and transform them into something truly magical." - Imogen Clark, bestselling author of Postcards From a Stranger

This information about The Reading List was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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BuffaloGirlKS

You Have to Walk in Someone Else’s Skin
My thanks to Book Club Girl and William Morrow for this early read ebook.

Mukesh is a lonely widower of two years in a London neighborhood when he encounters Aleisha, a 17 year old working in a small branch library. Aleisha has problems of her own and does not treat his request for help in finding a book kindly. Subsequently, a dressing down by her supervisor propels Aleisha to apologize to Mukesh and make a recommendation, opening the way for friendship and connection to each other and the wider community.

This is a beautiful little book that says so much about connecting with others, mental health and getting help, death and grieving, aging and the moving dynamics of family relationships, and the power of books to change lives. I loved this book and can't find a single thing to fault in it.

Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews

Elizabeth@Silver'sReviews - a feel-good, sweet, clever read
Books and libraries bring people together, and in this sweet, heartwarming read, Alisha and Mukesh bond over books and help others do the same.

Alisha had never liked books, but she worked in a library.

Mukesh had never read a book in his life, but his wife was an avid reader. When he met Alisha she wasn't too friendly, but then one day they bonded.

Alisha found a reading list with books that she read and that she shared and discussed with Mukesh. In fact, that reading list was found all over town tucked in books, in grocery stores, and in any place where someone would likely find it.

The mystery is who wrote “The Reading List.”

THE READING LIST is an alluring, uplifting book that proves the magic power of books and their ability to connect people in so many ways.

It also addresses the importance of libraries to help bring people and ideas together.

Readers who enjoy a feel-good, sweet, clever read will want to add this book to their "reading list" this summer.

What can be better than a book promoting the love of books and libraries and how they change your life and can bring you closer to others.

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Anna Rowe

A Bit Too Sweet For Me
I want to be careful not to turn anyone off of this book with my review because there is definitely a large readership for this type of novel. It just wasn't for me. It is quaint and touching in spots. It is an easy and relaxing, character driven read. If you like a protagonist that you can really love or if you think you would enjoy a very sweet and simple story to get cozy with, then this book might be perfect for you.

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Author Information

Sara Nisha Adams

Sara Nisha Adams is a writer and editor. She lives in London and was born in Hertfordshire to Indian and English parents. Her debut novel The Reading List is partly inspired by her grandfather, who lived in Wembley and immediately found a connection with his granddaughter through books.

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