The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (Review by Madhura Mukhopadhyay)

2 min read

Rating: 3/5 ⭐

Aleisha has the world’s worst summer job -working as a librarian. Bored and disinterested in everything, when she accidentally finds a waylaid book list hidden inside a library book, Aleisha decides to read every book on the list. Perhaps that would help her forget her stressful home life.

Mukesh has a lonely life. Constantly beleaguered by his bossy daughters and ignored by his granddaughter, he desperately misses his late wife Naina and looks for any remaining connection to her to hold on to. One day he discovers a dust-ridden library book under the bed that Naina had forgotten to return and decides to try reading it to feel closer to her. Under the spell of a book for the first time; Mukesh decides to check out the local library; where he meets Aleisha the librarian who recommends him books off the mysterious list.

In a nutshell, The Reading List by debut author Sara Nisha Adams is a book about books. As the characters progress through the list, they find that their books give them invaluable insight to navigate through the many intricacies of life and family. To a reader, this is not surprising. So, as I read this book, it was such fun to follow the characters as they discover the magic of reading and to gleefully recognize the signs of a bookworm-in-making.

The only reason that I lopped off a few points from the rating because I felt the writing was little forced in certain places. This is especially evident in sections where the characters in our book daydream about the characters in their book. However, it is saved by the fact that the author created such wonderful and believable people in Mukesh, the elderly grandfather, his daughters who are much too busy to really sit and chat with their father, and Aleisha, a confused teenager who only wants to do right by everyone.

Overall, The Reading List is an impressive debut with compelling characters and wonderful discussions of classic and beloved stories. I can see this becoming a much-loved and popular book.

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