Cover Image: The Reading List

The Reading List

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Member Reviews

Mukesh has lost his beloved wife Naina, who was an avid reader. While not a reader himself, Mukesh decides to read the book Naina was reading before she died to feel more connected to her. The Time-Traveler’s Wife brings him great comfort. When he returns the book to the local library on Harrow Road in Wembley, London, he decides he’ll read some more and asks Aleisha for assistance. While she works in a library, Aleisha has little knowledge of books. When the seventeen-year-old finds a handwritten reading list hidden in one of the books, she offers them as suggestions to Mukesh. She decides to read the books herself: To Kill a Mockingbird, Rebecca, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Beloved and A Suitable Boy. While reading and enjoying each book, the two form an unlikely friendship. Mukesh starts to slowly emerge from his dark days of mourning. Aleisha and her older brother struggle to help their troubled mother as reading provides Aleisha with a welcome escape.

The Reading List will grab your heart. Author Sara Nisha Adams has created two very likeable characters who are dealing with extraordinary pain and you so want them to be happy. The intertwining of the plots of the wonderful books on the list provides a nice touch especially if you are familiar with them.

Book lovers, this one’s for you.

4.25 stars.
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This book is a love letter to the bibliophile.  Aleisha is begrudgingly working for the summer in her local library when Mukesh comes in.  Mukesh is a widower who wants to feel closer to his wife again.  She was an avid reader and lover of the library and so he decides to go there to see if it will help with his grief.  Aleisha and Mukesh decide to read books together to discuss in the hopes that it will help them to feel less lonely.

These two are an unlikely pair.  I loved how they found connections through the library and reading books.  The friendship that grows between them is beautiful.  I enjoyed the way that Adams weaves the books on the list that Aleisha finds through their stories and the challenges that both Aleisha and Mukesh face.  I really connected with the ways in which books made them feel as I have many of the same feelings about books and libraries.  It is a well-written debut that I would recommend to anyone who has a deep love of reading.  

CW: death of loved one, cancer, suicide, mental health challenges
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4.5 stars

I received a complimentary Kindle book from The Book Club Girls group on Facebook. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to Sara Nisha Adams, William Morrow, The Book Club Girls group on Facebook, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

First off, I rarely give 5.0 stars - it has to be perfect, but this book came SUPER close!! It is the first book in a very long time that brought me to tears.

Sara Nisha Adams has a huge future ahead of herself with this brilliant debut. The characters were fascinating (I learned a lot more about Indian culture and especially food), the location interesting (Wembley area in London), and the story was heartbreaking, but beautifully written.

I want to go to the library and meet ALL of these characters. A reading list is the foundation for this story and shows what a library can do for a community.

HIGHLY recommend!! 4.5 stars
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A "quite" but powerful novel reveals how important community libraries and books are to everyday people--how both can uplift, comfort, inform, and even lead strangers become friends. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book but the more I read the more interested I became in the characters, especially the windowed grandfather. Very clever!
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I really love this book it was really interesting how a writer took books and killed mockingbird and how she put it into the story based on this list and it went back-and-forth in time but it helped everybody who read these books and how they had meeting in life especially the old guy after his wife died and he had no purpose but all of a sudden he started reading the traveler and the traveler and this led him to the library and he met this very wonderful woman who was also having a lot of problems and she really had to come face-to-face with her mother's problem and her brother's problems And in how the list started and now people like in those days would go back Go to the new era and every refuse represented it how they felt and how they coped to me that's a very good writer and she picked really obscured books looks which was great and how the old man started to bond with his on with his granddaughter because she loved to read with this her ram on who died and how he helped her get over shyness and talking and it's been talking and like this and his 3 daughters really Became more understanding when he started date this old widower and she lost her husband and there was some tragic Eve in this book but it all comes out in the end Want to know what happens to these people because everybody has traveling in the life and I think how she put it together was amazing And it all started with this list and you'll find out the meaning of it at the end of the boat but I'm not gonna give it away and and great book
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Unfortunately, I did not finish this book.  I am unsure what it was about the book, but I simply didn't connect with it.  The story was beautiful and having so much of the plot involving library books sounded right up my alley but I couldn't get past 20% in
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A beautiful tale for anyone who loves books and how they connect us. Told thorough the eyes of Mukesh, a lonely widower and Aleisha, a teenager with her own troubles, the story revolves around a mysterious reading list. As the characters read their way through the list, they learn to deal with their situations, discover new friendships and ultimately learn how to live again.
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3.5 stars

A sweet book, especially if you love libraries and love to read.

The story connects two people - 17 year old library assistant, Aleisha, who is carrying the burden of her mother's mental illness on her shoulders,  and "Mr. P", Mukesh, a recent widower who is lost without his wife. These two unlikely friends connect through a reading list that Aleisha finds and then uses when Mr. P asks her for reading recommendations at the library.

Both characters learn about loss and love, and personal strength, ultimately in the books they read and in the lives they lead.

Story was overall a bit slow, maybe 50 pages too long, but was so pleasant.
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What. A powerful novel about the power of books, libraries, and community.  A young teenager and an Indian widower are brought together over the magical place that libraries can be!  A mysterious book list is found by each of the main characters and helps to develop the storyline.  I loved it!
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This book highlights the power of human contact and its ability to change lives.  It also draws attention to the importance of books and libraries are to communities and individuals.  The power of books can change lives, contact people and bring joy to our dull and lonely lives.  I recommend The Reading List to people looking for a good book about books and libraries and why we love them.
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Libraries play an important role in our world. They are the places that have no boundaries. All are welcome. Mukesh is a widower who lives in Wembley and desperately misses his wife. His three daughters are in touch daily via phone messages, but there is a disconnect. Aleisha is a 17 year old recent graduate working in the small local library for the summer. She and her older brother (with whom she used to be very close) are responsible for their mum who is in a downward spiral. Aleisha finds a reading list which is the driving force behind this heartwarming story.

Neither Mukesh nor Aleisha have ever cared much for reading. They each have their own set of troubles. As they read through the books together, they make many discoveries and form a relationship that transcends their differences. Throughout the book, others also find the life changing reading list. Healing occurs for many. This is such a feel good book, however, it has its very serious side with Aleisha’s mum’s mental illness. It should also come with a trigger warning for suicide. I am looking forward to recommending this title! 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.
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THE READING LIST by Sara Nisha Adams

  This book is simply a “ book about books”….but it is so much more. A list of eight disparate books is mysteriously found by several people who are facing difficulties in their lives The main characters, Mukesh and Aleisha, meet at the local library.  Aleisha, a reluctant teenager who is a summer librarian,and Mukesh, a lonely widower, ultimately connect through the book list Aleisha found at the library. 
  Mukesh is depressed after his beloved wife’s death. His adult children just want to run his life. He finds THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE in their bedroom. He reads it as a way to connect with his dead wife, Naina. He learns about eternal love and heartbreak from the book. He goes to the library to get more book recommendations from Alesia. They begin to spend time together, and discuss the books on the list.
   Aleisha lives with her beloved brother,Aiden, and her mentally unstable mother. Her father abandoned them, and has a new family.  Their lives revolve around work and taking care of their mother. Her friendship with Mukesh strengthens as she seeks escape through their book discussions. 
   Mukesh sums up the underlying theme of this thoughtful book: “Books always change as the person who reads them change”. THE READING LIST has indeed changed me. 
   I received a ARC of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
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This was an enjoyable book relating to a found list of library books that ended up connecting people. It takes place in London and it is mainly about a widower, Mukesh, and Aleisha, a teen working at the local library and the connection these two make. I liked the description of the books on the list but felt the story was a little too slow paced for me and I did not feel as connected to it as I had hoped. Thank you NetGalley for this advanced readers copy.
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1. I loved this book.
2. Up until I had read about half of the book I thought it was a really good book but at the halfway point it became a wonderful read.
3. I loved this book.
4. Towards the end of the story I needed a tissue.
5. I loved this book.
6. Have I mentioned I loved this book yet??

Okay no more silly me I promise.

This was a book that slowly pulled me in with well written characters and a storyline that was interesting, sweet and a bit sad.

Our lead characters are Mukesh and Aleisha with plenty of supporting characters some minor and some very important to the storyline.  Mukesh has three daughters who, in their concern for him since his wife’s death, are driving him to distraction.  The only family member he truly would like to be closer to is his grandaughter Priya who was so very close to his wife and who also loves books as much as her Grandmother did.

Aleisha shares the responsibly of her Mother with her brother, Aidan.  Leilah has her good days and her bad but lately they are all bad and Aidan bears most of the burden of her withdrawl into herself and away from life and family.

Aleisha happens upon a reading list of books, books she hasn’t read because she only reads school books and believes she doesn’t enjoy reading for pleasure.  Ironically she is working in a library for the summer when she finds the list.  It is though the library and the reading list that Aleisha and Mukesh meet and become this delightful story.

My review is based on an Advanced Reader E-Proof courtesy of The Book Club Girls, NetGalley, William Morrow, HarperCollins Publishers and the author Sara Nisha Adams.
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This is the kind of book that creates book lovers.

Widower Mukesh has fallen into a routine since his wife passed away - he goes to the grocery and the temple, he cooks the same food, watches the same tv shows and tries to avoid being nagged by his three daughters. Aleisha works at a local library just to fill time during the summer before she begins university. When Mukesh asks for Aleisha for recommendations she treats him rudely because she has none - until she finds the list of eight books. In an effort to atone for her bad behavior she begins to recommend the books on the list to Mukesh as she reads them herself almost as an informal book club. They build a relationship based on the lessons they find in the books that carries them both through difficult times.

The origin of the list itself is teased as a mystery throughout the book. Other characters intertwined in the story have also received the list at times when they needed inspiration to make a change. And the lessons learned make you want to read - or re-read the books on the list.
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The power of books to change lives is something all librarians believe in (at least I hope so!)! In The Reading List, Leisha learns how fictional stories can tie people together, create a community, provide solace in times of sorrow and help people process loss.

Leisha is getting ready to go off to college, but is working at the local library for the summer. Her life looks different from her friends' lives right now, because her mother is dealing with mental illness and never leaves their home. She and her older brother Aiden share caretaking responsibilities, never leaving their mother alone for an extended period of time. Leisha doesn't see the point in libraries; she reads non-fiction books for school but has never really gotten into reading for pleasure.

So when Mukesh, a recent widower, comes to the library to return a book his late wife had checked out and enjoyed, Leisha is rather rude to him. He, too, had never really been a reader, but when he found The Time Traveler's Wife after his wife's death, he decided to read it. Mukesh feels connected to his late wife Naina through the book, and goes to the library to return it and find another book. But Leisha is having a bad day/week/month/year, she doesn't know what to suggest because she hasn't read anything either, and all she wants is to check out people's books, straighten the shelves, and get paid. 

As she is checking in books, she finds a list titled, "Just in case you need it" with 8 books listed: To Kill a Mockingbird, Rebecca, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Beloved and A Suitable Boy. At first, she doesn't know what to do with the list - keep it, toss it? But then she remembers Mukesh and how her boss wasn't happy with her customer service skills when dealing with patrons. She decides to try To Kill a Mockingbird, so she has something to recommend to Mukesh. At first, she is self-conscious when reading, but then the story takes over and she finds she really enjoys reading. She works her way through the list, as does Mukesh and several other characters. 

Each character who picks up this list of books (because there is more than one copy of the list circulating in the neighborhood) finds his or her life changed in some way. Mukesh learns to connect with his granddaughter and develops a different, better, relationship with his grown daughters. He gets out from under the overwhelming grief that has filled his life since his wife died. Leisha grows from a sullen teenager to a more confident young adult with different priorities and a new outlook on life. 

The story is written from multiple viewpoints, which sometimes gets confusing when you can't quite place one of the minor characters. But overall, the story is well-written and sweet without being sappy. It makes you want to read the books on "the list" again and enjoy discussing them with your friends.

Thanks to Netgalley for this advance copy of a lovely book.
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The Reading List is a debut novel by Sara Nisha Adams and is a charming, beautifully written story centered around the healing power of books, at its core. The story takes place in London and features two vastly different people who become friends and find healing, hope for the future, and freedom from their pasts through an anonymous book list. Mukesh, a recent widower, who is living a rather isolated, regimented life meets an anxious, troubled teenage girl, Aleisha, who finds a list of recommended books and decides to read them all to ease the tedium of her job. Mukesh wants to find a connection with his bookish granddaughter, and seeks aid at the local library. There he meets Aleisha who believes that through the stories on the book list, he too will find exactly what he needs. 

This story is endearing, emotionally-impactful, and offers glimpses into the cathartic properties of good books and the connections they form between people. This is a touching novel that will long stay with you.
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3.5 stars

This novel is several different things: a paean to books, stories, libraries and the written word and how fiction can shape and influence a person's real life. But also, a story about loneliness, the loneliness of the divorced, the mentally ill, the widowed, and just those left alone.

The two main characters are quite different: Aleisha, a 17 year old stuck at home with her distracted and overburdened older brother and her divorced mother, who clearly has big mental health issues. And Mukesh Patel, an older widow with three grown daughters who is still almost paralyzed with grief two years after his wife's death.

The thread that ties the stories together is a reading list, discovered by several different characters over the course of the novel. 

Interesting concept, and both Aleisha and Mukesh are quite likable. The ending is a little too pat, but it's a sweet and sad book which also manages to be a little hopeful. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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While the theme music for the beginning of this book could be The Beatles “All the Lonely People” by the end you might be humming “With a Little Help from My Friends.” A handwritten list of books which appears mysteriously in several places, unites a lonely librarian, a grieving widower and his granddaughter and two other people in a London suburb. And in the end, with a purpose for living, they create a community day in the local library which is destined to be closed. The list which includes books like To Kill a Mockingbird, Rebecca, Beloved, Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice,  The Kite Runner, Little Women, and A Suitable Boy all resonate with the reader for different reasons, and in the end the reader sees how a book can entertain, but it can also help people chose their life path. Deep sorrow and death are all familiar to the characters in the book, and yet, their shared enjoyment of these books, leads to a community of friends. This will be a book dear to those people who love to read and value libraries.
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This has to be one of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, It caught me all up in my feelings and my love of books, in the joy of fellowship with others and how we all can relate to what they have gone through and been able to put into words!  Mr. P and Aleisha, their families and all of the patrons of the library that we got to meet had connections to each other and through the list of books.  Thankfully I had read most of the books on the list but I can’t wait to read them again and see them through different eyes!  I just love how this author was able to connect and entwine all of the elements and all of the emotions in this book, it is brilliant! I’m gonna say this is going to be in my top five for the year and I am so happy that I got to read it!#NetGalley#TheReadingList
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