Cover Image: The Reading List

The Reading List

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Member Reviews

Give me all the books about books. Seriously, I need them all. 🧡

When I first read the blurb of The Reading List, I didn't even think that the book would touch me in such an incredible manner. I loved reading this gem of a novel, and I'll keep thinking about the characters for a long, long time. From the very beginning of the story, I was hooked. A mysterious reading list ties different people together - how enchanting is that! Books have the power to change emotions, and this book described that feeling perfectly. I have been clinging to books for strength and support while seeing the world around me change for a deadly pandemic. Feeling lonely has been such a constant and unwanted friend lately - so finding a book that showed how books can break the barriers of isolation was everything. 

Sometimes fictional characters can teach us lessons for leading our real lives. We get to live that lesson through Aleisha and her widowed grandfather become friends through books. It was just so heart-warming to see the duo, and the other readers who stumbled upon the reading list become inspired to live their lives in a new manner after finding a story that resonated with them. I loved every moment of reading The Reading List. Such a beautiful story. Can't wait for more people to read it so that I can fangirl over the characters!

5/5 stars! Many thanks to the publisher for the e-ARC in exchange of an honest review. <3
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Widower Mukesh lives alone in Wembley after loosing his beloved wife Naina two years ago. Very much set in a routine, he spends his days avoiding people and generally just letting life slip him by - although his three daughters are constantly checking up on him. While spending time in the local library to return one of Naina's loans, he meets troubled teen Aleisha and together the pair embark on a literary journey on the back of an old reading list. 

This is a story of self discovery and enlightenment through reading, and how to live again after loss and it is beautifully told. It's subtle in its wisdom, as the read becomes engrossed in Mukesh's life and his journey, learning as he does about the knowledge we gain from reading. There's also a heavy feeling if community, with the library and surrounding area buzzing with life and colour. It's a great atmosphere to set the book, enclosing the reader in this safe environment. Mukesh and Aleisha have such a special friendship too. It's one that feels very genuine, affectionate and supportive without being overbearing. Each allows the other to seek out what they need at the time from the books on the reading list, encouraging the other. It was lovely to read about. 

Heartwarming, cosy yet this tackles some hard issues in a sensitive and respectful way. Books can be powerful tools in the right hands, and this books demonstrates that and more. A great read.
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This is such a lovely read. Librarian Aleisha and widowed pensioner Mukesh form an unlikely friendship over their love of books and a shared reading list. As an avid reader, I love reading books about the passion of reading!! Add in a beautiful friendship, and this is a great feel good read.
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What a beautiful story!   I have just finished reading this book and have already recommended it to several friends and family members - it's definitely on my shopping list for upcoming birthday presents for fellow book lovers.   This book would make a fantastic publicity piece for libraries all over that are under threat of cuts and closure.   It is a love story for books and libraries.   It is also a love story to the power of reading, whether alone or with or to others.   The story was inspired by the author's relationship with her grandfather who had a major impact on her as a reader.   Such an intergenerational relationship is at the heart of the novel, with Aleisha, a 17 year old mixed race girl in London meeting Mukesh, a Hindi widower, through the library where a bored Aleisha is working during her school holidays.   Both characters have their own sadnesses and difficulties and bond over a reading list of novels which Aleisha finds in the library.   This library is under threat of closure and over the course of the story its importance as a community resource becomes apparent.   The titular reading list contains many of the author's favourite books and in a postscript she mentions other books which have had an impact on her.   I had actually read all of the books on the list and am inspired by the book to return to them.   I did while reading the book start compiling my own list of favourites, one of which is on the Reading List in the book.   I highly recommend this book not only to book lovers but to people who would say they don't enjoy fiction, to community activists and to people feeling isolated. Thank you to the publisher via Net Galley for sending me a complimentary ARC of this title in return for an honest review.
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Cute book perfect for bookworms! The characters and their growth will melt your heart and it shows the importance books have for people. Really recommend!
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I found it a charming read. I loved how the characters interacted with each other and the importance of books mean to other people. 
It is heartwarming and tender and shows that we really do not know what goes on in other peoples lives that we come across.
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The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Aleisha, a 17 year old with a difficult home life, is working in the local library when she discovers a reading list in a book.  Mukesh, struggling to connect with his bookworm granddaughter Priya since his wife's death, is looking for reading recommendations.  They embark on a reading journey that has incredible effects on their lives and those of their loved ones.

I have no words.... this is a BEAUTIFUL book and everyone should read it!  I've read some amazing books this year but this is my favourite by far - the characters, the story, the way it makes you feel..... all incredible!  Thank you to the author for writing such a wonderful book - it is now on my own all time favourites reading list.  I'll be buying this for all my friends and re-reading it myself!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.
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A book about books, what more could a book lover possibly want to read?

Aleisha is a reluctant employee at the local library and not that much of a reader, this is a job that her brother previously did and is a stop gap until the next part of her education.

She ventures no further than the library and home, her world is very small but she discovers a list of books to read that allow her world to expand and perhaps allow her to connect with other people, with her mother, with library patrons.

Mukesh, a widower misses his wife terribly, the gap she has left behind can never be filled and the stifling protection of his daughters means he has yet to find a new way to live being a widow. He wants to connect somehow to his granddaughter and through her love of books he finds himself at the library that Aleisha works at. He finds a list of book that broaden his horizons and he finds new worlds to share with everyone.

The list of books, covers a wide range of different books, which if you are familiar with will make perfect sense into how they fit into the story and their own stories they tell to help both Aleisha, Mukesh and us as readers. If you are not familiar with then you have just gained a whole list for to enjoy at your leisure.

This is a powerful and emotional book and I was caught out by one particular plot thread, so swept away was I with the story and the characters, it felt that I was suffering my own loss. The comfort was the familiarity of books, the comfort that they can give and the way they help and heal. The message which this debut novel has conveyed with sensitivity, across cultures, across ages and across book shelves.

Without doubt, one of the best books I have read and one that I would recommend for anyone who has a passion about books.
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Books about books are one of my favourite things so I couldn’t resist The Reading List. As well as being sad at times and dealing with issues of mental health and grief, it was heartwarming and showed the power of reading – and possibly more importantly how vital libraries are to local communities. It also showcased some of my favourite books of all time! What’s not to like?
Thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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he Reading List is an endearing book about the power of books to change lives. It had me in floods of tears at times but mostly it was a heart-warming testament to the transformative power of reading.

The Reading List is a love letter to libraries designed to remind the reader of the importance of libraries for local communities.

Throughout the book several characters find a mystery reading list titled ‘In case you need it’

The reading list in question comprised of the following books:

. To Kill a Mockingbird

.  Rebecca

. Kite Runner

.  Life of Pi

. Pride and Prejudice

.  Little Women

. Beloved

. A Suitable Boy

I would recommend The Reading List to anyone in a reading slump or who enjoys reading books about the joys of reading.

The characters are endearing and the relationship between Mukesh and Aleisha is sweet and believable. They, and the list, come into each other’s lives when it is most needed.

Aleisha works in the library as a part time job to escape home and the effects of her mum’s poor mental health. She doesn’t understand the joy of reading and the job is just a means to an end.

Mukesh is still reeling from the death of his wife and venturing into the library is a big deal to him. He has never read widely, and he just wants a recommendation, but Aleisha is rude to him.

Later Aleisha discovers the list and decides to make amends she will recommend the books to Mukesh. She realises though that she can’t recommend them if she hasn’t read them herself.

“She noticed how the book was allowing her to step into two worlds – the world she was in right now, besides her mum, in her house, the air muggy from the heat of the day – and another world.”

This book was a real feel-good read.
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Such a beautiful heartfelt story! This book revolves around the people who work in/visit the Harrow Road library, and a reading list discovered there. We meet their families gaining an insight into their lives. Lives which are sometimes sad, and often lonely, and generally challenging in some way- but the reading list seems to work magic and draws them into the library. And the characters within are so real! Beautifully written,  the reader can imagine meeting them in real life. 
Referencing both classic and current bestsellers, the reading list will appeal to all who enjoy reading themselves.  With libraries, classic and best-selling books and a heartwarming story- this is a must read!
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Who doesn't love to read a book about books?!
Aleisha is a struggling teen who needs an escape from a difficult home life and reluctantly takes a job in the library.  Mukesh has recently lost his wife, who loved books, and is trying to connect with his young granddaughter, who is also a bookworm.
When a mysterious list of books appears it brings the two of them together, along with inspiring other people to read.  
I didn't feel that these minor characters added anything to the book; there wasn't enough to care about with them, unlike Aleisha and Mukesh.  I also struggled slightly with the differing timelines, which related to these minor characters.
Apart from these tiny niggles, I loved this book - pure escapism!
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This is an absolutely beautiful and thought provoking book.
 I 100 percent recommend you read it.  You won't be disappointed. The writing style is beautiful.
Excellent.
Thanks to #NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review
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A book about books and the pleasure of reading. It's compelling, heartwarming and it kept me hooked.
Great plot and character development, good storytelling.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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It's been a long time that I've read a book that totally absorbed me.  Everything else going on around me didn't matter as I was so engrossed reading this book.  I think this one for my own reasons will stay with me for a long time.

I loved reading about the books listed.  I have read a few of them so this was lovely to read snipets of them.  I also picked up a copy of The Time Travellers Wife in a charity shop a few weeks back.  So this will be my next read!

Thank you so much Netgalley for allowing me to read this amazing book.
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Elderly, Mukesh,a Kenyan immigrant living in Wembley, is struggling with life following the recent passing of his wife Naina. Naina loved books and Mukesh, who barely reads, goes to the local library where he meets 17 old library worker (I cannot call her a librarian as it does in the book as a librarian is a professional with years of training) Aleisha who has a difficult family life. Her and her elder brother, Aidan, look after their single mother who has poor mental health and doesn’t leave the house. 

Mukesh asks Aleisha for book recommendations but doesn’t get a brusque response. Later, Aleisha, finds a book list containing the books The Time Traveler's Wife, To Kill a Mockingbird, Rebecca, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Beloved and A Suitable Boy. She is feeling bad for being rude to Mukesh so to make amends she decides to read the books herself and then recommend them to Mukesh if she feels they are suitable for him.

There are also a number of other people who find the same reading list in the years leading up to Mukesh and Aleisha meeting.

I struggled a lot with this book as it just didn’t not grip me at all. I didn’t relate well to any of the characters and some, especially Mukesh’s three daughters, just grated on me as they seem to go out of their way to control him and were quite unpleasant most of the time. 

The basic story was very sugary and felt contrived in order to weave in meaning from the text of the of the eight books on the reading list. There were a lot of words that I didn’t know and that Wikipedia on my Kindle couldn’t enlighten me on such as badh, thinki, fua, kemcho, satsaang and tepla. I suspect some were Indian food items but not all and looking them up distracted me from the book itself.

The plot was rather ambulatory and when a big event did happen about 80% into the book it was an event which is a real negative trigger for me and I would not have read the book had I been aware of it. Not a good book for me.

With thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction. for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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What a charming and heart warming book, so perfect for these uncertain times of solitude and isolation. Books have the power to educate, amuse and connect people, as this novel demonstrates perfectly. 
Aleisha is a reluctant librarian, it’s a holiday job whilst she mulls over her future work choices. Mukesh is a widower, who is loved by his three daughters, to the extent they have infantilised him, they call him daily, do his cooking and he needs a purpose in life.
When Aleisha finds a reading list tucked away in a library book, she recommends this to Mukesh, and they start reading them together and later, compare what the book said to them. Books help Mukesh to become more assertive and confident in social circles and he finds new friendships. Aleisha finds she starts to connect better with her mother, Leila, who has mental health issues, by reading books together and sharing memories of happier times.
More  people  are introduced to this reading list and find that their lives are changed for the better, they meet friends, become members of groups, start to do more for their community and become less self centred, which is really what we all need. Loneliness and isolation are literally killers, many older people give up, they don’t have visitors, probably family are not interested or too far away, books can transport you to a better place and libraries offer opportunities to become involved in local issues and find like minded people and groups to join. 
I love books, that’s why I read so much and review them. I can’t imagine a world without them, as my creaking bookshelves will testify. However, of all the books on this reading list, I have only read one, Little Women! I am mortified!! I am more like Gigi, I have seen the film versions of most of the list . Does that count? 
My boys both read non- fiction, they seem unable to consider fiction as being enjoyable. My daughter is an English teacher, always has several books on the go, and her two year old was introduced to books at a very early age. She has a tote bag with the perfect message printed on it. It simple states, I Bloody Love Books! That says it all to me and my fellow bookworms. 
My thanks to Harper Collins UK and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review. It was a pleasure to review this book. I look forward to more from this author in the future. I have rated this as a five star read. I will leave reviews to Goodreads and other outlets later.
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A heart-warming bookworm read ★★★☆☆

When temporary librarian Aleisha finds a list of books on a scrap of paper, little does she know that it will change her life and that of her unlikely new friend, widowed grandfather Mukesh.

Aleisha and Mukesh find that these fictional worlds and characters, far from being trivial, help them understand and navigate their own lives. The list gives them a new joy and escapism in reading which helps them reconnect with their families and find some inner peace.

The main characters and their families are lovingly portrayed and we get a sense of their real, and very different, fears and hardships. The identity of the list writer is no surprise yet at the same time the tragedy later in the novel is unexpected and raw.

Based on the author’s own relationship with her grandfather, this is a gentle novel of grief,  loneliness, and community which champions the power of books to bring people together.
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Thank you to @netfgalley and @harperfictionpr for kindly gifting me this ARC. 

There’s a reason this debut has become an instant hit in all its early reviews, as it’s truly a stunning read.

The Reading List is an ode to the beauty of books and how they can heal wounds, offer escapism and form beautiful bonds. In some kind of bookception genius, each part details how the novels from the reading list such as To Kill A Mockingbird and The Kite Runner profoundly impact the various characters’ lives.

Whilst there’s plenty of heartbreak in this one (I definitely got misty eyed at various points!), this book is full of hope. The Reading List would resonate with anyone who has used reading to pull them through tough times and to find their happy place in other peoples stories. I implore everyone to read this, as I’m also now completely compelled to read every book mentioned in the story that I haven’t picked up yet!
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Read and enjoy. It's hard to do this book justice in a review. Interesting characters that stay with you, themes of joy and grief, the reading list itself and the locals trying to save the library in the heart of town make it a fascinating read. It helps if you've read some of the books on the list but, if not, you will have heard of them. The story is of how various people find a discarded reading list, what they do with it and how it eventually brings them all together. It's only right at the end that you discover who exactly wrote this list and who for. While troubled Aiden ignores it, reluctant young librarian Aleisha starts reading from the list and encourages grieving widower Mukesh. to do the same. The two become friends. A really absorbing story. Hope to hear more from Sara Nisha Adams.
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