Cover Image: The Reading List

The Reading List

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Member Reviews

‘The Reading List’ by Sara Nisha Adams is a beautiful, poignant 5 star read. I found myself falling in love with the character of Mukesh as he learned to find the beauty in life, and to reconnect with his granddaughter again after the death of his wife, Naina. As for Aleisha, her anxiety and fears of fitting in, while also trying to be part of her family are feelings that many teenagers will be able to identify with. 
There is colour, variety, culture and contrasts all clashing and combining together is this tale as people learn of how a love of books can cross any boundary of society or age and bring people together. 
I hope you read this book and love it as much as I do.
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This was such a delightful book!

I loved each and every character and how they all came together via the reading list and I never guessed who curated the reading list till the end but it all fit and made sense.

What I also loved was that the author did not shy  away from difficult topics like mental health, suicide, grief and even moving on after the death of a spouse.

All the characters were incredibly realistic and I felt like Wembley itself was a character in the book which I’ve never read about till now!
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What a beautifully written book so full of love and joy which captured the heart of a book reader. I loved how the author uses well known books from a library as her narrative to the story, weaving her characters into the storyline.
Its a reminder of how books transport us all as we read them and how timeless classics affect us all in different ways. 
A wonderful engaging book.
Highly recommended.
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I read the first eight chapters then felt it was too soapy. I’d lost interest as the style of the writing lacked any flair. However, I did go to the end chapters to see what happened to Aidan, Aleisha and Mukesh; so it’s clear the author has created characters readers will care about. 
I enjoyed the descriptions of the library and reading. They were spot on, but overall the style of the book just wasn’t for me. I’m sure others will enjoy it. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an ARC.
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This is a exquisite debut from Sara Nisha Adams that will resonate with anyone who loves books, their power to impart wisdom, open our eyes to the world and the lives of others, and the priceless role played by libraries in our communities. Set in Wembley in London with all its variety, colour, cultures, contrasts and contradictions, the still grieving Mukesh lost his beloved wife, Naina, 2 years ago. He has withdrawn into himself, a lonely man ruled by routines, with his protective daughters playing an organising and protective role through the phone although failing to communicate with him, busy with their own lives. Mukesh is not a reader, but Naina was, and when he finds a library copy of The Time Traveler's Wife taken out from the Harrow Road Library, he reads it and finds it a revelation, discovering Naina within it, the story speaks to him about his love for Naina and the heartrending experience of losing her to cancer.

This has Mukesh making his way to the library, where he has a problematic encounter with 17 year old Aleisha, not a reader either, working temporarily at the library on the recommendation of her book loving brother, Aiden. The two of them are bearing the heavy responsibility of caring for their mother, Leilah, round the clock, with no support for her mental health issues. Along with other people in the book, Aleisha discovers a crumpled reading list that begins with Just in case you need it. The list comprises of To Kill a Mockingbird, Rebecca, Life of Pi, The Kite Runner, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, A Suitable Boy and Beloved, a selection that serendipitously I have read. Aleisha reads the books prior to recommending them to Mukesh, leading to the two of developing a close relationship that begins with their discussions over the books, and the surprising impact they make on their lives, with ghosts of the characters appearing in Mukesh's life.

Mukesh becomes far more outgoing, letting in others into his life, getting close to his young granddaughter, Priya, as reading becomes an integral part of his life, feeling closer to Naina as a result. This is a beautiful and enthralling read, totally riveting, paying homage to books, libraries, readers and communities, a life affirming novel amidst the grief, death, loneliness and challenging circumstances that the characters find themselves in. I would like to suggest that anyone who has plans to read any of the books on the reading list that they do so before reading this, as there are major spoilers in it. I highly recommend this incredible debut to any and every reader. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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What a great idea for a novel! I loved this book. It’s about life, community, libraries, favourite books...  and characters struggling to find a place in the world. I found it captivating. It’s full of joy but also heartbreak, which makes it a poignant and memorable read. I love the way the author weaves in books and characters from the reading list.  The friendship between widower Mukesh, a grandfather, and 17 year old Aleisha, doesn’t get off to the best start but it’s lovely to see how they and their families are ultimately united by reading.  Five stars!
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This was quite a nice story but a bit over-sentimental for me. It was hard to believe that the list of books made so much difference to people's lives and that it worked exactly as planned. There are a lot of characters and I got confused in places. I approve of the book choices on the list (except Beloved which I have not read), but Jane Austen fans will be offended by the dismissal of P&P! I am a bit cynical I know, but the cosy community coming together is totally unrealistic.
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Great book. The characters really came to life in my mind and made me smile. A lovely light read to unwind with after a long day.
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This was a delightful read, full of interesting characters and a heartwarming story, precisely what I needed right now.
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This book was worth a read. Loved reading it and learning more about the characters within on the story too. The writer has done really well.
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I absolutely loved this book. A book about a reading list, a library and some amazing people. It takes you on a little journey through each book, but also through its character’s worlds. It covers heart break, family and friends; whilst also taking a peek in to a special community - the library.  One thing I came away form this book certain of, is library’s are so important to our communities. They should be developed and made even better, never closed.
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What a lovely, heartwarming book. A bit difficult to follow at first due to the myriad characters, the story of Aleisha and Mukesh eventually comes together well, converging in their safe space - a small library in Wembley.

A tale of community, loss, love and friendship. I loved it! 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.
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