The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Aleisha cannot imagine how she’ll survive this long, dreadful summer ahead, working in, of all places, a library! She doesn’t even like to read! And it’s not like she’s excited to go home at the end of the day, either. There, she finds even more stress, never knowing in what condition she will find her mother. And now she has to deal with this grumpy old man…

Meanwhile, Mukesh has not been the same since his wife died 2 years ago. He knows that. But why must his daughters hover over him as if he is incapable of doing anything for himself? Maybe if he can reconnect with his wife through the books she’s read, it’ll do him some good.  But that may mean going to the library.  What a chore…

As a lover of books and reading, I adore the premise of this book. I love that a library becomes a magnet, drawing people together to share their experience of learning about the world– learning about themselves — through characters and stories. Both Aleisha and Mukesh are lonely and stuck inside themselves; the library and the books they share become the tools they use to dig themselves out from under this.

Unfortunately, while the story line has great potential, the writing is choppy, unoriginal, and occasionally simplistic. It was hard to get through, even when I did have curiosity about the outcome. I liked the characters, but the telling of their story did not do them justice, and honestly, I was simply bored at some points.

I firmly agree with the author, that books are a way to learn about others, that characters teach us empathy and how to cope. They can set an example, inspire us, and enlighten us. I only wish this message had been delivered with a bit more subtlety and flair.


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