The Reading List Published by HarperCollins Publishers on February 19, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Cultural Heritage, Fiction / Friendship
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A BEST OF SUMMER READ ACCORDING TO NEWSWEEK, PARADE MAGAZINE, NBC NEWS, LITHUB, AND POPSUGAR!
"The most heartfelt read of the summer...a surprising delight of a novel."--Shondaland
An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.
Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, in West London after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.
Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a list of novels that she's never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she's facing at home.
When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list...hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.
The Reading List is a debut novel that will resonate with anyone who understands the power that just the right book at the right time can share. Our main character Mukesh has lost his wife, who was a lover of books, but Mukesh is not so much. So Mukesh heads off to the library to get some books to connect with his grandchild and keep his wife with him somehow. Aleshia works at the library but has no joy for readers, and her first encounters with Mukesh are rough, but eventually, a list of books will bring them ever closer to each other. I want to make sure anyone who picks this up knows there is a suicide in this book, so if that triggers you, you might want to read cautiously.
The Reading list is a fantastic story about a group of people who may not have normally interacted with each other if not for the library and the list of books. The books on the list are To Kill a Mocking Bird, Rebecca, Life of Pi, The Kite Runner, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, A Suitable Boy, and Beloved. I have read a few on here, heard of most, and I need to look up a couple. If you’re a lover of books, I highly recommend this debut.