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The Reading List by Sara Nisha Admas Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book:

I listened to an episode of House Guest with Kenzie Elizabeth where Kenzie, Margo and Emily answered a series of questions about the books they have read. One of the books discussed was The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams. This is a book that has been on my reading list for a while and I just recently got around to reading it. I knew from the discussion on the podcast that it was a plot that did not require much thought , I figured that this would be the perfect book to read over the Thanksgiving holiday as I knew I would not have much time to devote to reading and would want a book that would not require much concentration as my focus would be other places during that week. 

Content of This Book:

Reluctantly Aleisha begins her summer job at the library her older brother, Adian used to work at. Aleisha is not a reader and this becomes an issue when she is asked by library patron Muskesh for a book recommendation. Lucky for her she recently found a list of books in a returned library book. Aleisha begins reading the books on the list and recommending them to Muskesh. Muskesh is a widow who lives a quiet life in Wembley after losing his beloved wife. Mushesh has his three daughters and quiet granddaughter who look after him, while Aleisha is caring for herself and her mother. Through reading the books on the list, Aleisha and Mukesh are able to connect and form an unlikely friendship. 

What I Liked About This Book:

As mentioned in the reasons for reading this book, I was looking for an easy read that did not require much concentration and thought as I was reading it during a busy holiday week. Both the plot and writing of this book met that requirement. I loved the concept of this book. Not only am I fan of lists, I am also a fan of completing lists and sharing my lists. The plot had all of that. I have only read a few of the books on the list, but that did not matter. The author was able to summarize and easily incorporate the plot and lessons of the books into the plot of this book so the reader was not in the dark if they had not read the book on the list. I am usually not the biggest fan of authors including everyday tasks into the plot as the inclusion can become monotonous and uninteresting, but in this case it really made the plot. The plot is not meant to be thrilling and is supposed to be relatable and show the everyday struggles and tasks. Something that I really liked was the inclusion of the voicemails left my Mukesh's daughters each day. This is relatable to me because every morning my family texts in our group chat a good morning text and what we are doing that day. I also loved the progression of the relationships between the characters. I was expecting this to happened but was surprised by how invested in their friendship that I became. The author depicted the strain that mental health puts on a family when they are caring for that person. The last thing I will say that I liked about this book was how the author had the characters grow and change though their experience with the reading list and new found friendship or relationship changes. 

What I Disliked About This Book:

Mukesh was desperate for a purpose and connection so he related every book to his life in hopes of feeling satisfied. I was also hoping that there would be some explanation to why Mukesh would see the characters of the books in real life, but there never was. I thought the explanation was going to be that he was lonely, but that changed from the beginning to the end of the book. There were a couple of instances where the author introduced a new narrator who found a list. Each time this happened I was waiting in anticipated for their narrator to be revisited to understand their inclusion. I was disappointed when this did not happen until the very end of the book. I am not sure if the author of the list was supposed to be obvious to the reader or not, but it was extremely obvious to me from the start. As someone who is not knowledgable of the Indian culture and language, I found myself confused and at times when these things were mentioned. The author wrote the Indian culture and language into the book as though the reader was already knowledge of all of it. I get that including explanations of a culture can sound academic and breakup the flow of the writing and narration, but it would have been a lot more helpful to the reader instead of being clueless to the importance of what was mentioned. At times I could not tell who the main narrator was. From what I gathered from the organization of the book, the sections for each book on the list followed Mekesh beginning reading the book even though Aleisha would begin reading the book while he was still reading the other. So some of her chapters in a section actually related to the next section because of this. Something that I never really got on board with was Aleisha's constant reference to Attis. I found the continued reference unnecessary to the plot and never grasped why she started with the reference in the beginning. The whole book I was waiting in anticipation for a clear explanation for why the library was failing and the possibility of it closing. I was never satisfied with the explanation that more patrons where going to the newer Civic Center location. This is a plot point that I was very interested in because I could not imagine a library closing. The whole book I yearned for a better explanation and could not wait to find out what efforts if any were going to occur to remedy and save the library. 

Would I Recommend This Book?

Overall I found the plot interesting enough. I would recommend this book as a travel book or a book when you are looking for something easy. I found it to be the perfect book to read during the holiday when I knew my reading time and focus would be limited. I might recommend this book to my best friend.  

Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!

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