The Reading List (MP3 CD)
August 2021 Indie Next List
“A beautifully written novel about people connected by a local library and an amazing reading list. As the characters’ lives are revealed through interweaving storylines, readers will root for them, cry for them, and celebrate their victories.”
— Lisa Driban, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE
Perfect for those wanting a book about family, friendship, community and reading set in London. That’s all you need to know. Okay, maybe a little more might really draw you in! Each character in this story was developed with such care, which resulted in a complex web of compelling relationships. In particular, much of this story was focused on new beginnings and starting over through the development of new friendships and relationships. I appreciated that it had a wide array of relationships including family, intergenerational, and non-romantic friendships. The “Reading List” itself was central to the development of many of these as each person used the stories and themes to understand themselves better, navigate through life, and to find connections with other people. It was inspiring to see how important these were to the growth and happiness of everyone. Lastly, if you consider yourself an avid reader or “bookworm,” then you will be delighted to spend many hours in the community library of this story, which becomes a haven and destination for many of their experiences. Trigger warnings for death of loved ones, suicide and mental illness.— Cori
A BEST OF SUMMER READ ACCORDING TO NEWSWEEK, PARADE MAGAZINE, NBC NEWS, LITHUB, AND POPSUGAR
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.