The Page Turners met in April to discuss ‘The Reading List’ by Sara Nisha Adams. This debut novel, published in 2021, tells the story of teenager Aleisha who finds a crumpled reading list while working at her summer job in the library. Impulsively she decides to read the books on the list. When Mukesh, a grieving widower, arrives at the library looking for a way to build a relationship with his bookworm granddaughter, she recommends the books on the list to him. Soon Aleisha and Mukesh build a connection as they discuss the books they read and find they help them to come to terms with all that is going on in their lives. We also discover other readers who have mysteriously found the same reading list.
Most of us had read a good number of the books that featured on Aleisha and Mukesh’s list and, although we felt it was a little implausible that these two previous non-readers would have tackled the more challenging books on the list, we enjoyed the way the books were woven into the story. As many of us are strong believers in the importance of libraries we were also pleased to read a book that championed libraries as being at the heart of a community.
This was a heart-warming book with an interesting cast of characters and we recommend it.
Following discussion of some of the issues raised by the book, the talk turned to what we would put on our personal reading lists. All of us have read widely and all have been impacted by different books for different reasons. We look forward to future opportunities to share our favourites with the group.
We also touched on the ‘Big Jubilee Read’ and the reading list that has been compiled to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (BBC Arts – BBC Arts – A literary celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s record-breaking reign) and hope to enjoy exploring some of the books on that list that we may not yet have read.
Deborah Wallis, Convenor