Review: The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

A square version of the cover of the The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams.
The cover of the The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams.

First book of the year and the first book review of the year! I bought this book back in November 2023 when I saw it on sale on the Kobo ebook store along with a bunch of other books that were also on sale. I glad I finally got around to reading this one. Let’s get into it.

The themes of this book are at times micro-targeted to me. It has a profound love for books and libraries, both of which are things I love. It also has a theme of how books can help people connect to each other and to themselves which I also love.

A lot of this books deals with characters who are dealing with some form of trauma or grief. Mukesh, a widower who lost his wife to cancer and withdrew into himself or Aleisha, the reluctant library worker who feels disconnected from the world, no friends and a family that’s distant.

I like how realistic the character portrayals in this book are. Interactions between characters feel grounded. The book doesn’t make the mistake of painting a fairy tale about how books and libraries can solve all our problems but instead shows them as a therapeutic tool for understanding one’s problems and how books and libraries can facilitate connection and community.

There were multiple points in the book where I found myself tearing up due to the portrayal of the situations and interactions between characters. Characters in this book often have an inner dialogue and those scenes paint a fuller picture of what these characters were feeling in any given situation. I felt what Mukesh or Aleisha were feeling, intensely so.

All in all, I am glad this is the first book I read this year. A strong start to the year and I am looking forward to whatever else is next as far as reading goes.