The Reading List

Morrow. Aug. 2021. 384p. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9780063025288.
Elderly Mukesh Patel has become a hermit since the death of his wife. Naina was an avid reader, a passion Mukesh never shared. Happening upon a library copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife that she’d forgotten to return, he starts to read it and finds himself entranced. Teenager Aleisha is not a reader and is completely bored with her summer job as a library clerk. While she’s checking in books, a piece of paper falls out of one. Titled “JUST IN CASE YOU NEED IT,” it’s a list of eight classic books, beginning with To Kill a Mockingbird. With nothing else to do, she decides to read all the books on the list. Aleisha shares the list with Mukesh, who soon begins to use the library as an escape from his too-quiet home. The feeling of being immersed into the world of a book is accurately depicted. The novel is divided into sections based upon each book, and the characters eventually learn how the books’ themes resonate in their own lives.
VERDICT This is a book for lovers of books, especially fiction. It might also be perfect for those who think they don’t love books.

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