Staff Picks

The Reading List

Lauren Kohlenberg

September 03, 2021

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This novel evokes the magical feeling that arises when you enter a book-filled space. It tells of the power of a community space, the impact of found family, and the reach of a carefully crafted story.

ReadingList.jpgThe Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, William Morrow & Company 

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams follows two unlikely friends in their journey through grief and growth, brought together and guided by one mysterious reading list. Mukesh is a widower in his seventies who has isolated himself after the death of his wife. He spends his days going through the motions of his routine, worrying about his family, and wishing he could connect with his young granddaughter who is always hiding away, reading. 

Aleisha is a thoughtful but anxious teen, struggling to hold her family together after the departure of her father. Her brother works endless hours, and her mother is a shell of herself, rarely leaving her room. When Aleisha takes up a summer job at a library on the verge of closing and finds a crumpled-up reading list, she decides to read each title one by one, transporting herself into fictional worlds vastly different from her own. 

Adams expertly spins the tale of the unlikely friendship between the two, illustrating the awkwardness of first encounters, the pain of walking through grief, and the power behind stories both new and old. 

This novel evokes the magical feeling that arises when you enter a book-filled space. Adams’ heartfelt and honest words transport you into a world where your favorite characters are real, where their journeys are your own. It tells of the power of a community space, the impact of found family, and the reach of a carefully crafted story. 

The Reading List found me at the exact right time; once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. Adams’ writing felt like a hug from an old friend, and the novel transported me back to coziest chair in my favorite bookshop. 

It was a reminder that books are for their readers and that these stories will find you exactly when and how you need it. 

About The Author

Lauren Kohlenberg is an AmeriCorps alum and a graduate of UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Information Science and Technology. She is 1/2 of the IT department at Porchlight, and she feels right at home working with both tech and books. Lauren has always been an avid reader and loves getting lost in a good story. Outside of work, Lauren makes time for travel, fitness, and baking. She loves a good literary pun and is always on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

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