The Reading List Book Club Questions & Discussion Guide

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The Reading List Book Club Questions & Discussion Guide

In this reading guide for The Reading List, you’ll find book club questions, a summary, favorite quotes and my top 3 recommended similar reads that will aid your book club discussion.

The Reading List is often described as a book written by a reader for both; readers and non-readers alike.

This novel is Sara Nisha Adams’ debut novel. The author has been passionate about reading since her childhood and is also an editor.

More Book Club Discussion Guides:

The Reading List Summary (Non-Spoiler)

the reading list book club questions

The Reading List follows two characters who aren’t avid readers; Mukesh and Aleisha.

Mukesh is a widower, grieving the loss of his wife. He has a granddaughter, Priya that loves reading.

He makes an attempt to visit the local library in hopes of bonding with his grandchild over her love for reading.

Aleisha is a teenager who is working at the local library during her summer break. She soon finds a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of books she knows nothing about. 

She is not much of a reader, working in the library gets a bit boring and she soon decides to the books on the list. As she progresses from one book to another, she gains insight about herself as well as escapes her painful reality. 

Aleisha shares the reading list with Mukesh, hoping that it’ll help him with forming a relationship with his granddaughter.

Slowly, these two very different people form a friendship through their newly found love of books. 

Books Mentioned In The Reading List

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Rebecca
  3. The Kite Runner
  4. The Life of Pi
  5. Pride and Prejudice
  6. Little Women
  7. Beloved
  8. A Suitable Boy

The Time Traveler’s Wife is not part of the list but plays an important role in this book.

The Reading List Book Club Questions

  1. Aleisha finds a reading list in one of her books and goes on a mission to read them all. If you could make such a list, which books would you have mentioned in your list and why?
  1. Did this book or its characters make an impact on you and how? Discuss the impact of this book on its readers 
  1. “Please try and remember that books weren’t always an escape; sometimes books teach us things. They show us the world; they don’t hide it.” Do you agree with this? Share your thoughts on this quote.
  1. The Reading List emphasizes how reading affects our lives and our relationships with people in real life. Discuss your thoughts on this idea. 
  1. Have you read any books mentioned in The Reading List? What were your thoughts on the books?
  1. What were your thoughts on Aleisha’s mother’s character? What do you think her character should have done differently?
  1. Aiden struggled with his mental health. If you were him, what would you have done to have gotten help?
  1. Mukesh and Aleisha develop a friendship by completing the reading list together, what were your thoughts on their character growth?
  1. Do you think the author did a good job with the narration as it dealt with friendships, family, love and loss?
  1. If you could choose one side character to learn more about, which one would it be and why?
  1. What do you think would’ve been a good alternate ending for the book?
  1. “Books just take us away for a little while, and return us to our place with a new perspective.” Discuss this quote.
  1. Mukesh develops a liking for reading as a way to cope with the loss of his wife who used to love reading. What are your thoughts on reading as a coping mechanism?
  1. Aliesha loved reading fiction from an early age while Mukesh started reading fiction much later in his life. Do you believe there is a certain age limit for reading fiction and why? 
  1. As readers, there is so much that we learn from books along with all the perks of reading as Sara Adams has depicted in this book. Share why you love reading fiction.
  1. Mukesh and Aliesha aren’t avid readers but they soon become one. Would you recommend this book to a non-reader? Why?

The Reading List Quotes

“Please try to remember that books aren’t always an escape; sometimes books teach us things. They show us the world; they don’t hide it.”

The Reading List (Sara Nisha Adams)

“These are the books that brought me closer to myself, that shaped me and my world — I hope they’ll bring you light and joy and, if you ever miss me, you’ll find me within their pages.”

The Reading List (Sara Nisha Adams)

“It’s like, I don’t know, no one’s trying to be someone they’re not in a library.”

The Reading List (Sara Nisha Adams)

“She’d only read a few pages, but it had been like stepping into someone else’s world, letting their emotions merge with your own, letting someone else guide you for a moment, so she could work out how best to guide herself.”

The Reading List (Sara Nisha Adams)

“Sometimes, books just take us away for a little while, and return us to our place with a new perspective.”

The Reading List (Sara Nisha Adams)

Books Like The Reading List

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

anxious people book club questions

The Midnight Library follows Nora, a thirty-something woman who is regretful about her life and feels like a burden to the world.

As she explores a library, she finds books that represent a portal into another variation of what her life could have been. Similar to The Reading List, books help main characters from both books gain insight about themselves.

Book Lovers

emily henry books in order

In Book Lovers, we follow Nora – a ruthlessly ambitious literary agent who identifies more with the villains in romance movies than the heroines.

Swayed by her sister to spend the summer together in a picturesque small-town, the last person she expects to run into is Charlie—the surly editor she’s avoided ever since their disastrous first meeting.

Although this is a romance and The Reading List is not – both these books portray the relationships people can form with each other when united by reading books.

The Library at the Edge of the World

The Library at the Edge of the World is set on Ireland’s stunning West Coast and is about a local librarian who drives a library van through the coastal towns.

In this touching and enchanting story, she must find a way to rebuild her community and her own life.

Wrap-Up: The Reading List Discussion Questions

I hope this post with The Reading List book club questions, quotes and books a like helps!

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