St. Johns Reads January 2024

The St. Johns County Public Library System (SJCPLS) is pleased to announce the book selection for St. Johns Reads 2024 is “The Reading List,” by Sara Nisha Adams! An unforgettable and heartwarming debut, “The Reading List” is about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb. This book is currently available through the library in print, large print, audiobook, and on Libby in e-book and e-audiobook.

In its 20th year, St. Johns Reads is SJCPLS’ annual “One Book, One Community” event focused on creating a shared conversation on a selected novel. Taking place in January, St. Johns Reads 2024 features a month-long celebration with a variety of programs inspired by “The Reading List,” including special events with the author, Sara Nisha Adams, at each branch library from January 30 to February 2. St. Johns Reads is generously supported by the SJCPLS’ Friends of the Library groups.

Upcoming Events

Book Discussions with Sara Nisha Adams

Join us for book discussions with “The Reading List” author, Sara Nisha Adams. Events will be hosted at each of our branches.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 30:
  • Wednesday, Jan. 31:
    • 10:30 a.m. at the Anastasia Island Branch Library, 124 Seagrove Main St., St. Augustine Beach
    • 2 p.m. at the Waterworks next to the Main Branch Library, 184 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine (registration required)
  • Thursday, Feb. 1:
    • 11 a.m. at the Bartram Trail Branch Library, 60 Davis Pond Blvd. Fruit Cove
  • Friday, Feb. 2:
    • 10:30 a.m. at the Hastings Branch Library, 6195 S. Main St., Hastings 
    • 2 p.m. at the Southeast Branch Library, 6670 U.S. 1 South, St. Augustine
About "The Reading List"

About "The Reading List"

An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.

Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in Wembley, in West London after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.

Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home.

When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list…hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.

About the Author

About the Author

Sara Nisha Adams is a writer and editor. She lives in London and was born in Hertfordshire to Indian-Kenyan and English parents. Her debut novel The Reading List was a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards for Fiction 2021. Her second novel, The Twilight Garden, will be published in North America in Spring 2024.

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Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.