Minecraft: Guide to Farming by Alex Wiltshire, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, Becoming by Michelle Obama and The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (not pictured as all copies had been borrowed) were the Greater Victoria Public Library’s most borrowed books of 2019. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Minecraft: Guide to Farming by Alex Wiltshire, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, Becoming by Michelle Obama and The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (not pictured as all copies had been borrowed) were the Greater Victoria Public Library’s most borrowed books of 2019. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Another one for the books: Greater Victoria libraries reveal top books of 2019

A look at what south Island readers were borrowing over the past year

The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) branches see millions of visits annually and book trends are tracked throughout the year.

With 12 branches in the south Island and more than six million physical items in circulation – books, DVDs, art supplies and more – staff look forward to seeing what the most popular books are each year.

In 2019, the most borrowed adult fiction book was Washington Black – Greater Victoria author Esi Edugyan’s third novel published in 2018. Michelle Obama’s 2018 memoir, Becoming, was the most popular adult non-fiction book of the year.

By some coincidence, the adult fiction and adult non-fiction genres each had three books tied for ninth place, noted Jessica Woollard, communications officer for the GVPL.

All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Story by Elizabeth Hay, By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen and Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell tied for ninth for non-fiction and Past Tense by Lee Child, Redemption by David Baldacci and Transcription by Kate Atkinson ranked ninth in the fiction genre.

In the teen genre, the 2017 novel The Marrow Thieves by Metis writer Cherie Dimaline took the number one spot on the top 10 list and in the children’s genre, Minecraft: Guide to Farming by Alex Wiltshire was the most popular for the year.

READ ALSO: Quirky returns, decades overdue items keep things interesting at Greater Victoria libraries

Woollard pointed out that The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell made the top 10 lists despite having only been released in early September. She’s certain this is a good indicator that the books will make the top 10 lists in 2020 as well.

As the GVPL looks towards 2020, Woollard noted that Saanich residents can expect the Saanich Centennial Branch at the Pearkes arena to reopen. Dates have yet to be confirmed, but crews have been working to repair the damage caused by a flood at the end of August.

Woollard also emphasized that Family Literacy Week is scheduled for the last week of January and Freedom To Read Week – a promotion to encourage the reading of banned and challenged books – will take place at the end of February.

February is also Black History month and the GVPL branches have readings, activities, concerts and more scheduled to feature black writers and artists, Woollard noted.

Most Borrowed Books of 2019

Adult Fiction

1. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

3. Normal People by Sally Rooney

4. Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

5. Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

6. In a House of Lies by Ian Rankin

7. The Reckoning by John Grisham

8. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

9. Past Tense by Lee Child

Redemption by David Baldacci

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

10. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Adult Non-Fiction

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama

2. Educated by Tara Westover

3. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

4. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval N. Harari

5. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

6. Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Café and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants by Ann Hui

7. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

8. The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family by Lindsay Wong

9. All Things Consoled: A Daughter’s Story by Elizabeth Hay

By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell

10. Lands of Lost Borders: Out of Bounds on the Silk Road by Kate Harris

Teen

1. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

3. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

4. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

5. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli

6. The Wicked King by Holly Black

7. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

8. Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

10. A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs

Children

1. Minecraft: Guide to Farming by Alex Wiltshire

2. Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems

3. The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

4. Bad Kitty Takes the Test by Nick Bruel

5. The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

6. Diary of a Minecraft Zombie by Zack Zombie

7. I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems

8. Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet by Nick Bruel

9. A Big Guy Took My Ball! By Mo Willems

10. Minecraft: Guided to Enchantments and Potions by Stephanie Milton


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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