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Vancouver Island readers: top picks 2021

Topic 3 most popular books of 2021: * Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder  * The Secret, Book & Scone Society, Book 1 by Ellery Adams  * The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad 

Sunday January 2, 2022 | NANAIMO, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends


At year end 2021, the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) announced the most checked-out titles of 2021.

VIRL says that “in another year under the shadow of the pandemic”, the top books included titles by Indigenous authors, murder mysteries by world-famous authors, series that have found their way to television, and much more. 

Many of the book loans have been digital (e-books) during the pandemic. Audiobooks are also popular.

books, audio, virl

The pandemic first hit in mid-March 2020 and forced libraries to continue evolving as they have already during the Internet age. The role of libraries has been shifting over the last 10 years, at least, to being community hubs as much as places with books lined up on shelves.

 Top 10 most popular adult print titles: 

  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah 
  2. All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny 
  3. A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin 
  4. The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly 
  5. Daylight by David Baldacci 
  6. The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleves 
  7. Fair Warning by Michael Connelly 
  8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owes 
  9. Win by Harlan Coben 
  10. Indians on Vacation by Thomas King 

Top 10 most popular books of 2021: 

  1. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder 
  2. The Secret, Book & Scone Society, Book 1 by Ellery Adams 
  3. The Long Flight Home by Alan Hlad 
  4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owes 
  5. The Bestseller by Olivia Goldsmith 
  6. Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards 
  7. This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber 
  8. In the Land of Second Chances: A Novel by George Shaffner 
  9. Blue Moon: Jack Reacher Series, Book 24 by Lee Child 
  10.  A Minute to Midnight: Atlee Pine Series, Book 2 by David Baldacci 

Top 10 most popular e-audiobooks of 2021: 

  1. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachers of Plants by Robin Hall Kimmerer 
  2. Cold Mourning: Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery Series Book 1  by Brenda Chapman 
  3. Outlander: Outlander Series, Book 1 by Diana Gabaldon 
  4. An Accidental Death: DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 1 by Peter Grainger 
  5. A Court of Thorns and Roses: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, Book 1 by Sara J. Mass 
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil De Grasse Tyson 
  7. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know abotu the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell 
  8. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer 
  9. Virgin River: Virgin River Series, Book 1 by Robyn Carr 
  10. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder 

Top 10 most popular print picture books:  

  1. The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson 
  2.  The Hospital Dog by Julia Donaldson 
  3. A Bunch of Munsch by Robert Munsch 
  4. Sleep Tight with the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 
  5. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson 
  6. The Pigeon HAS to go to School! By Mo Willems 
  7. Two Little Trains by Margaret Brown 
  8. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson 
  9. Parents’ Day Surprise by Anne Lamb 
  10. A Day on the Farm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 

Serving the island beyond Greater Victoria:

The VIRL head office is in Nanaimo. There are 41 branches around Vancouver Island (one of which is ‘Books by Mail’); branches are outside of and beyond the main Greater Victoria area, including Sooke, Tofino, and the Gulf Islands.

IST, new year
Mary P Brooke is the editor and publisher of Island Social Trends.

Branches are closed January 1 to 3, 2022 at this tail end of the winter break. To avoid overloaded drop boxes, we kindly ask everyone who has items to return to please drop items off while branches remain open or hold items until after the holidays. 

The online library remains open 24/7 at virl.bc.ca 

VIRL, branches
The Vancouver Island Regional Library system has 42 locations: 40 branches, Books by Mail, and their administration office. [Dec 2021]

For more information on all the great resources available at VIRL and how to get a library card, visit virl.bc.ca.  

john horgan, langford juan de fuca, xmas

===== RELATED:

VIRL operational vaccination policy kicks in Feb 11 (January 2, 2022)

Podcast for ‘bookish people’ launches at VIRL (June 30, 2021)

National Indigenous History Month at Vancouver Island regional libraries (June 4, 2021)