Just in from the library: what people borrowed most in 2020

One overlap each in 2020 and 2019 fiction, non-fiction, and movie lists

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

This is the second year that the Leader asked the Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library for the most popular books within its collection. Comparison of the two years, shows one overlap in each of the three categories: adult fiction, adult nonfiction, and movies.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles was on both the 2019 and 2020 list of ‘most circulated’ books. In 2020, it was fourth, down from second in 2019.

In 2019, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer was at the bottom of the adult nonfiction list. In 2020, it was in the middle.

Once again a movie from 2020 was also on the 2019 list – namely Barbie: Star Light Adventure. It was in a similar location in the middle of the list.

Top of the list

The most popular nonfiction and several of the others had very long titles. The most popular one was Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell.

This is about what it sounds like. Gladwell was born in Britain, grew up in Ontario, and is a journalist with The New Yorker.

The most popular Blu Ray was Attack on Titan Part 1. This is a live action Japanese movie based on a manga series from 2015.

The majority were kid’s movies.

In 2020, Kudos by Rachel Cusk was the most circulated adult fiction.

Kudos is the final book in a trilogy. Released in 2018, Canadian literary journal PRISM International, the New York Times, and others reviewed the book.

PRISM says, “Cusk’s trilogy, a high-wire feat of literary virtuosity all the more remarkable for its unwavering restraint and quiet precision.”

Cusk was born in Canada, grew up in Los Angeles, studied at Oxford and lives in England, says her biography on literature.britishcouncil.org.
Stats are courtesy of library assistant manager Megan Spaner.

Inter-library loans impact a lot of what people read in Slave Lake, adds Spaner. These are not reflected in these stats, as they are based on the Slave Lake collection. Therefore, what was popular for Slave Lake readers could have been different.

The second most taken out fiction book was Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb, which is volume 47 in a crime series. It was also published in 2018.

Book number three is categorized as literary Fiction, Spiritual Fiction, and Fiction by its publisher Vintage Canada. It is called A prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It was published in 2001.

The rest of the list

Adult fiction:
A Gentleman in Moscow; The Night Fire – Michael Connolly; The Alchemist – Paolo Coelho; The Dutch House – Ann Patchett; Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn; and The Favorite Daughter – Kaira Sturdivant Rouda, and The Last Year of the War – Susan Meissner.

The 50th Law – 50 Cent; Everything is Figureoutable – Marie Forleo; Letters From a Stoic – Lucius Annaeus Seneca; Loom Knitting Primer: A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting on a Loom, with Over 35 Fun Projects – Isela Phelps; The Untethered Soul; Fingerprints of the Gods – Graham Hancock; It Starts With Food – Dallas Hartwig; Keto Diet: Your 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Balance Hormones, Boost Brain Health and Reverse Disease – Josh Axe; and The Millionaire Real Estate Investor: Anyone Can Do It – Not Everyone Will – Gary Keller.

Blu Ray:
a two movie set of The Emperor’s New Groove and Kronk’s New Groove; Barbie: Star Light Adventure; The Beatles: Help!; The Big Bang Theory Seasons 4-6; Cars 2; Frozen; God’s Not Dead 2; A League of Their Own; and Pete’s Dragon.

Word search

The Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library is getting creative with ways to interact with library users. Here’s a New Years themed word search in its front window. They also have various online events, but nothing in-person at the moment because of, you guessed it, COVID.

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