Sunday, April 14, 2024

These were Greater Victoria Public Library’s top-read books of 2023


There’s no better way to wrap up the year than to look back on popular reads!

To celebrate the year, The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) has announced their list of the top circulating titles for 2023. 

From royal memoirs to mystery novels and titles that tackle complex topics, the list reflects the community’s interest in a wide range of genres.

Maureen Sawa, CEO of GVPL noted that similar to 2022, television and movie adaptations continue to influence reading preferences and the demand for digital formats (eBooks and eAudiobooks) increases steadily. 

For top titles, she mentioned Lessons in Chemistry, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and The Summer I Turned Pretty were particularly captivating to audiences. 

“Compiling this list is always a lot of fun for us. We know our community looks forward to reviewing the list each year. Checking off those titles they’ve read, debating omissions, and getting inspiration for their must-read lists,” Sawa added.

Rachel Rogers, GVPL’s Collections and Technical Services Coordinator, highlighted the striking popularity of celebrity memoirs this year. 

Spare by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, topped as the most checked-out nonfiction book in all formats. 

Not far behind Prince Harry’s book was Matthew Perry, Britney Spears, and Michelle Obama’s titles as most borrowed in the nonfiction category.

“The release of Spare was highly anticipated. It was the most popular title across all genres in 2023, which is unusual for a nonfiction book. I think people were excited to get a glimpse into the life of a royal figure navigating challenges and responsibilities,” said Rogers.

“Memoirs are always incredibly popular with our community, and a title like this one, where the audiobook features the author reading their own words, is extra compelling.”

She added that BookTok, a book and literature subcommunity on TikTok, is a driving force for borrowing trends and continues to impact readers’ choices. 

“One of the year’s surprises was Fourth Wing, propelled due to its popularity on BookTok. This title has even popularized a new genre term, romantasy; a mash-up of the words romance and fantasy,” added Rogers.

“It was exciting for us to see Mindful of Murder on the list. This title from local author Susan Juby was the inaugural selection for our One Book, One Community program, run in partnership with other BC libraries. It proved to be a hit with Greater Victoria readers,” noted Rogers.

The GVPL released the top novels across a multitude of genres of which the top five for each will be listed below. 

Top books for adult fiction include:

  • Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
  • The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese
  • Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Fourth Wing, by Rebecca Yarros
  • A World of Curiosities, by Louise Penny

Top books for nonfiction include:

  • Spare, by Prince Harry
  • The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture, by Gabor Maté
  • Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, by James Clear
  • Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, by Matthew Perry
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died, by Jennette McCurdy

Top books for teen include:

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  • Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han

Top books for kids include:

  • Release the Hounds!, and others in the Big Nate series, by Lincoln Peirce
  • Diper överlöde, and others in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney
  • The Thank you Book, and others in the Elephant and Piggie series, by Mo Willems
  • Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery, and others in the Baby-Sitters Club graphic adaptations series, by Cynthia Yuan Cheng and others
  • Garfield Nutty as a Fruitcake, and others in the Garfield series, by Jim Davis

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