Happy New Year, everyone! I know I’m a bit late on the ball here, but since I’ve decided to shun New Year’s resolutions in favor of one simple edict - read more - I figured I’d start my reading year by looking back at the Library’s most popular adult titles of 2019.

picking booksPhoto by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Personally, I have only read a tiny percentage of the books on these lists, but I’m always curious to see what other people have been reading, even if I can’t always deduce why. For example, it’s quite the mystery to me why the Wyoming Atlas and Gazetteer checked out 17 times last year (?), but less of a mystery to discover that “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, an Idaho author, checked out 122 times, putting it at #1 for most circulations in adult fiction. Granted, some of those checkouts belong to a book club that yours truly joined last year, and although my fond memories of it may be slightly rose-tinged by the delicious food, cocktails, and creative feather and shell crafts provided by the hosts and attendees, since it was the book that brought us together, it deserves most of the credit. :)

Speaking of getting people together over a shared love of reading, the Library is now hosting not one, but TWO book clubs of our very own! Let’s Talk About It is sponsored by the Idaho Commission for Libraries, and the theme this year is “Our Earth, Our Ethics.” The first selection is Aldo Leopold’s classic ecological memoir, “A Sand County Almanac.” You can get copies at the Information Desk (and used bookstores everywhere), but even if you haven’t read it, please feel free to join us at the Library on Thursday, January 23rd, from noon to 1:30 p.m., for a rousing and thought-provoking discussion. If evening meetings are more your speed, check out the Library Book Club on the first Tuesday each month where we will discuss “How to be a patient” by Sana Goldberg for our first book on February 4th. Copies of book club books can also be picked up at the Information Desk at the Sandpoint Library.

WhereTheCrawdadsSingA Sand County Almanac book coverHow To Be A Patient book coverEducated book cover

It's possible that one of the East Bonner County Library reading trends has something to do with Idaho authors, since our most popular nonfiction book of 2019 was “Educated,” by Tara Westover, and on the fiction end of things, our most popular author was C.J. Box, with 13 (!) titles in the Top 100. Although most of his books on the list are set in Wyoming, there is at least one set in Idaho, so I’m going to go ahead and claim my unscientific hypothesis as sound. The popularity of C.J. Box continues from last year, so I think it’s safe to say that as long as he keeps writing, EBCL readers will keep checking out his books. If you’re curious about the most popular nonfiction, here’s a semi-scientific analysis: Among our top 100 titles, the #1 topic is Psychology and Self-Help, #2 is Cooking and Diet, and #3 is Health. If these categories and the four Brene Brown titles on the list are any indication, it looks like EBCL readers take the aphorism “know thyself” seriously, and to be perfectly honest, that makes me feel pretty good about this community!

So, congratulations for being awesome, and please enjoy these “Best of” Booklists for 2019, East Bonner County Library edition:

Top 100 - Adult NonFiction

Top 100 - Adult Fiction

Vanessa Velez, Collection Development Librarian

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