'Brooklyn Public Library' by bigmike33x is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.
Dec 23, 2021
These are the year’s most-requested books at Brooklyn Public Library
The Brooklyn Public Library has released its annual list of most-borrowed books for 2021 and it provides clues to our collective psyche
The Brooklyn Public Library has released its annual list of most-borrowed books for 2021. (Spoiler alert, “White Fragility” did not make another appearance on the list this year.)
With nearly 700,000 active cardholders, the library and its list gives a decent glimpse into the borough’s state of mind—and might explain a bunch of titles you’ve recognized people reading at Prospect Park or on the F train.
New York Public Library, Queens Public Library and the BPL release the list annually and it encompasses multiple formats including e-books, audio books, and old fashioned, physical books. The libraries note that “print circulation was impacted by the pandemic” since branches didn’t reopen until last July.
“Brooklyn’s most-read books of 2021 reflect a city seeking to better understand its past and write a different future,” said BPL CEO Linda E. Johnson in a statement. “From Brit Bennet and Isabel Wilkerson to Cathy Park Hong and Kiley Reid, readers across the borough are still reckoning with racism’s long legacy. Along with Matt Haig, Barack Obama, and V. E. Schwab, they’re also reflecting on how we want to be remembered. Thankfully, literature continues to ask complex questions and evade simple answers.”
Here’s are the top five most checked-out books for adult readers of 2021 … Full disclosure, we haven’t read any of these. But now we aim to.
- The Vanishing Half by by Brit Bennett. The book “focuses on two twin sisters and issues of racial identity and bigotry in the segregated south,” according to the library. It garnered universally rave reviews, including Barack Obama and was featured on “best of” lists of basically every media outlet that Brooklyners like to read or listen to, such as NPR, New York Times and Washington Post.
- The Midnight Libraryby Matt Haig. How meta, it’s a book about a library that exists between life and death. It’s reminds us of how we feel crossing Flatbush Ave. to get to BPL’s Central Library.
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama. OK, we’ll bite …who? Kidding! but we’re impressed with anyone who has enough Covid0-era attention span left to read 200 pages, let alone *checks notes* 800.
- The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Finally, a true-crime like novel appears on the list. This novel focuses on a murder at a wedding and we’re wondering if it’s because there was a cash bar.
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. An Oprah Book Club pick, the nonfiction book is about the “unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.” Sounds serious.
Admittedly, the children’s list is a lot less interesting with three entries from J.K. Rowling, who is apparently not yet cancelled here, and bunch of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books.
You can see the full list here.
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