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North Shore libraries share their top titles from 2021

West Vancouver and North Vancouver libraries share similarities across all genres for most popular titles borrowed over the last 12 months
Libraries across the North Shore have released their top titles for the year. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig featured in all three region's top three most popular titles.

As 2021 kept us busy with seemingly endless trials and tribulations, libraries across the North Shore kept the community engaged and gave an opportunity for escapism in the vast selection of novels they keep.

Jointly, the libraries across West Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver released their most popular titles of the year, showing what subjects we needed most throughout the past 12 months.

Even with more than 2.6 million titles circulated over the year, all three library regions had the same book crack their top three: The Midnight Library, by author Matt Haig.

“The novel features a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality,” stated a joint release from the libraries.

Other popular adult fiction titles across the North Shore included Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Five Little Indians by Michelle Good, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Non-fiction was also very popular across all libraries, with former United States President Barack Obama’s A Promised Land featuring in the top three throughout all three regions.

Other popular non-fiction titles include Suzanne Simard’s Finding the Mother Tree and Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass.

“These titles represent a diversity and breadth of knowledge and storytelling that is so important for our community,” said Krista Scanlon, collection services manager at NVDPL. “They provide opportunities for readers to explore new genres, works by Indigenous authors, and dive into unique personal stories.”

Interestingly, titles that featured pandemic-related content also featured heavily in the most-popular lists.

Emma Donoghue’s 2020 historical fiction novel, The Pull of the Stars, is set in Dublin during the 1917 influenza pandemic and was published in July 2020. The Premonition: A Pandemic Story, a 2021 nonfiction thriller by Michael Lewis, was also quite popular among borrowers this year.”

Here are the top three lists from each of the North Shore libraries. 


North Vancouver City Libraries

Top three fiction:

The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)

The Vanishing Half (Brit Bennett)

The Four Winds (Kristin Hannah)


Top three non-fiction:

A Promised Land (Barack Obama)

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Isabel Wilkerson)

Untamed (Glennon Doyle)



North Vancouver District Public Libraries

Top three fiction:

The Pull of the Stars (Emma Donoghue)

The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)

Indians on Vacation (Thomas King)


Top three non-fiction:

A Promised Land (Barack Obama)

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed (Lori Gottlieb)

Braiding Sweetgrass (Robin Wall Kimmerer)


West Vancouver Municipal Libraries

Top three fiction:

Transient Desires (Donna Leon)

The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)

Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens)


Top three non-fiction:

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest (Suzanne Simard)

A Promised Land (Barack Obama)

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story (Michael Lewis)