Edmontonians borrow 11.8 million items from the Edmonton Public Library every year—that’s a lot of books (and movies and music and games)!
But what are the city's residents actually reading?
From buzzy new titles to perennially popular picks, we've taken a look at some of the fiction and non-fiction books with the most library holds going into September 2018 and made suggestions for what to read while you wait for your turn.
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Top Fiction Holds
1. Top Hold: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Award-winning Canadian author Michael Ondaatje takes readers back to 1945 and the decade following World War II. The novel follows two teenagers left in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them with a mysterious man known only as The Moth and his eccentric crew of suspected criminals.
What to Read Instead: Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano
Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano weaves together three tales in these intertwined novellas that paint a portrait of a place and a time past. With a dreamlike quality, these stories set during the Nazi Occupation of Paris include orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends and enigmatic strangers.
2. Top Hold: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena
Canadian novelist Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next Door, constructs a chilling glimpse of a weekend retreat gone wrong. When a fierce blizzard cuts off the power at a remote lodge in the Catskills, 10 guests are left stranded. The first death seems like an accident, but when the bodies start to pile up, it becomes clear that everyone’s hiding something and someone’s willing to kill for it.
What to Read Instead: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This classic murder mystery novel by the queen of suspense, Agatha Christie, has been the inspiration for so many books that have followed. When a mysterious host invites 10 strangers to an isolated island mansion, they soon start to share their darkest secrets. Haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down, someone keeps picking the guests off—one by one.
3. Top Hold: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas’ tour de force debut novel tells the story of 16-year-old Starr Carter. Caught between two vastly different worlds—her fancy suburban prep school and the poor neighbourhood she calls home—the semblance of balance she’s managed to find is shattered in an instant when she sees her unarmed childhood best friend gunned down by a police officer. Everyone wants to know what happened and Starr’s the only one who saw it all, but when the cops and a local drug dealer try to intimidate her family, Starr doesn’t know what to do.
What to Read Instead: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Told in alternating perspectives—one black, one white—this story from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely is timely, to say the least. First, there’s 16-year-old Rashad, who’s been mistakenly accused of stealing and brutally beaten by a police officer. Then there’s his classmate Quinn—raised by that same police officer after his own father died in Afghanistan—who saw the whole thing. With tensions running high, it’s not long before the school and the town start to take sides.
Top Non-Fiction Holds
1. Top Hold: Factfulness by Hans Rosling
The late academic, statistician and TED Talk speaker Hans Rosling—along with his collaborators Ola and Anna Rosling—examines why we consistently get the answers to simple questions about global trends wrong. Revealing the 10 instincts that distort our perspective, Rosling uses facts to show that the world is in a much better state than we think.
What to Read Instead: Face Value by Alexander B. Todorov
Alexander B. Todorov draws on psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, computer science and other fields to tell the scientific story of first impressions. While nearly impossible to resist, these impressions are usually inaccurate—so why do we make them? Todorov takes a closer look at why faces receive so much attention, why they’re misleading and what the snap judgements we make based on them actually tell us.
Face Value: the Irresistible Influence of First Impressions is available as a book.
2. Top Hold: Maps of Meaning by Jordan B. Peterson
Canadian psychologist and bestselling author of 12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson, tackles the formation of myths, looking at why people from different cultures and eras have created stories with such similar structures. From there, he dives into what those similarities can tell us about the mind, morality and structure of the world.
Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief is available as a book.
What to Read Instead: Archetypes by Caroline M. Myss
New York Times bestselling author Caroline Myss uncovers 10 primary archetypes in today’s society, laying out each one’s unique characteristics and defining traits. Along with information to help you understand which archetype you belong to, Myss offers tips on how to play to your archetype’s strengths and avoid common pitfalls.
3. Top Hold: Calypso by David Sedaris
Popular essayist and humourist David Sedaris returns with yet another book packed with tales of his life and family. Hailed as his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious yet, Calypso takes a closer look at middle age and mortality along with the unexpected difficulties with owning a beach house.
What to Read Instead: Vacationland by John Hodgman
In this humourous memoir, The Daily Show’s John Hodgman grapples with middle age while sharing his travels through both the forested hills of Massachusetts and the dangerous beaches of coastal Maine. Through it all, he chronicles his midlife transformation from idealistic youth to eccentric family man.
Looking for something different? We’ve got plenty of bestsellers (and other titles) to choose from. Looking for something specific? Try out NoveList. You can search topics and themes, find writers similar to an author you like or get read-alikes for specific titles.