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Here are the New York Public Library’s most borrowed books of the year.

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December 23, 2021, 2:56pm

There’s sometimes skepticism about year-end book lists: some say, aren’t they chosen by the whims of just a few writers or editors? Are they really representative of the best books? Well, if you’re a believer in the will of the masses, the people have spoken—or rather, they’ve acted, and it was recorded. Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library have shared their top ten most frequently checked out books of the year in each system.

There are similarities between the branches’ lists: Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half tops both Brooklyn Public Library and the New York Public Library’s lists, and Barack Obama’s A Promised Land, Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, and Lucy Foley’s The Guest List: A Novel appear on all three lists.

Interestingly but intuitively, several of the most popular books were featured as part of WNYC’s “Get Lit!” virtual book club, a partnership with the New York Public Library. “It’s interesting that so many of the top titles were featured as part of book clubs—the WNYC book club and others—showing that New Yorkers are certainly craving a sense of togetherness through reading following a period of unprecedented isolation,” said Lynn Lobash, New York Public Library’s Assistant Director of Readers Services. “Other popular books received praise and accolades over the past year and readers want to join the conversation. But, at their very core, the top checkouts were a universal joy to read, demonstrating that while New York’s bibliophiles are a diverse group, they share a deep love and appreciation of reading.”

Without further ado, here are 2021’s top ten most borrowed titles from Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, and Queens Public Library, in order of popularity:

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Brooklyn Public Library

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Caste: the Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

 

New York Public Library

The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Brit Bennett

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Klara and the Sun: A Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our

Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

The Other Black Girl: A Novel by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Malibu Rising: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

Queens Public Library

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Guest List: A Novel by Lucy Foley

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman (tr. Neil Smith)

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

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