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Photo by Siu Hong Yu.

OPL releases list of most-requested books of the year

By Apartment613 on December 30, 2021


The Ottawa Public Library released its list of the most popular books of the year, and it reveals a big market for homegrown writing.

The list is based on the number of hold requests for each title.

Photo by Kyle Brown.

Both the English and French-language lists are almost exclusively Canadian. Louise Penny, who mainly writes novels about a police inspector in the Sûreté du Québec, clinched both the top spots on the English list, though she shared first place with her co-writer, former Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

Also on the list is the most recent novel by perennial favourite Miriam Toews, Fight Night, and Omar El Akkad’s 2021 Giller Prize-winning novel What Strange Paradise.

The lists also show an increased desire for Indigenous literature, with the award-winning Five Little Indians by Michelle Good and Jody Wilson-Raybould’s autobiography both on the top ten list; and in French, journalist Michel Jean’s Tiohtiàke took the number two spot. He is of Innu heritage.

Check out the full list below:

Adult (English)

  • State of Terror by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny
  • The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
  • The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
  • Fight Night by Miriam Toews
  • The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  • The Push by Ashley Audrain
  • Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
  • Indian in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power by Jody Wilson-Raybould
  • What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
  • A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson

Adult (French)

  • Un café avec Marie by Serge Bouchard
  • Tiohtiàke by Michel Jean
  • Le sablier: Otage au Sahara pendant 450 jours by Édith Blais
  • La plus secrète mémoire des hommes by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr
  • Em by Kim Thúy
  • Le promeneur de chèvres by Francine Ruel
  • Les villages de Dieu by Emmelie Prophète
  • Fast food santé by Geneviève O’Gleman
  • La pharmacie Lamoureux by Louise Tremblay d’Essiambre
  • Leonard Cohen: Sur un fil by Philippe Girard

To learn more about the Ottawa Public Library’s most popular books of 2021, be sure to visit their website.