2020 has had just as many plot twists, cliffhangers and suspense as a mystery novel. And while it’s always a nerve-wracking experience while we’re in the middle of the story, we can still see the positives and look forward to the eventual happy ending.
One upside to being home more is having the time to catch up on books and movies. Thousands of JCPL patrons tried out new formats such as digital audiobooks and e-books for the first time while our physical collection was unavailable. When curbside service launched in May, our community was eager to pick up new items, and we have sent more than 96,000 books, DVDs and other materials home with patrons since that launch.
Sometimes the best recommendations come from your own friends and neighbors. We’ve compiled a list of the top five most popular materials across several categories and formats since March 15 to help you decide what your next book or movie can be.
E-books and Digital Audiobooks for Adults
Dominating the adult lists is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, opens a new window, which was ranked #1 on Overdrive and #2 on Axis for the Jefferson County Public Library e-book collections. The second most popular title popping up on both lists is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, opens a new window.
Character-driven stories continue to appear in the top five e-book requests on Axis, from the suspenseful Walk the Wire by David Baldacci, opens a new window, ranked #1, followed by Oprah’s book club selection, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, opens a new window and Camino Winds, opens a new window, by best-selling author John Grisham.
In the top five on Overdrive e-books, many of you chose the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, opens a new window and the historical fiction, The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes, opens a new window. You’re not all about fiction, however, as two nonfiction books appear in the top five for e-books. These are Becoming by Michelle Obama, opens a new window and Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover, opens a new window.
The top four digital audiobooks for adults comprise some of the same titles as their e-book counterparts, with Where the Crawdads Sing, Becoming, Little Fires Everywhere and Educated. Another nonfiction book, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, opens a new window, rounds out the top five.
E-books and Digital Audiobooks for Teens and Kids
Even after the last novel was published 13 years ago, Harry Potter continues to reign at the top of the list for teens and kids across both e-books and digital audiobooks. The Sorcerer’s Stone,, opens a new window The Chamber of Secrets, opens a new window, The Prisoner of Azkaban, opens a new window, The Goblet of Fire, opens a new window and The Half-Blood Prince, opens a new window all appear across these top five Lists. Somehow, The Order of the Phoenix, opens a new window has been forgotten and we assume you’ll be working up to The Deathly Hallows, opens a new window soon.
For e-books, Harry Potter books also make appearances. The top three kids e-books, after those featuring The Boy Who Lived, are Guts by Raina Telgemeier, opens a new window, Dog Man by Dav Pilkey, opens a new window and Big Nate: Hug It Out! by Lincoln Peirce, opens a new window. On Overdrive, two more mature titles appear: The Giver by Lois Lowry, opens a new window and Wonder by R.J. Palacio, opens a new window.
Adults are fairly consistent across all platforms, as four of the five top five e-books also appear in the top curbside titles. These include Where the Crawdads Sing, Educated, Becoming and Little Fires Everywhere. They are joined by a newcomer, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, opens a new window, to round out the top five for adults.
Kids, however, are a different story. The top five curbside print titles for kids are all quick and easy reads that also teach kids important lessons. They include Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems, opens a new window, Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, opens a new window, The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, opens a new window, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, opens a new window and Today is Monday by Eric Carle, opens a new window.
Other formats and materials
You also have the option to use Hoopla, a digital streaming service that JCPL provides to all patrons. Currently, the top five items circulating on Hoopla include The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, opens a new window at #5 and her newly released Hunger Games prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, opens a new window at #1.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, opens a new window appears at #2 on Hoopla, as well as the thriller, Left to Die by Blake Pierce, opens a new window at #4. The nonfiction, So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo, opens a new window rounds out the list at #3.
It’s not all about books, however. You’re also checking out and viewing movies to find entertainment and relaxation. The top five curbside DVDs checked out for youth include Disney’s Moana, opens a new window at #1, followed by another Dwayne Johnson movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, opens a new window, Disney’s Maleficent, opens a new window, a live-action adaptation of the animated Sleeping Beauty, the true events-inspired and Best Picture-nominated Hidden Figures, opens a new window and the inspiring musical, The Greatest Showman, opens a new window.
On Kanopy, another platform that JCPL partners with to bring you more entertainment, the top three titles are kid-friendly productions of Creepy Carrots, opens a new window, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, opens a new window! and Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late, opens a new window! Those three are followed by the Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, opens a new window and the instructional video, Guitar Basics: Play a Song in 60 Seconds, opens a new window.
There are so many great titles in JCPL’s collections to explore. Take these recommendations from your friends and fellow JCPL patrons, or search our catalog, opens a new window and recommended lists, opens a new window to discover your next great read or watch.