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Wollongong City Council

Jane Harper’s latest thriller the popular choice for readers

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Library members opted for a suspenseful narrative last year with Australian Jane Harper’s newest thriller, The Survivors, topping Wollongong City Libraries loans list for 2021.

The libraries top loans list provides an insight on which stories kept our members entertained in 2021 – a year that undoubtedly saw us at home more than ever.

Among the list include titles by well-known authors Lee Child, Trent Dalton, and Michael Connelly as well as newcomer Delia Owens with her debut novel Where the crawdads sing.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said it comes as no surprise that homegrown authors continue to be the most popular choice, as they make up most of the lists across all genres.

“For our young readers, Anh Do has unsurprisingly secured not only the top spot for the most loaned book for Junior Fiction, but also the proceeding nine spots too. This is not the first time we’ve seen this and anticipate it won’t be the last. He is certainly a popular author with our young readers and it’s fantastic his work engages so many kids to pick up books and read," he said.

“The Pig the Pug series by Aaron Blabey is undeniably the most popular children’s picture book to read, with four making the Children’s Picture Book list including the first and second spots.

“But it was Jane Harper’s latest novel that was the highly sought-after title. In fact, it was physically loaned 414 times, downloaded 439 times as an eBook and was listened to 398 times as an eAudio – totalling to more than 1,251 ‘reads’ in all these formats.”

The magic of Hogwarts in J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Suzanne Collins’ dystopian world in Hunger Games, have proved to stand the test of time making the loans list for another year.

Australian authors continue to lead the lists with Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence: on awe, wonder & things that sustain you when the world goes dark , the top loaned Non-Fiction title and Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture by Bruce Pascoe coming in second. Both Barack and Michelle Obama’s each respective autobiographies also made the list.

“Due to last year’s lockdown, we had temporarily closed our doors for the safety of our community. But it was pleasing to see the appetite to read and learn more remained as we shifted our services online,” Cr Bradbery said.

“In 2021, there were more than 232,000 online loans of eBooks and eAudios. This is an increase on 2020, where there were 215,000 online loans. However, despite constraints to access during the lockdown, our community demonstrated their love for the feeling of a book in their hands, with more than 610,000 physical loans recorded.”

Not a library member? You can join online, and membership is free. Simply visit the Wollongong City Libraries website.

Library members can also download the Wollongong City Libraries app directly from the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Android devices by searching for Wollongong City Libraries.

Here are the titles that topped the Libraries charts.

Top Adult Fiction Physical Loans (including Australian Authors)

  1. The Survivors by Jane Harper (414)
  2. Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens (334)
  3. All our shimmering skies by Trent Dalton (333)
  4. The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child (326)
  5. The law of innocence by Michael Connelly (227)
  6. Fair Warning by Michael Connelly (223)
  7. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (215)
  8. The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (209)
  9. The Godmothers by Monica McInerney (201)
  10. 10. Trust by Chris Hammer (197)

Top Adult Non-Fiction Physical Loans

  1. Phosphorescence: on awe, wonder & things that sustain you when the world goes dark by Julia Baird (150)
  2. Dark emu: Aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture by Bruce Pascoe (119)
  3. So you think you know what’s good for you by Norman Swan (105)
  4. A promised land by Barack Obama (91)
  5. 488 rules for life: the thankless art of being correct by Kitty Flanagan (82)
  6. Becoming by Michelle Obama (75)
  7. The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku (74)
  8. Veg by Jamie Oliver (72)
  9. Too much and never enough: how my family created the world’s most dangerous man by Mary L. Trump (71)
  10. 10. The fast 800: how to combine rapid weight loss and intermittent fasting for long-term health by Michael Mosley (67)

Top Young Adult Physical Loans

  1. We were liars by E. Lockhart (46)
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (44)
  3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (43)
  4. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (43)
  5. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (41)
  6. Monster Hunter (DVD) (38)
  7. How it feels to float by Helena Fox (33)
  8. Fantastic beasts: The crimes of Grindelwald (DVD) (32)
  9. The Fault in our stars by John Green (29)
  10. 10. Ant-Man and the Wasp (DVD) (29)

Top Junior Picture Books Physical Loans

  1. Pig the star by Aaron Blabey (101)
  2. Pig the tourist by Aaron Blabey (84)
  3. Spot’s slide and seek aquarium by Eric Hill (71)
  4. Bluey: Fruit bat (70)
  5. Do not open this book ever by Andy Lee (70)
  6. Pig the fibber by Aaron Blabey (67)
  7. Bluey: Bob Bilby (67)
  8. Give me some space by Philip Bunting (67)
  9. Pig the pug by Aaron Blabey (66)
  10. 10. Macca and Al, super pals by Matt Cosgrove (60)

Top Junior Fiction Physical Loans

  1. Wierdo 14: Vote Weirdo by Anh Do (134)
  2. Hotdog 4: Game time! By Anh Do (121)
  3. Weirdo 10: Messy weird! By Anh Do (119)
  4. Hotdog 6: Movie time! By Anh Do (119)
  5. Weirdo 9: Spooky weird! By Anh Do (117)
  6. Weirdo 13: Weirdomania! By Anh Do (115)
  7. Weirdo 15: Planet weird! By Anh Do (112)
  8. Weirdo 3: Extra weird! By Anh Do (110)
  9. Hotdog 2: Party time! By Anh Do (108)
  10. 10. Weirdo 4: Super weird! By Anh Do (108)

Top 10 eAudio  

  1. Survivors by Jane Harper (398)
  2. Becoming by Michelle Obama (338)
  3. Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens (316)
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling (308)
  5. All our shimmering skies by Trent Dalton (284)
  6. 488 rules for life by Kitty Flanagan (277)
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling (242)
  8. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (241)
  9. Nine perfect strangers by Liane Moriarty (234)
  10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling (233)

Top 10 eBook

  1. The Survivors by Jane Harper (439)
  2. The Dry by Jane Harper (408)
  3. Honeybee by Craig Silvey (305)
  4. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (277)
  5. Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club by Faith Hogan (255)
  6. Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves (246)
  7. Walk the wire by David Baldacci (228)
  8. Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (222)
  9. The wife and the widow by Christian White (217)
  10. 10. Law of innocence by Michael Connelly (214)