Books by local authors are the most read in the public library

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As 2022 comes to a close, the Calgary Public Library has taken a deep dive into its lending records to see what interested Calgary readers the most this year.

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First place for most borrowed adult fiction was The Last Thing He Told Me. by Laura Dave, followed by The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett both also made the 2021 Top 10 list.

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Other highlights include Brianna Wiest’s 101 Essays That Will Change Your Thinking topped the audiobook list, followed by James Clear’s Atomic Habits, which was first published in 2018.

The 16 most read titles by teens in 2022 were all from Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Other popular titles included Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone and Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End.

Captain Underpants and the Big Bad Battle of the Bionic Snot Kid by Dav Pilkey captured the No. 1 spot for Kids in 2022, with JRR Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit also taking the spot.

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Calgary authors were also popular last year, including several that were in the news.

Readers were eager to get their hands on The Sleeping Car Porter after it won the 2022 Giller Prize, Canada’s top literary prize, in November. Author Suzette Mayr, a Professor of English at the University of Calgary, he was also a featured speaker at Wordfest. Your book brings to life an important part of black history in North America, from the perspective of a queer man living in a culture that renders him invisible. When a mudslide strands a train, Baxter, a black sleeper porter, must contend with the dangers of white passengers, ghosts, and his secret love affair.

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Also popular was a supernatural noir thriller from Calgary writer CL Polk. Though I know the end is near a magical detective who plunges into the affairs of Chicago’s divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life.

Another book that was repeatedly requested seemed ripped from the headlines. And that was.

Battered: Lessons Learned from a Grizzly Bear Attack by Crosbie Cotton and Jeremy Evans tells the miraculous story of an Alberta man’s survival after being attacked in the field. Evans was lucky to survive his extensive injuries and still suffers from some PTSD from the incident.

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Fiction was not the only thing that interested in the public libraries of the city. Local books on food, history, and architecture were frequently lent.

Local outdoor guide Lori Beattie, who runs Fit Frog Adventures, added to her guides with Calgary’s Best Bike Rides: 50 Urban Road Bike & Pedal Tours. It not only details the routes, but also the popular attractions and stops along the way.

Shaun Hunter takes a literary journey through Calgary from its frontier beginnings to today’s contemporary city in his book Calgary through the eyes of the writers. He selected excerpts from more than 150 novels, short stories, poems, and essays that explore the human and natural terrain of the city.

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Julie Van Rosendaal has been fueling Calgarians’ interest in food since the 1990s, through her former bakery, her cookbooks, and a recurring radio ad in the Calgary Eyeopener. Her latest cookbook, You’re Human and You Need Cake, is the result of a a series of nasty social media posts that were transformed into uplifting blackout poetry and this collection of 36 comforting cakes. It is Van Rosendaal’s thirteenth cookbook.

Members of the Calgary Public Library can access these and other titles by Alberta authors online through the Indie Alberta Collection and the Read Alberta eBooks and eMagazines platform at

The Indie Alberta platform gives library members access to independently published works by local authors in a wide variety of genres. The Read Alberta platform offers members aAccess over 2,000 eBooks, audiobooks and magazines from Alberta publishers, including the prairie indigenous eBook collection: 300 titles by indigenous authors and writings on indigenous culture from publishers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

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