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Calling all bibliophiles - OPL reveals its most popular books in 2022!

snowmen, pinguine and gnomes on stack of books

Dec 20, 2022

Calling all bibliophiles looking for inspiration on what to read next! We’ve released a list of OPL’s most-requested books of 2022. The annual lists for adults, teens and kids are curated based on the number of hold requests made at OPL, in English and French, between January 1 and December 1, 2022. The lists include some new releases as well as some recurring favourites. Librarians in OPL’s Content Services department provide further details about each list.  
Adult (English)  

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens  
  2. The Maid by Nita Prose 
  3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 
  4. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good 
  5. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover 
  6. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover 
  7. Verity by Colleen Hoover 
  8. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 
  9. Atomic Habits by James Clear 
  10. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 

The most popular book at OPL, Where the Crawdads Sing has been a hit with readers since its publication in 2018, and that only intensified when a movie version was released earlier this year. This title is very popular with book clubs! 

The Maid, by Nita Prose, is a locked-room mystery with an endearing Columbo-loving protagonist. 

Many Ottawa readers are getting their book recommendations from social media—Colleen Hoover, with three books on the list, is a rising literary star due to recommendations from TikTok users. Similarly, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, originally published in 2017, has seen a huge resurgence in popularity sparked by TikTok!  

Michelle Good's acclaimed Five Little Indians shows up on the most-requested reads list for the second year in a row, after winning Canada Reads, an annual "battle of the books" competition, early in 2022. 
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus is remarkable — as it is for this 64-year-old to have her first published book among the most requested of the year. This witty story of a female chemist navigating the man’s world of science in the 1960s has captured the   hearts of.a lot of readers. 

Matt Haig's intriguing Midnight Library had many of us rethinking our life choices. The paths not taken, where they lead, and what walking those alternate paths gives us. An extraordinary at the very least. 

Teen (English) 

  1. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson 
  2. Heartstopper -  Volume 1 by Alice Oseman 
  3. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 
  4. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han 
  5. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera 
  6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 
  7. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus 
  8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 
  9. The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 
  10. Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson 

Similar to last year, all the titles on this list gained popularity through BookTok and adaptations for streaming services. 
The mystery and thriller genre in teen fiction is thriving. A Good Girl's Guide to Murder and The Inheritance Games were popular titles promoted by TikTok creators, and the second books in both these series, The Hawthorne Legacy and Good Girl, Bad Blood respectively made the list as well. 

The Netflix adaptation of the graphic novel series Heartstopper revived interest in this webcomic-turned-book published in 2018 about two boys who slowly fall in love. 

Another popular Netflix series released last year is based partially on Six of Crows and another related series by Leigh Bardugo. 

Similarly, the Prime Video series The Summer I Turned Pretty renewed interest in the older favourite series by Jenny Han written in 2008. 

LGBT inclusion is an ongoing theme seen in both Heartstopper as well as in They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. A prequel to this TikTok favourite was released this year. 

Another TikTok favourite is the fantasy series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. First published in 2015, this series was written for older teens or 'new adults' and contains the classic enemies-to-lovers trope. 
Children’s Fiction (English) 

  1. Dog Man (series) by Dav Pilkey 
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney 
  3. Wings of Fire (graphic novel series) by Barry Deutsch  
  4. Cats Kid Club (graphic novel series) by Dav Pilkey  
  5. The Baby-sitters club (graphic novel series) by Raina Telgemeier and others 
  6. Amulet (graphic novel series) by Kazu Kibuishi  
  7. Percy Jackson & the Olympians (graphic novel series) by Robert Venditti 
  8. Big Nate (graphic novel series) by Lincoln Pierce 
  9. InvestiGators (graphic novel series) by John Patrick Green 
  10. Wings of Fire (fiction series) by Tui Sutherland  

Series are top choices among young readers, especially graphic novels! Graphic novel adaptations of popular fiction series have been very much in demand this year—The Babysitter’s Club, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, and Wings of Fire have all been successful in graphic novel format, appealing to fans of the series and new readers alike. Humour and fantasy adventure continue to be popular genres for the young audience.  
Picture Books for Children (English) 

  1. The Smart Cookie by Jory John 
  2. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems 
  3. The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by Mo Willems 
  4. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems 
  5. I Can Fix It! by Robert N. Munsch 

Adult (French)  

  1. Tiohtiàke by Michel Jean 
  2. Mille secrets mille dangers by Alain Farah 
  3. Là où je me terre by Caroline Dawson 
  4. Vivre vite by Brigitte Giraud 
  5. Dans le ventre du Congo by Blaise Ndala 
  6. Les années by Annie Ernaux 
  7. Le jeune homme by Annie Ernaux 
  8. Le pays des autres: Première partie, La guerre, la guerre, la guerre by Leila Slimani 
  9. Femme forêt by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette 
  10. L'affaire Alaska Sanders by Joël Dicker 

2022 has been an exciting year for female authors. Annie Ernaux won the Nobel Prize for Literature and there has been extraordinary interest in her body of work, in French and English. For only the 13th time in the Goncourt’s 120-year history, a woman, Brigitte Giraud, won this past November for her autobiographical novel Vivre vite. The majority of French prizes, including the Trillium, Fémina, and Médicis, went to women in 2022. 

Caroline Dawson made an impression on the popular Radio-Canada program Tout le monde en parle, which renewed interest in her 2020 autobiographical novel Là où je me terre.  
Autobiographies have captivated readers and juries this year – Mille secrets mille dangers by McGill professor Alain Farah won the Governor General’s Award, exploring his wedding day in Montreal and feelings of nostalgia and cultural belonging. 

Popular Ottawa author Blaise Ndala’s novel Dans le ventre du Congo explores the life of princess Tshala Nyota Moelo. This is the first of Ndala’s three novels to be translated into English. 

The only mystery novel on the list, L’affaire Alaska Sanders by Swiss author Joel Dicker, is set in New Hampshire and features police sergeant Perry Gahalowood and his friend Marcus Goldman as they reinvestigate a murder Gahalowood thought he solved in 1999. 

With the second volume of Le pays des autres, Leila Slimani’s story has fascinated audiences all over again. 

Canadian books by female authors and diverse voices, such as Femme forêt by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette and Tiohtiàke by Innu author Michel Jean, are in constant demand in all formats – print, eBook, and downloadable audiobook. 
Teen (French) 

  1. Asterix (series) by diverse authors  
  2. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 
  3. Bone: La forêt sans retour by Jeff Smith 
  4. Naruto (series) by Masashi Kishimoto 
  5. Qui ment? by Karen Mc Manus 

Familiar favourites still top the request list for Teens in French! Long running graphic series like Asterix, Naruto, and Bone continue to have wide appeal. In fiction, the popularity of action-packed dystopia Hunger Games and twisty mystery Qui Ment? speak to the power of page turners. 
Children’s Fiction (French)  

  1. Super Chien (series) by Dav PIlkey 
  2. Le petit prince by Antoine by St-Exupery  
  3. Courage by Raina Telgemeier 
  4. Les méchants (series) by Aaron Blabey 
  5. Garfield by Jim Davis 
  6. L'agent Jean: Saison 2 (series) by Alex A. 
  7. Le pire livre du monde by Élise Gravel 
  8. Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers by J.K. Rowling 
  9. Les Légendaires, origines by Patrick Sobral 
  10. Le club des baby-sitters (series) by diverse authors  

As in English, graphic novel series are very popular with young readers. Les méchants was released as a film this year, increasing interest in the books! It is interesting to see the demand for the classic Le petit prince rising again—this is one of the best-selling books of all time and continues to be popular with readers young and old in many languages.  
Picture books for Children (French) 

  1. Tout le monde by Élise Gravel 
  2. Pas moi by Élise Gravel 
  3. J'aime l'autome by Kimberley and James Dean 
  4. Cinq petites citrouilles by James Dean 
  5. Je veux un monstre by Élise Gravel 

All of these books are in the Library’s catalog and many are available in multiple formats, including e-books, audiobooks, and accessible editions. The above lists provide some timeless gift ideas, as we usher in 2023 - share and experience the joy of reading now and in the new year.