What was Austin Reading Last Summer?

What was Austin Reading Last Summer?

Blog post by Chris
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Guest Blog by Vija

Every year, the Austin Public Library encourages Adult Summer Reading where Austinites enjoy a book and log the title at their local branch in return for a small prize. With Adult Summer Reading 2019 on the horizon, let’s take a look back and see what everyone was reading last summer. Here at the library, we love all kinds of stories, but which won the day last summer: fiction or non-fiction?

Surprise! Fiction was the clear preference city-wide and beat out non-fiction by a two-to-one margin. In Austin neighborhood Branch Libraries, all but one – the Howson Branch – had more fiction than non-fiction readers. Two-thirds of the books chosen were fiction, including a range of novels, mysteries, science fiction, short stories, and graphic novels.

“Classics” were well-represented with books like:
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
1984 by George Orwell
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

“New” releases also had their day in the sun, including: 
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Outsider by Stephen King
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Books recently adapted for film or TV were a hit, such as:
Big Little Lies (on HBO)
The Handmaid’s Tale (on Hulu)
It (film)
Ready Player One (film)
Sharp Objects (on HBO)

Young Adult (YA) literature also got lots of love, with books about race and society most popular – whether in our world or one of fantasy:
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi 
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

And the remaining third of people who chose non-fiction? They read about the lives of comedians, politicians, and everyday people with compelling life experiences, both past and present. They learned new dishes to cook at home and got the inside scoop on restaurant life. They sought out both epic poetry and recent essays. They explored self-improvement topics, aiming to become more authentic, organized, productive, financially-literate, healthy (“badass”) individuals. (See slider at the bottom of the page to browse these popular titles.)

Summer is a great time to relax with a good story or recharge by learning something new! Austin Public Library's Summer Reading for adults, To the Library and Beyond, is about reading and so much more. It’s about coming together to create, learn, and celebrate community. Read, watch, and participate in this year’s variety of events for Adults 18+. For more information call 512-974-7400, Ask a Librarian or visit www.austinsummerreading.org.

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How does this compare to the most popular titles city-wide in 2018? 
Check out APL’s Most Popular Titles of 2018