What are You Reading this Winter? Here’s Your Library’s Top Titles 

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The cold and snowy days of winter offer the perfect excuse to stay indoors and dive into a good book. It’s the cheapest, safest form of travel during these stressful times.   

To get a glimpse into what people in the River Towns are reading, River Journal asked directors and librarians at our seven local public libraries to compile a list of some of the most popular books among their patrons  

It’s worth noting that although there are shared titles among the libraries’ lists, there are significant differences as well.  

Keep in mind that the lists below are informed but informal; the titles are not intended to reflect a statistical order of popularity.  

Briarcliff Manor Library

Top fiction titles borrowed in 2021 include:  

  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman  
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah 
  • Transient Desires by Donna Leon
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover
  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis
  • Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger   

Top non-fiction titles borrowed in 2021 include:  

  • Martha Stewart’s Very Good Things: Simple Tips and Genius Ideas for an Easier and More Beautiful Life by Martha Stewart 
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson 
  • The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson 
  • The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War by Catherine Grace Katz  

Worth noting: One of the top eBooks borrowed is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.   

Croton Free Library circulation clerk, Tony Gordon, with a book display they created promoting the library’s new year’s Book Bingo program. Submitted photo

Croton Free Library 

Top checkouts of print books in 2021:  

  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett 
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah  
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig  
  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama  
  • The President’s Daughter by Bill Clinton and James Patterson  
  • Anxious People by Sally Rooney  
  • Dune by Frank Herbert  
  • Sooley by John Grisham  
  • Win by Harlan Coben  
  • An Elephant and Piggie Biggie by Mo Willems 

Worth noting: The most circulated items from another category are the mobile hotspots.  

Hendrick Hudson Library  

Top titles borrowed in 2021 include: 

  • Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart  
  • The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles  
  • The Maid by Nita Prose  
  • The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan   
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid  
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr  
  • A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham  
  • Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover  
  • The Horsewoman by Patterson & Lupica  
  • Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown 

Worth noting: The most popular DVDs are Dune, Addams Family 2, Yellowstone Season 1.

The Field Library, Peekskill 

Top 10 adult reading last month:  

  • Autopsy: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell  
  • The Ballerinas: A Novel by Rachel Kapelke-Dale  
  • Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrissey  
  • The Noise by James Patterson  
  • The Becoming by Nora Roberts  
  • City of Shadows by Victoria Thompson  
  • The Sisters Sweet by Elizabeth Weiss  
  • The Wicked Widow by Beatriz Williams  
  • A Human History of Emotion: How the Way We Feel Built the World We Know by Richard Firth-Godbehere 
  • Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind Parasites and the Search for a Better Way to Think by Andy Norman 

Irvington Public Library 

Top checkouts of print books in 2021:  

  • Dutch House by Ann Patchett 
  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah  
  • ER Nurses: True Stories from America’s Greatest Unsung Heroes by James Patterson  
  • How to Live Like a Monk by Danièle Cybulskie  
  • Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles  
  • While Justice Sleeps by Stacy Abrams  
  • Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin  
  • Dog-man series by Dav Pilkey  
  • Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems)  
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)  

Worth noting: Magazines including Family Handyman, Highlights, House Beautiful and National Geographic Kids are surprisingly popular. 

Ossining Library Director Karen LaRocca-Fels holds two of the library’s most popular titles. Submitted photo

Ossining Public Library 

The most popular books recently are:  

  • Lincoln Highway by Amore Towles  
  • The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave  
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr  
  • Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen  
  • Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult  
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (nonfiction)   
  • Will by Will Smith (nonfiction)  
  • The Storyteller by Dave Grohl (nonfiction)  
  • Little Blue Truck Valentine by Alice Schertle (children’s)  
  • Change Sings by Amanda Gorman (children’s)  

Warner Library, Tarrytown 

Popular titles from recent circulation statistics as well as the library’s “holds list.”  

  • Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr  
  • The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles  
  • The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier  
  • Something to Hide by Elizabeth George  
  • The Maid by Nita Prose  
  • The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber  
  • These Precious Days by Ann Patchett  
  • To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara  
  • Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho  
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

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About the Author: Robert Brum