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Best Borrowed Books of 2021

LiveWire’s Community Librarian Team has revealed Warrington’s most borrowed books of 2021.

From thrillers to healthy eating, Minecraft to Marvel, 2021 saw readers enjoy a range of fiction and non-fiction works, in book, e-book and audiobook form.

And from in person borrowing, Order and Collect and the Home Library services, LiveWire staff went the extra mile to ensure Covid-19 restrictions and concerns didn’t stop readers being able to access books.

Topping the fiction list for adults is the latest blockbuster from John Grisham, Sooley, followed by feel-good romance The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick and then the latest Jack Reacher thriller, Blue Moon by Lee Child.

The most popular adult non-fiction book borrowed was Cold War true story The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre, followed by TV spin off Adventures of the Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen and then slimming bible Pinch of Nom by Kay Featherstone.

Junior fiction is topped by the latest instalment in Julia Donaldson’s What The Ladybird Heard series, this time at the seaside, followed by a Peppa Pig story and musician-turned-author Tom Fletcher’s There’s An Elf in Your Book.

Junior Non-Fiction is dominated by the gaming and technology genres. Topping the list is The Minecraft Guide to Survival by Stephanie Milton, followed by How to Tell the Time by Sean McArdle and then the 100% Unofficial Fortnite Essential Guide by Daniel Lipscombe.

The e-book top ten was topped by the huge bestseller The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, followed by the latest Vera whodunnit The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves and then Grown Ups by the very popular Irish author Marian Keyes.

In top spot on the e-audio books chart was the latest Rebus thriller A Song for Dark Times by Ian Rankin, then the new DCI Karen Pirie story Still Life by Val McDermid followed by the suspenseful tale The Castaways by Lucy Clarke

Rachel Ralston, LiveWire’s Strategic Library Manager, said: “The year’s top borrowed books, e-books and e-audio provide a fascinating glimpse into the reading habits of our customers over what has been another challenging year. The fiction lists are dominated by many familiar big names proving they are as popular as ever. The non-fiction lists perhaps give a snapshot of the ongoing pandemic, with people seeking out baking and healthy-eating books to help them through lockdown. The children’s non-fiction list also perhaps reflects the increased time using tech spent by young people during lockdown, with video game guides featuring prominently. From our digital collections to our Order and Collect and Home Library services, LiveWire’s Library team was dedicated to helping keep people reading during 2021 and we look forward to continuing our work in the year ahead.”

Top 10 Adult Fiction

Sooley by John Grisham

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

Blue Moon by Lee Child

Many Rivers To Cross by Peter Robinson

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

The Family by Louise Jensen

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

Blindside by James Patterson

Golden in Death by J.D. Robb

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Top 10 Adult Non-Fiction

The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre

Adventures of the Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen

Pinch of Nom by Kay Featherstone

Mary Berry’s Quick Cooking by Mary Berry

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen

The Rough Guide to Wales

Veggie Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks

Between the Stops by Sandi Toksvig

The Body by Bill Bryson

Top 10 Children’s Fiction

What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside by Julia Donaldson

Peppa Loves Doctors and Nurses

There’s an Elf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

I Love You, Daddy Pig!

Slime by David Walliams

Supertato Carnival Catastro-pea! by Sue Hendra

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Spot Goes to the Fire Station by Eric Hill

The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Oi Puppies! By Kes Gray

Top 10 Children’s Non-Fiction

Minecraft Guide to Survival by Stephanie Milton

How to Tell the Time by Sean McArdle

100% Unofficial Fortnite Essential Guide by Daniel Lipscombe

Guide to Minecraft Dungeons

Dinosaurs by John Wood

Toy Story 4 by Ruth Amos

Minecraft Master Builder Toolkit by Jonathan Green

Marvel Ultimate Fact Book Melanie Scott

The Amazing Book of Dinosaurs by Clare Hibbert

Children’s Encyclopedia of Ocean Life by Claudia Martin

Top 10 Ebooks

The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman

The Darkest Evening – Ann Cleeves

Grown Ups – Marian Keyes

Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

Invisible Girl – Lisa Jewell

Daylight – David Baldacci

Blue Moon – Lee Child

Left You Dead – Peter James

The Sentinel – Lee Child

Hidden in Plain Sight – Jeffrey Archer

Top 10 Audiobooks

A Song for Dark Times – Ian Rankin

Still Life – Val McDermid

The Castaways – Lucy Clarke

Lockdown – Peter May

Ocean Prey – John Sandford

The Road to Little Dribbling – Bill Bryson

A Daughter’s Return – Josephine Cox

Dead Man’s Time – Peter James

A Good Liar – Amanda Brooke

1979 – Val McDermid

The lists reflect borrowing figures from January to November 2021. For more information on LiveWire’s libraries, including events and how to get involved, visit




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