The top local reads of 2017

Winter is a good time to curl up by the fireplace with a book.

But Prince George readers tend to spend more time reading during the summer months than in the winter, if library traffic is an indicator, Prince George Public Library adult librarian Patricia Gibson said.

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An examination of the most-borrowed books at the library in 2017 showed Prince George readers don't always follow national and international trends, she said (see full list in separate story).

"It all surprised me. I'm surprised at how much pleasure reading it is," Gibson said. "I will say it's atypical."

In 2017 the trend, in adult books at least, was toward escapist fare - the kinds of books which can be "read in dribs and drabs," she said.

"It's a lot of lighter stuff. I think that's an indicator of how busy people in Prince George are. They are the kind of books you can pick up and put down," Gibson said. "There is a real contrast between the very dark, and the very light. There is Stephen King's new one, End of Watch, with serial killers with psychic powers. In Repo Madness, (the protanganist) is falsely accused of a crime and has to solve it himself. Then there is the ultra light - romance, especially with an erotic element, like With Every Breath by Maya Banks."

Coming to Prince George from Kamloops, Gibson said she was surprised by the popularity of science fiction and fantasy in Prince George. The city has a dedicated core of sci-fi and fantasy readers who are devoted to the series they enjoy.

By comparison, in Kamloops, "40 per cent of my fiction budget was for mysteries," she said.

Looking ahead to 2018, literary prize winners are always in high demand she said. As the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General's Literary Awards, Pulitzer Prize and others are announced, those books immediately go into high demand.

But more locally, the book list for the library book club Gibson runs is always in high demand. Copies of the list are available at both library branches, and library users don't need to join the club to pick up a copy of the list and check out the titles.

Of course, if you don't feel like reading, "we've got 7,000 DVDs in circulation," Gibson said.

"We've got some great TV series, too."

Local authors, subtle arts

At local bookstore Books and Co. a pair of Prince George authors were among the top three bestsellers of the year, along with an unconventional self-help book.

"Probably the best seller was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (by Mark Manson)," Books and Co. bookstore manager Kayli VanderMeer said. "It was a great read. This was one of the best books of the last year. In the last year or so, we sold 500 copies."

Manson's tough-talking, no-nonsense approach to a better life has made the book a New York Times bestseller.

Also one of the top sellers of 2017 was People of Prince George, by Kathy Nadalin. Nadalin, who writes the weekly Seniors Scene column in the Citizen Extra, launched her book detailing the lives of local residents in May this year. All proceeds from the sale of the book support an endowment fund at the Prince George Community Foundation.

The Salmon Run!, written and illustrated by local aboriginal author and artist Clayton Gauthier, follows the journey of a salmon as it makes its way upstream to spawn.

If you're looking for additional inspiration, VanderMeer's top 10 list for 2017 includes:

Dumplin', by Julie Murphy

The Lumberjanes graphic novel series, by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

Uprooted, by Naomi Novik

Looptail, by Bruce Poon Tip

Lagom, by Niki Brantmark

The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden

Reclaiming Conversation, by Sherry Turkle

When it comes to what's coming out this year, VanderMeer said the staff at Books and Co. have been talking about Entertainment Weekly's article, The 50 most anticipated books of 2018, which can be found online here.

"I am particularly excited about How To Stop Time, by Matt Haig," she said. "I was a big fan of his book The Humans."

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