Where the Crawdads Sing was most borrowed book at the Regina Public Library for 2022

Five Little Indians by Saskatchewan author Michelle Good was among the most borrowed books last year at the Regina Public Library. (Shutterstock / Morakot Kawinchan - image credit)
Five Little Indians by Saskatchewan author Michelle Good was among the most borrowed books last year at the Regina Public Library. (Shutterstock / Morakot Kawinchan - image credit)

Stories of tragedy, romance and residential schools topped the list of the Regina Public Library's most borrowed books of 2022.

Holding the Number 1 spot for most borrowed book of 2022 is the Delia Owens novel Where the Crawdads Sing, about a young girl growing up in the marshlands of North Carolina.

The next most borrowed book at the RPL last year was The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.

"We certainly had a lot of the usual suspects that we see from year-to-year, the super popular authors," Trudi Stafford, collections librarian with the RPL told, The Morning Edition's Stefani Langenegger.

"But we also had a lot of local Canadian and titles from Indigenous authors that were driving our circulation for 2022. So we were really pleased to see that."

Among the Saskatchewan titles and hitting the top 10 list for most borrowed books was Five Little Indians, a fictional story of five residential school survivors by Saskatchewan author Michelle Good.

That book won the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and Canada Reads 2022, and has been chosen for the "one book one province" initiative to encourage readers to read one book at the same time.

Stafford said Kaleb Dahlgren's book Crossroads, about the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, continues to resonate with readers.

She personally recommended Call Me Indian, the memoir of the late First Nations NHL player and residential school survivor Fred Sasakamoose.

Annabel Townsend, owner of The Penny University, an independent Regina bookseller, said she's noticed a trend of customers looking to read Saskatchewan authors and non-fiction books.

"Quite a lot of the bestsellers are kind of unique to this area," Townsend said.

"Our bestseller was Only in Saskatchewan by Naomi Hansen and we did many, many copies of that."

Townsend described it as a nostalgic cookbook featuring recipes and anecdotes about Saskatchewan restaurants.

Townsend said her store has experienced demand for books from Indigenous authors, similar to the RPL. She's also seeing a lot of interest in local political books.

"I think everyone is taking a bit of time over the winter just to kind of cozy up and sort of recuperate."

Townsend said her staff is always ready to help customers by recommending books, but if people are looking for a more tailored approach, the RPL has a program called "books for me."

Stafford said readers can fill out a form on the RPL website with their reading preferences and the library will create a personalized list of recommended books and authors.