Inside the Library: Your top summer reads available at local libraries

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

At the end of each month, I receive a list of the books that were the most checked out, put on hold, and generally sought-after in the past 30 days.

Sometimes I use this information to make social media posts, but generally I just find it interesting to know what’s in demand and what kind of readers we are serving in our community.

If you’re looking for your next read, here are three great options that your neighbours and friends have been enjoying.

One of the most checked out titles in July was Becoming by Michelle Obama, which has been at the top of the list since March, not surprising given the fame of its author.

Obama has written an honest, compelling memoir, and for anyone who would like to get a deeper perspective on her life and accomplishments it’s well worth a read.

President Obama is certainly featured in the narrative, but it remains her story and her perspective on their life before, during and after the presidency.

Another book we can’t keep on the shelves is Kingdom of the Blind by Canadian author Louise Penny. This one has been almost as popular in recent months as Obama’s.

The 14th volume in a series, the story starts when Chief Inspector Armand Gamache receives a letter inviting him to an abandoned farmhouse outside of Three Pines, Quebec, where he discovers that a complete stranger has named him as an executor of her will.

Armand never knew the elderly woman, and her bequests are so wildly unlikely that he suspects the woman must have been delusional – until a body is found, and the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem far more menacing.

Over the course of the investigation, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots, and the terrible things hiding there.

Another popular book in July was Educated, a fascinating memoir by Tara Westover.

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her all the way to Harvard and to Cambridge.

Educated is an account of her struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.

With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.

If you don’t feel like carrying a heavy book around with you, you’ll be happy to hear that we now have two new Kobo e-readers available for patron use.

Even for someone like me who’s devoted to the printed page, these devices serve a very useful purpose: especially for trips or for when you’re not sure exactly what you’ll want to read.

Load up a selection of books and you’re all set.

All three of these titles are available on e-reader and audiobook for your convenience.

You can also sign up for our new books list at to find out about all our new titles!.

Enjoy the library by coming into a branch or accessing our collection online today!

– Halliday Reynolds