Prince Edward County readers pick up Penny in 2022

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

Have you read a Louise Penny book this year?

If so, you’re not alone. Every December, we look back at the most frequently borrowed titles at the library, and this year, Louise Penny takes four of the top 20 spots for adult fiction.

Her collaboration with Hillary Rodham Clinton, State of Terror was the most popular novel borrowed this year, followed by The Madness of Crowds in the number two spot.

Her titles Still Life, and All the Devils are Here made the list as well. Penny’s books are described by Publisher’s Weekly as “seamlessly integrating debates about scientific experimentation and morality into a fair-play puzzle..this author just goes from strength to strength.”

If you’re interested in historical fiction, you might like The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. Set in 1940, as three different women travel to Bletchley Park to train to break German Military Codes, the Rose Code took the third-most popular spot this year.

We were lucky to be able to host Linwood Barclay on the release of Find You First. Rather than tell you about it myself, I’ll share the blurb from Stephen King: “Find You First starts with a bang and ends with an even bigger one. . . . It’s the best book of his career.” The large print version of Find You First was the most popular in it’s format this year.

Prince Edward County readers also enjoy reading nonfiction, with Talking to Canadians: a Memoir by Rick Mercer being the most popular nonfiction read this year.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer has been well-read this year as readers explore the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers.

Local books are always popular, and this year is no exception. Picton and the County: Spirit of Place, with writings by many local authors was the most popular local nonfiction, followed by Murder on the Inside: The True Story of the Deadly Riot at Kingston Penitentiary by Catherine Fogarty.

We were fortunate to be able to host Catherine twice – once in person and once online – and both times her presentations received rave reviews. At the end of the year we often assemble a list of the “Best of the Book Clubs”.

If you’re part of a book club and would like to share your favourite book you read in 2022, please send me an email ( by the end of the year and I’ll include it in the list. We then make the list available for book clubs who are selecting titles for 2023.

-Liz Zylstra