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The Most Popular Under-The-Radar Books in U.S. Libraries: July–September 2020

Once a quarter, Panorama Picks takes a deep dive into the data about ebook use at libraries across the U.S. It’s a fascinating look at not just the most popular ebooks in public libraries—they don’t stray too far from what you’d expect of the bestseller lists—but also at the books that are seeing uniquely high demand at libraries.

These are books which are seeing a lot of interest but haven’t necessarily stayed atop bestseller lists for months and/or books with particular interest locally. The data looks at adult fiction, adult nonfiction, and young adult books (which includes fiction, nonfiction, and comics). Panorama Picks groups public libraries by coordinating American Bookseller Association (ABA) regions, which allows for a really neat way of exploring interest on a regional level. A book might be especially popular in California but less so in the Midwest, and looking at that data provides a real opportunity for local bookstores and libraries.

Data for the books on these lists comes from anonymized ebook requests at libraries between July and September 2020, and books are narrowed down by their publication dates. All of the books published between July 2019 and March 2020, a nine-month window. As will be seen, some of the books included were published well before this time frame, but their ebooks became available in that window.

Daniel Albohn, Panorama’s Project Lead, said: “We compile and publish Panorama Picks on a quarterly basis and we endeavor to promote our findings to local booksellers as well as to publishers and authors.”

What makes Panorama Picks unique is that these books have notably longer wait lists for local library patrons, showcasing unmet demand. This is where both libraries and local booksellers come in: the opportunity to meet the demand unique to their region.

The lists below showcase the most uniquely popular books in U.S. libraries, divided category and by ABA regions. The ABA regions are as follows, and yes, there are some overlapping states among them: California, Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan), Hawaii, Midwest (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin), Mountains and Plains (Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming), New Atlantic (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia), New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont), Pacific Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington), and Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia).

First, a look at the most popular titles in libraries nationwide by category, regardless of ratio of holds to available copies (AKA the lists that won’t be too surprising). These books have the highest number of holds.

The Most Popular Books in Public Libraries, July–September 2020

Adult Fiction

  1. American Dirt by Jeanne Cummings
  2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  3. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  4. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  5. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  6. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
  7. This Tender Land by William Kent Kreuger
  8. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  9. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  10. The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben

Adult Nonfiction

  1. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  2. How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  3. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
  4. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  6. Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  7. Know My Name by Chanel Miller
  8. Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby
  9. The Body by Bill Bryson
  10. The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Young Adult

  1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  2. American Royals by Katherine McGee
  3. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
  4. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  5. One Of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus
  6. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
  7. Avatar, The Last Airbender by F. C. Yee
  8. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  9. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
  10. The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Now a look at the top 10 most uniquely popular books across the country, followed by the most uniquely popular books by region. The methodology for Panorama Picks means that the top ten national titles are identified by holds—those are above—and then regional lists are created, with those top ten titles pulled from the final data. The top 50 titles within each region are identified, then sorted by the number of holds and number of those titles available (AKA high demand books with a lower number of books available). Books without a print version, so ebook only titles, are pulled from the data. The remaining titles are sorted into a top 25.

Using that methodology, these are the top 10 most popular books across the country, in order. The full lists of 25 titles each are available on the Panorama Project website.

The Most Uniquely Popular Books in Public Libraries, July–September 2020

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (U.S.-Wide)

  1. The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir — (tie) in all 9 regions
  2. The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré — in 8 regions
  3. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat, Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo — (tie) in 7 regions

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (California)

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  2. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  3. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
  4. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  5. Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  6. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  7. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  8. Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore
  9. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  10. Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (Great Lakes—Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan)

  1. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  3. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  4. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  5. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
  6. Virgin River by Robyn Carr
  7. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  8. The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger
  9. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  10. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (Hawaii)

  1. The Arrangement by Sylvia Day
  2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  3. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  4. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  5. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  6. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  7. This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
  8. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  9. Hit List by Stuart Woods
  10. Crooked River by Douglas Preston

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (Midwest—Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

  1. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  3. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  4. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  5. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  6. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  7. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  8. The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
  9. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  10. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (Mountain and Plains—Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming)

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  2. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  3. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  4. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  5. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
  6. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  7. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  8. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  9. The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger
  10. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (New Atlantic—Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)

  1. The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  2. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  3. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  4. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
  5. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  6. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  7. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  8. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  9. The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
  10. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (New England—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont)

  1. A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
  2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  3. The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire by Michael Dante DiMartino
  4. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  5. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
  6. The Deep by Rivers Solomon
  7. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  8. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
  9. Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  10. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  2. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  3. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
  4. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
  5. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  6. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  7. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  8. The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
  9. Blue Moon by Lee Child
  10. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Most Popular Adult Fiction Titles (Southeast—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia)

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  2. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  3. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  4. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  5. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
  6. The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
  7. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  8. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
  9. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  10. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (U.S.-Wide)

  1. Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen and Here for It by R. Eric Thomas — (tie) in 7 regions.
  2. Project 333 by Courtney Carver — in 6 regions
  3. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall, Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong, and Tough Love by Susan Rice — (tie) in 5 regions.

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (California)

  1. The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi PhD
  2. Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
  3. Buy Yourself The F*cking Lillies by Tara Schuster
  4. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
  5. Project 333 by Courtney Carver
  6. Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard
  7. Permission To Feel by Marc Brackett, Ph.D.
  8. Mythos by Stephen Fry
  9. Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
  10. Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (Great Lakes—Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan)

  1. Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
  2. The Call of the Wild and Free by Ainsley Arment
  3. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  4. The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi PhD
  5. The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray
  6. Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen
  7. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
  8. How To Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids by Carla Naumburg
  9. Tough Love by Susan Rice
  10. Idiot by Laura Clery

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (Hawaii)

  1. Business Boutique by Christy Wright
  2. Small Garden Style by Isa Hendry Eaton
  3. Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking by Maangchi
  4. Japanese Home Cooking by Sonoko Sakai
  5. Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze
  6. Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison
  7. The Inflammation Spectrum by Will Cole
  8. Pastry Love by Joanne Chang
  9. Tough Love by Susan Rice
  10. Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (Midwest—Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

  1. The Call of the Wild and Free by Ainsley Arment
  2. Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
  3. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  4. Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
  5. The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi PhD
  6. Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V. Banerjee
  7. Project 333 by Courtney Carver
  8. Buy Yourself The F*cking Flowers by Tara Schuster
  9. Be The Bridge by LaTasha Morrison
  10. Idiot by Laura Clery

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (Mountain and Plains—Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming)

  1. Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen
  2. The Call of the Wild and Free by Ainsley Arment
  3. The Obesity Code Cookbook by Jason Fung
  4. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer
  5. Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
  6. Raising Good Humans by Hunter Clarke-Fields
  7. Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison
  8. Everyday Millionaires by Chris Hogan
  9. Project 333 by Courtney Carver
  10. The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi PhD

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (New Atlantic—Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)

  1. Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
  2. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
  3. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2020 Edition by Richard N. Bolles
  4. Tough Love by Susan Rice
  5. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  6. Buy Yourself The F*cking Lillies by Tara Schuster
  7. Idiot by Laura Clery
  8. Mythos by Stephen Fry
  9. Project 333 by Courtney Carver
  10. Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (New England—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont)

  1. Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen
  2. Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
  3. Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett, Ph.D.
  4. Tough Love by Susan Rice
  5. Buy Yourself The F*cking Lillies by Tara Schuster
  6. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  7. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
  8. Project 333 by Courtney Carver
  9. Mythos by Stephen Fry
  10. Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)

  1. Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen
  2. Here For It by R. Eric Thomas
  3. Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
  4. Project 333 by Courtney Carver
  5. Tough Love by Susan Rice
  6. Be The Bridge by LaTasha Morrison
  7. Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
  8. Idiot by Laura Clery
  9. Keto Diet for Dummies by Rami Abrams
  10. Mythos by Stephen Fry

Most Popular Adult Nonfiction Titles (Southeast—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia)

  1. A Pilgrimage to Eternity by Timothy Egan
  2. The Call of the Wild and Free by Ainsley Arment
  3. House Lessons by Erica Bauermeister
  4. Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett, Ph.D.
  5. The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray
  6. The Obesity Code Cookbook by Jason Fung
  7. Anti-Diet by Christy Harrison
  8. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2020 Edition by Richard N. Bolles
  9. Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V. Banerjee
  10. Half Baked Harvest Super Simple by Tieghan Gerard

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (U.S.-Wide)

  1. Cursed by Frank Miller — in all 9 regions
  2. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller — in 8 regions
  3. Going the Distance by Beth Reekles and The Upside of Falling by Alex Light — (tie) in 7 regions
  4. Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie and The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh — (tie) in 6 regions.

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (California)

  1. Going The Distance by Beth Reekles
  2. Cursed by Frank Miller
  3. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  4. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
  5. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  6. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
  7. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  8. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
  9. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
  10. Straight On Till Morning by Liz Braswell

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (Great Lakes—Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan)

  1. Cursed by Frank Miller
  2. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  3. The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon
  4. Into The Pit by Scott Cawthon
  5. Straight On Till Morning by Liz Braswell
  6. Bone Crier’s Daughter by Kathryn Purdie
  7. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
  8. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  9. The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
  10. Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (Hawaii)

  1. Moment of Truth by Kasie West
  2. Anna K. by Jenny Lee
  3. Rebel by Marie Lu
  4. Cursed by Frank Miller
  5. Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian
  6. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 11 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  7. My Hero Academia, Volume 23 by Kohei Horikoshi
  8. Straight On Till Morning by Liz Braswell
  9. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Volume 8 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  10. My Hero Academia, Volume 21 by Kohei Horikoshi

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (Midwest—Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

  1. Going The Distance by Beth Reekles
  2. Cursed by Frank Miller
  3. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  4. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
  5. Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian
  6. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  7. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
  8. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  9. The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
  10. Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (Mountain and Plains—Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming)

  1. Going The Distance by Beth Reekles
  2. Cursed by Frank Miller
  3. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  4. The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon
  5. My Hero Academia, Volume 23 by Kohei Horikoshi
  6. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
  7. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  8. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
  9. Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
  10. Into The Pit by Scott Cawthon

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (New Atlantic—Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)

  1. Going The Distance by Beth Reekles
  2. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  3. Cursed by Frank Miller
  4. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
  5. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
  6. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  7. Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
  8. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  9. Conceal, Don’t Feel: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita
  10. Rebel by Marie Lu

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (New England—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont)

  1. Going The Distance by Beth Reekles
  2. Cursed by Frank Miller
  3. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  4. Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova
  5. Color Me In by Natasha Díaz
  6. In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
  7. Crier’s War by Nina Varela
  8. Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  9. Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer
  10. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)

  1. Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova
  2. Cursed by Frank Miller
  3. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  4. Going The Distance by Beth Reekles
  5. Into The Pit by Scott Cawthon
  6. Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
  7. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
  8. Momentous Events In The Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
  9. Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  10. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

Most Popular Young Adult Titles (Southeast—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia)

  1. Going The Distance by Beth Reekles
  2. Cursed by Frank Miller
  3. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
  4. The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
  5. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  6. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
  7. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  8. Into The Pit by Scott Cawthon
  9. The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
  10. Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
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