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Top Tens: The Most Popular Titles of 2020

Tina Lerno, Librarian, Digital Content Team,
Collage of selected top ten books of 2020
LAPL's Top Checkouts of 2020

It’s the time of year for lists: recommendations, best of’s, and favorites.

This year has been like nothing we've seen in a hundred years (or ever), and though we may need to add a top ten sourdough starter recipes, books and other streaming media were more important than ever before as sources of comfort, information, and entertainment.

Librarians love information and statistics, and it’s always interesting for us to see what titles were our patrons’ favorites! This year, people lost themselves in fiction; fantasy, historical fiction, and social commentary. Not surprisingly, the nonfiction titles reflect the trials and triumphs of a very volatile year, with self-help, political biographies, and discussions of race and equity topping our list.

Our branches were physically closed to the public for most of the year, however, our digital downloads were through the roof! Our patrons downloaded more than 7 million e-books from our OverDrive platform, making it one of the top libraries in the country for e-book circulation. Clearly, Angelenos love the library.

Our music top tens included something for everyone. It seems like many of our listeners favor movie soundtracks, instrumentals, Fiona Apple and Taylor Swift! These selections, as well as your own favorites, can be streamed or downloaded by using hoopla and Freegal. Speaking of movies, our library users had great choices there as well. You can check out your favorite DVDs using Library to Go, or stream them from Kanopy.

This librarian is a big reader and has added her own top ten fiction favorites as well.


Library Top Ten Fiction Books 2020


  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  2. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  4. Normal People by Sally Rooney
  5. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  7. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
  8. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  9. The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  10. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Library Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2020


  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  2. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcom Gladwell
  3. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  4. White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
  6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
  7. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  8. So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  9. Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong
  10. Clean Eating for Every Season by Alicia Tyler

Library Top Ten Graphic Novels 2020


  1. The Umbrella Academy Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way
  2. The Old Guard: Book One: Opening Fire by Greg Rucka
  3. Doomsday Clock Part 1 by Geoff Johns
  4. Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang
  5. DCeased by Tom Taylor
  6. Sheets by Brenna Thummler
  7. Batman: Last Knight on Earth by Scott Snyder
  8. Locke & Key Vol 1: Welcome To Lovecraft by Joe Hill
  9. House Of X/Powers Of X by Jonathan Hickman
  10. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Library Top Ten Music (downloads, or streaming) from hoopla 2020


  1. Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
  2. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish
  3. Frozen 2 - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition
  4. Lover by Taylor Swift
  5. 80s Mixtape
  6. 2020 GRAMMY® Nominees
  7. The Greatest Showman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  9. Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) by Lizzo
  10. Folklore by Taylor Swift

Library Top Ten Album downloads from Freegal 2020


  1. Fetch The Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple
  2. The Greatest Instrumentals 1934-1962 by Various aritsts
  3. The Columbia Years (1943-1952) The Complete Recordings by Frank Sinatra
  4. Women In Music Pt. III by HAIM
  5. Letter To You by Bruce Springsteen
  6. The Essential Bill Withers by Bill Withers
  7. Fine Line by Harry Styles
  8. The Complete Albums Collection by Billy Joel
  9. Legacy (Deluxe Edition) by David Bowie
  10. The New Abnormal by The Strokes

Library Top Ten Streaming Videos from Kanopy 2020


  1. What We Do In the Shadows
  2. Midsommar
  3. I Am Not Your Negro
  4. Los Angeles Plays Itself
  5. Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus
  6. Seven Samurai
  7. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  8. 8 1/2
  9. Creepy Carrots
  10. The Farewell

Tina’s Top Ten Books of 2020


  1. The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe
  2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  3. Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
  4. Broken People by Sam Lansky
  5. The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons
  6. Little Family by Ishmael Beah
  7. The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata
  8. The Anthill by Julianne Pachico
  9. The Way Back by Gavriel Savit
  10. How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

 

 

 

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