All posts by Shelly

About Shelly

Shelly is an Information Assistant II (Youth). They love novels with great characters and a plot that transports you, whether it be in real life or in fantasy worlds.

Reading Trends: Looking Back to Look Ahead

The start of a new year always brings about a time of reflection and optimism. It is usually when people set reading goals but with the stress of the past couple of years, it is no surprise that more and more people are advocating to not set goals at all but rather to enjoy books without guilt. My agreement with this trending regarding our mindset around reading led me to wonder: what other reading trends will we see this year? I took a look at some of last year’s trends to help me answer this curiosity!

One thing that is clear is that social media will continue to affect book sales, or at least book interest. In Scribd’s Year in Review for 2021, they noted that books that were popular on #BookTok (a.k.a TikTok videos about books) were also popular on their platform. This is no surprise to me, as someone who has screamed about books on various social media platforms for years, but I think it is still fascinating to see. I do not think the popularity of BookTok will disappear any time soon, but I hope to see a variety of books getting more popular this year. While I love romance and am excited to see its popularity online, I am hoping that more underrated authors will get their limelight soon as the books that are popular are written by New York Times best-selling authors and while those books are great, I always love to see new authors being discovered. Some of my favourite reads that are also BookTok favourites include The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.

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Our Favourite Books of the Year

The end of the year always brings about a time of reflection. As with last year, we wanted to look back at the year and share some of the best books that we’ve read and think you should add to your 2022 reading piles!

All blurbs and book covers include links to the VPL catalogue where you can request and borrow these books for yourself! Happy reading! 

Alyssa’s Picks

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke: Piranesi was the first book I read in 2021 and it’s still the best one. This slim little novel is a departure from author Susanna Clarke’s gargantuan previous work Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but it still manages to spin its own labyrinthine magic (because it’s about a labyrinth, you see). In this latest novel, a man who is not technically named Piranesi but whom we shall call Piranesi documents his time in a spacious, dreamlike house that includes endless halls, statues, birds, and tides that bring in periodic floods. It’s his job to explore this house, and to help a mysterious visitor called The Other, who is researching a Great and Secret Knowledge. None of this makes any sense, but Clarke’s careful unfolding of narrative clues turns a vague and confusing plot into a compelling mystery. Who is The Other? And just what is Piranesi’s real identity? (Fun fact: he is named after the 18th century artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, known for his Imaginary Prisons etchings. A clue!) Piranesi was recently awarded the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. 

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YA Superhero Graphic Novels for Any Age

I am a huge fan of superhero stories and comics but I’ve recently fallen out of touch with all of the new releases and keeping up with single issues. Instead, I have slowly started to become obsessed with the new line of DC and Marvel original graphic novels aimed at young readers and teens. These stories contain all of our favourite superheroes but they re-imagine our heroes as young teens. Whether you have been a fan of these superheroes for years and are looking for a fresh take on their origin stories or you are just looking for a quick introduction to some superheroes, here are some amazing books to get you started!

As always, the links below will take you the VPL catalogue where you can request the books for yourself.

Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Lê and Andie Tong.

While this novel doesn’t re-tell the story of more famous Green Lanterns such as Hal Jordan or John Stewart, it is a wonderful novel about family and legacy. In this graphic novel, 13-year-old Tai Pham inherits his grandmother’s jade ring when she passes away. He soon starts to realize that the ring is not just a ring and he is chosen to be a new Green Lantern of Earth. This is a wonderful story as it can be read both by fans of superheroes and those who know very little about them, as the novel mainly focuses on Tai’s connection with his grandmother and his relationship to his city and how to protect it using his new powers.

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