In a pandemic year, many of us turned to books — many of them supplied by Seattle Public Library, which this week released its list of its most checked-out books of 2021.

Its most popular title, Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half” (the 2021 selection for Seattle Reads, the library’s citywide book club), was checked out in physical and digital form 11,400 times. Here are the library’s 10 most popular titles, in fiction and nonfiction; statistics are calculated by combined circulation for e-books and physical books, but does not include audiobooks, e-audiobooks or renewals.


  1. The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
  2. The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig
  3. The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah
  4. Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro
  5. Anxious People” by Frederik Backman
  6. Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir
  7. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab
  8. The Searcher” by Tana French
  9. The Guest List” by Lucy Foley
  10. Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins-Reid


  1. Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century” by Jessica Bruder
  2. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
  3. A Promised Land” by Barack Obama
  4. Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner
  5. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know” by Adam Grant
  6. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottlieb
  7. Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age” by Sanjay Gupta
  8. The Premonition: A Pandemic Story” by Michael Lewis
  9. Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America” by Ijeoma Oluo
  10. Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover