It’s that time of year again! In the face of another challenging year, Boroondara once again turned to books for solace and inspiration. This year’s list features a number of repeat authors, suggesting you know what you like - and perhaps, more than ever, it was a good year for the comfort of the familiar.

Jane Harper tops the list for the second year in a row, this time with The survivors. Almost half of the books on this year’s list were written by Australian authors, and more than half were by women.

You kept up with literary award winners such as Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain* (the Booker Prize) and Evie Wyld’s The bass rock (2021’s Stella Prize recipient), while crime fiction continues to hold sway with new entries from the likes of Richard Osman The Thursday Murder Club and Ann Cleeves The darkest evening*.

2021 also saw us delving into characters’ complex inner lives and relationships, from Craig Silvey’s tender Honeybee* to Richard Flanagan’s ferocious The living sea of waking dreams*. Irish writer Sally Rooney’s first two books (Conversations with friends* and the Netflix-adapted Normal people*) generated a lot of buzz in anticipation of a new novel (Beautiful world, where are you?).

Reserve or download some of the most borrowed reads in 2021 from our local community.

Boroondara Hottest 100 adult fiction titles 2021

  1. The survivors* by Jane Harper
  2. Where the crawdads sing* by Delia Owens
  3. The lost man* by Jane Harper
  4. All our shimmering skies* by Trent Dalton
  5. The Thursday Murder Club* by Richard Osman
  6. Honeybee* by Craig Silvey
  7. The dictionary of lost words* by Pip Williams
  8. A room made of leaves* by Kate Grenville
  9. Boy swallows universe* by Trent Dalton
  10. Bruny* by Heather Rose
  11. Such a fun age* by Kiley Reid
  12. The good turn* by Dervla McTiernan
  13. Shuggie Bain* by Douglas Stuart
  14. American dirt by Jeanine Cummins
  15. The wife and the widow* by Christian White
  16. Nine perfect strangers* by Liane Moriarty
  17. The yield* by Tara June Winch
  18. Girl, woman, other* by Bernadine Evaristo
  19. The sentinel* by Lee Child
  20. The Dutch house* by Ann Patchett
  21. The weekend* by Charlotte Wood
  22. Good girl bad girl* by Michael Robotham
  23. A gentleman in Moscow* by Amor Towles
  24. Grown ups* by Marian Keyes
  25. The dressmaker's secretby Rosalie Ham
  26. The Midnight Library* by Matt Haig
  27. The vanishing half by Brit Bennett
  28. When she was good* by Michael Robotham
  29. The nowhere child* by Christian White
  30. Trust* by Chris Hammer
  31. The good sister* by Sally Hepworth
  32. The scholar* by Dervla McTiernan
  33. Normal people* by Sally Rooney
  34. Blue moon* by Lee Child
  35. The living sea of waking dreams* by Richard Flanagan
  36. Fair warning* by Michael Connelly
  37. Infinite splendours* by Sofie Laguna
  38. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 
  39. The long call* by Ann Cleeves
  40. The law of innocence* by Michael Connelly
  41. A lonely girl is a dangerous thing* by Jessie Tu
  42. Rodham* by Curtis Sittenfeld
  43. Troubled blood by Robert Galbraith
  44. The Rúin* by Dervla McTiernan
  45. The godmothers* by Monica McInerney
  46. The darkest evening* by Ann Cleeves
  47. The mirror and the light* by Hilary Mantel
  48. The dry* by Jane Harper
  49. The white girl* by Tony Birch
  50. Force of nature* by Jane Harper
  51. The guest list* by Lucy Foley
  52. The other wife* by Michael Robotham
  53. Silver* by Chris Hammer
  54. The Paris library* by Janet Skeslien Charles
  55. Truly madly guilty* by Liane Moriarty
  56. Nineteen eighty-four* by George Orwell
  57. The Dickens boy* by Thomas Keneally
  58. Little fires everywhere by Celeste Ng
  59. Consolation* by Gary Disher, Garry
  60. A song for the dark times* by Ian Rankin
  61. Sorrow and bliss* by Meg Mason
  62. The bass rock* by Evie Wyld
  63. The henna artist* by Alka Joshi
  64. The searcher* by Tana French
  65. A time for mercy by John Grisham
  66. Anxious people* by Fredrik Backman
  67. Too much lip* by Melissa Lucashenko
  68. The lying life of adults* by Elena Ferrante
  69. The giver of stars* by Jojo Moyes
  70. Love objects* by Emily Maguire
  71. Sex and vanity* by Kevin Kwan
  72. Camino winds by John Grisham
  73. Daylight* by David Baldacci
  74. Olive, again* by Elizabeth Strout
  75. Scrublands* by Chris Hammer
  76. The testaments* by Margaret Atwood
  77. Transient desires* by Donna Leon, Donna
  78. Conversations with friends* by Sally Rooney
  79. The woman in the window* by A. J. Finn
  80. Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine* by Gail Honeyman
  81. Mayflies* by Andrew O'Hagan
  82. The mother-in-law* by Sally Hepworth
  83. The night fire* by Michael Connelly
  84. City of girls* by Elizabeth Gilbert
  85. Snow* by John Banville
  86. Past tense* by Lee Child
  87. The guardians by John Grisham
  88. The pull of the stars* by Emma Donoghue
  89. Klara and the sun* by Kazuo Ishiguro
  90. Peace* by Garry Disher
  91. The truth about her* by Jacqueline Maley
  92. Home stretch by Graham Norton
  93. Rules of civility  by Amor Towles
  94. The family doctor* by Debra Oswald
  95. The silent patient by Alex Michaelides
  96. Hidden in plain sight* by Jeffrey Archer
  97. Leave the world behind* by Rumaan Alam
  98. Maybe the horse will talk* by Eliot Perlman
  99. The Order* by Daniel Silva
  100. The silent listener* by Lyn Yeowart

Grand total 19,760

To reserve a book, click the title and use your membership number and PIN to place a reservation. Titles with an asterisk (*) are also available from our eBook collection.

Visit our Booklist page for more reading recommendations, or our Book Groups page for everything you need for book groups.