Libraries help get summer sorted with ‘Top 100’ books

A head-start for summer, here's how to choose your ultimate summer reads

Last Updated : 02 Dec 2020
Libraries help get summer sorted with ‘Top 100’ books

It’s a thing. Summer reading is different from winter reading.

According to the experts at Auckland Council Libraries, summer holiday reading choices are like metaphorical bookends. They sit at opposite ends of the spectrum.   

Librarians observe that Aucklanders like light whimsical reads in summer; books that won’t mind getting sand between the pages. And equally they reach for BFBs. That’s library-speak for Big Fat Books, the tomes we put off until we have time to give them the gravitas they deserve, like Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries.

Auckland’s 55 libraries have curated their Top 100 list of titles – in ten categories - especially for summer 2021.

Drawing on librarians’ knowledge, titles that have been recommended by reviewers, the most borrowed titles from the region’s library shelves and the most downloaded eBooks and eAudiobooks, the lists are ‘recommended’ rather than ‘popular’ lists.

Categories include: ‘Best of the Decade’, ‘Diverse Voices’, ‘Fiction’, Non-fiction’, ‘Kids’, ‘Teens’, ‘Graphics for all Ages’, ‘Life & Times’, ‘Books in Translation’, and characteristic of the year that was: ‘2020 Vision’.

Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee says: “Let’s make this summer a summer of reading. Let’s immerse ourselves in stories that make us laugh, teach us something new, challenge our thinking, and engage the kids in books, nurturing their love of reading. And let’s find a title that helps us escape from the memory of a difficult year.

“With this thoughtful Top 100 list, it’s easy. I’ve picked my summer read: The big o: the life and times of Olsen Filipaina: Pacific revolution pioneer by Patrick Skene from the ‘Diverse Voices’ list,” he says.

For the full Top 100 list please visit the libraries website.

From the website, you will also be able to sign up to become a member of your local library and access our eBooks and eAudiobooks service, both at no cost.

To start curating your own personal reading list for summer, here are three of the categories:



Aravind Adiga


Colum McCann

Djinn patrol on the purple line

Deepa Anappara

Run me to earth

Paul Yoon

Such a fun age

Kiley Reid


Jenny Offill

The midnight library

Matt Haig

The shadow king: a novel

Maaza Mengiste

No man's land

A J Fitzwater

Sharks in the time of saviours

Kawai Strong Washburn

Libraries help get summer sorted with ‘Top 100’ books (2)
Top Ten Fiction List Summer 2021

Best of the Decade


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Between the world and me

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Exit west

Mohsin Hamid

Station eleven

Emily St. John Mandel

The Parihaka woman

Witi Ihimaera

The sellout

Paul Beatty


Becky Manawatu

The three-body problem

Cixin Liu

The Nickel boys

Colson Whitehead

The fifth season

N. K. Jemisin

Libraries help get summer sorted with ‘Top 100’ books (1)

Diverse Voices

A girl is a body of water

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

A lonely girl is a dangerous thing

Jessie Tu

Nairobi noir

edited by Peter Kimani

Real life

Brandon Taylor

Sand talk: how indigenous thinking can save the world

Tyson Yunkaporta

The big o: the life and times of Olsen Filipaina: Pacific revolution pioneer

Patrick Skene

The death of Comrade President

Alain Mabanckou

The platform: the radical legacy of the Polynesian Panthers

Melani Anae

Disability Visibility:  first-person stories from the Twenty-first century

edited by Alice Wong

This town sleeps

Dennis E. Staples

Auckland Council Libraries are helping get summer sorted.

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