Vancouver’s Most Popular Pandemic Books

No surprise: we all read a lot more in 2020 and beyond—so we asked local bookstores to share some of their bestsellers.

“One mystery set we’ve seen a huge uptick in for quarantine reading is the Lane Winslow series by local author Iona Whishaw. A light historical mystery series set in post-war B.C.”Jina Koolen, Black Bond Books

Braiding Sweetgrass has been a bestseller during COVID times. Robin Wall Kimmerer interweaves Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants in a way that vividly captures beauty.”Kolin Lymworth, Banyen Books and Sound

Chinatown Pretty is a photo and storytelling project that shares the wisdom and excellent fashion sense of seniors across six North American Chinatowns. The vibrancy and insight the seniors offer is a pleasure to read, and to recreate in our own wardrobes! Vancouver’s Chinatown is featured in the book, so you can understand why it is close to our hearts.”Patricia Massy and Emily Dundas Oke, Massy Books

James Baldwin has become wildly popular. He’s a classic, but he’s back and he’s big. I think people want books about change—how to fix things, how to change them. Human rights and climate are the two big issues.”Emilie Dierking, Pulp Fiction

“There’s been a demand for local mystery and fantasy authors. Sheena Kamal’s characters, particularly her protagonist, are complicated and human. In her latest, No Going Back, there’s lots of action, moving from Vancouver to Indonesia, and implicit attention to social conditions.”Walter Sinclair, White Dwarf Books

The Island of Books by Dominique Fortier is a moving, rich celebration of words, explored through the story of an illiterate scribe on the island of Mont Saint Michel in the 15th century. During this year, when different places feel so very far away, The Island of Books feels both nostalgic and necessary. It basks us in the world of books and the mysteries of love.”Zoe Grams, Upstart & Crow