News | 7 December 2021
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Council’s Hit Lists for 2021

It’s been a challenging year, but that hasn’t stopped the elves compiling Council’s top ten lists for some of 2021’s best, funniest, weirdest, and most wonderful.

Toy Poodles Godzilla (14) and King Kong (2) from Kaiwharawhara
Toy Poodles Godzilla (14) and King Kong (2) from Kaiwharawhara*

It’s a dog’s life

Most popular dog names registered in 2021:

1. Charlie 166
2. Bella 108
3. Poppy 104
4. Max 103
5. Coco 102
6. Molly 97
7. Luna 76
8. Ruby 76
9. Milly 73
10. Archie 68

NB: Milly is the only new addition to last year’s top 10 – at the expense of Toby.

Just some of our favourite dog names registered this year:  

Captain Nana Spider-Pig Wolfstein The Second
Elgood Imperial Stout I Scott
Detective Justice Butterfield
Captain Jack Sparrow
Fenrir Baldur von Ritzweber
Flash Sparkle Moonbeam 
Gofetch Quantum Leap Frankie
Joan of Bark
Miss Dolly Pawton
Nuggie McSchnugglebutt

(and Godzilla and King Kong)*

Book your place

Top 10 books for 2021:

Top 10 Fiction print
1 Owens, Delia - Where the crawdads sing
2 Cleeves, Ann - The darkest evening
3 Manawatu, Becky -Auē
4 Stuart, Douglas, 1976 -Shuggie Bain
5 Harper, Jane - The lost man
6 Evaristo, Bernardine, 1959 - Girl, woman, other
7 Haig, Matt, 1975 - The midnight library
8 Rooney, Sally - Normal people
9 McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948 - A promise of ankles
10 Cleeves, Ann - The long call

Top 10 Children Fiction print
1 Kinney, Jeff - The getaway
2 Kinney, Jeff - The meltdown
3 Kinney, Jeff - Double down
4 Kinney, Jeff - Diary of a wimpy kid : Greg Heffley's journal 
5 Kinney, Jeff - The third wheel 
6 Kinney, Jeff - Rodrick rules
7 Kinney, Jeff - The deep end 
8 Kinney, Jeff - The last straw
9 Kinney, Jeff - Wrecking ball
10 Rowling, J. K. - Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone

Top 10 Young Adult Fiction print
1 Bardugo, Leigh - Six of crows
2 Bardugo, Leigh - Shadow and bone
3 Collins, Suzanne - The ballad of songbirds and snakes
4 Gong, Chloe - These violent delights
5 Collins, Suzanne - The Hunger Games
6 McManus, Karen M. - One of us is lying
7 Collins, Suzanne - Catching fire
8 Meyer, Stephanie - Midnight sun
9 Bardugo, Leigh - Siege and storm
10 Muchamore, Robert -The Killing

Top 10 Non-Fiction print
1 Ottolenghi, Yotam - Simple
2 Winter, Chelsea - Supergood
3 Holm, Mary - Rich enough? : a laid-back guide for every Kiwi 
4 Ottolenghi, Yotam - Flavour
5 Lim, Nadia -Vegful
6 Morrison, Scotty - Māori made easy : for everyday learners of the Māori language
7 Oliver, Jamie - Veg : easy & delicious meals for everyone
8 Langbein, Annabel - Bella : my life in food
9 Bryson, Bill - The body : a guide for occupants
10 Manson, Mark - The subtle art of not giving a f*** : a counterintuitive approach to living a good life

Top 10 Biographies print
1 Obama, Michelle - Becoming
2 Obama, Barack - A promised land
3 Westover, Tara - Educated : a memoir
4 Grimshaw, Charlotte - The mirror book : a memoir
5 Glenconner, Anne - Lady in waiting : my extraordinary life in the shadow of the crown
6 Winn, Raynor - The salt path
7 Ovenden, Keith - Bill & Shirley : a memoir 
8 Doyle, Glennon - Untamed
9 O'Brien, Lil - Not that I'd kiss a girl : a Kiwi girl's tale of coming out and coming of age
10 Trump, Mary L - Too much and never enough : how my family created the world's most dangerous man

The popularity of New Zealand and especially Māori writers continues to grow.  For the second year in a row, Scotty Morrison’s guides to learning Te Reo are in the Top Ten for print, and this year he is also in the Top Ten for eBooks.  

Becky Manawatu’s multi-award-winning book Auē is in our Top Three fiction, taking her place amongst international prize winners. Charlotte Grimshaw’s biography of growing up in a New Zealand literary family raced in to the Top Five of biographies. 

We still love to get lifestyle advice from other New Zealanders, with Nadia Lim, Chelsea Winter and Mary Holm firm favourites from year to year.

Streaming services for film and TV are having a big effect on which books become hot to borrow from the library, a good example being four of the Top Ten eBooks were part of the Bridgerton series.

During the lockdown in August-September, there was another big uptake of library customers downloading eBooks. Wellingtonians doubled their borrowing of picture books, craft books, and books about food and wine and borrowed fewer books on philosophy, relationships and medicine – read into that what you will!

Blast from the past

City Archives team top ten pick of random photos from summer:

Title in Archives Online and URL
Mardi Gras

Raft Race

Summer City - togs and pie

Summer City - 1983

Summer City - stilts

Summer City - actor

Summer City - dancer

Summer City - recycling 1983

Summer City - stripes

Summer City - masks

Zoo call

Top 10 keepers’ secrets from Wellington Zoo 

Sasa (Sun Bear) – The appropriately named ‘Sassy Sasa’ definitely has a big personality for a small bear. She knows how adorable she is and uses it to her advantaged (more treats). 

Senja (Tiger) – The poster princess of Tigers, Senja knows her own mind and gets her way every time. Quite the majestic cat. 

Sunny (Giraffe) – He might only have one eye, but he still stands tall. Sunny is still young but he’s growing into a fine member of our tower of giraffes – a gentle giant with a way with the ladies. 

Pearl (Sheep) – Wiggles her little tail to tell you when she’s enjoying a scratch. 

Robyn (White-cheeked Gibbon) – A dedicated partner and an amazing singer whose voice can be heard across Newtown. When she’s not singing, Robyn loves nothing more than a lazy afternoon in her hammock. 

Kitwe (Chimpanzee) – Always up to mischief, Kitwe loves to play/wrestle with our Alpha male and tug on his ears. 

Eko (Otter) – Wellington Zoo’s little pocket rocket, Eko and his brothers spend their days adventuring around their habitat and making sure the keepers bring their fish on time. 

Atanga (Kunekune) – Very chatty, oinks when you say his name and enjoys long walks around the Zoo. 

Puka (Kea) – Constantly inquisitive and always up for a new challenge, Puka like to keep our keepers on their toes coming up with new enrichment ideas. 

Aranyo (Spider Monkey) – Wellington Zoo’s self-proclaimed acrobat, Aranyo loves to show off his skills to the rest of our Spider Monkey troop and Zoo visitors.