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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Des Moines residents checked out 262,509 eBooks or eAudiobooks from the public library in 2020, library staffers told us.

By the numbers: That’s up more than 40% from the previous year, as physical circulation plummeted about 50%.

Top eBooks:

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  2. How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  4. The Huntress by Kate Quinn
  5. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Top eAudiobooks :

  1. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
  4. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  5. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Go deeper

What (almost) $1 million can get you in Ankeny, Iowa

A drone photo of 6681 NE Berwick Dr., in Ankeny. Photo: Cliff Hanks courtesy of Carrie Phelps

Feeling cramped in your house? This 9,549 square-foot "shop house" in Ankeny has room inside for you *and* your four cars.

The intrigue: A shop house, aka a "shouse," has living and workspace areas.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say.