Library Blog

The 2016 Hit Parade: The Most Popular Books of the Year

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Library's annual lists of most-circulated books reveal the varied reading tastes of our membership. While long-time favorite Library authors dominated 2016 (Strout, McEwan, Anne Tyler, etc.), and many books also appeared on our 2015 list (e.g., Ferrante, Anthony Doerr, Lauren Groff, Ta-Nehisi Coates), there are many surprises here.

Following the Top 10 below, we have included Top 20 lists for the most-circulated general fiction, nonfiction, and mysteries. Nearly all titles are also available as ebooks in our Cloud Library collection,and can be found here.  

The Top 10

1. Elizabeth StroutMy Name is Lucy Barton

2. Paul KalanithiWhen Breath Becomes Air

3. Alan Furst - A Hero of France

4. Noah Hawley - Before the Fall 

5. Donna Leon  - The Waters of Eternal Youth

6. Graham Swift - Mothering Sunday: a Romance

7. Lauren GroffFates and Furies  

8. Elena FerranteMy Brilliant Friend (translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein) | Ann Patchett - Commonwealth 

9. Edna O'BrienThe Little Red Chairs

10. Colson WhiteheadThe Underground Railroad

Top 20 Fiction

1. Elizabeth Strout - My Name is Lucy Barton

2. Noah Hawley Before the Fall 

3. Graham Swift - Mothering Sunday: a Romance

4. Lauren Groff - Fates and Furies  

5. Elena Ferrante - My brilliant Friend (translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein) | Ann Patchett - Commonwealth 

6. Edna O'Brien - The Little Red Chairs

7. Colson Whitehead - The Underground Railroad

8. Hanya YanagiharaA Little Life

9. Anna QuindlenMiller's Valley 

10. Cynthia D'Aprix SweeneyThe Nest 

11. Anne TylerVinegar Girl: The Taming of the Shrew Retold

12. Elizabeth GeorgeA Banquet of Consequences

13. Curtis SittenfeldEligible Emma Straub - Modern Lovers 

14. Richard RussoEverybody's Fool  | Cathleen Schine - They May Not Mean To, but They DoDeborah LevyHot MilkStephanie Danler - Sweetbitter 

15. Dominic Smith -The Last Painting of Sara de Vos Julian FellowesBelgravia | Caleb Carr -Surrender, New York 

16. Magda Szabó  - The Door (translated from the Hungarian by Len Rix)

17. Anthony DoerrAll the Light We Cannot See 

18. Kristin HannahThe Nightingale 

19. Hannah RothschildThe Improbability of Love 

20. Tessa HadleyThe Past

Top 20 Nonfiction

1. Paul KalanithiWhen Breath Becomes Air

2. Jane MayerDark Money: the Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

3. Mary BeardSPQR: a History of Ancient Rome

4. Robert GottliebAvid Reader: a Life 

5. Bill BrysonThe Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain

6. Laura CummingThe Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velazquez

7. Roger AngellThis Old Man: All in Pieces 

8. James ShapiroThe Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

9. Ta-Nehisi CoatesBetween the World and MeJean SteinWest of Eden: an American Place

10. Elaine Sciolino - The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs

11. Sarah BakewellAt the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others

12. Eric Ripert (with Veronica Chambers) - 32 Yolks: From my Mother's Table to Working the Line

13. Katie RoipheThe Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End 

14. Andrea WulfThe Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New WorldIrin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik - Notorious RBG : the Life and Times of Ruth Bader GinsburgMichael KinsleyOld Age: a Beginner's GuideJ.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis 

15. Laura Thompson - The Six: the Lives of the Mitford Sisters 

16. Carly Simon - Boys in the Trees: a Memoir Ian BurumaTheir Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War | Simon Sebag Montefiore - The Romanovs: 1613-1918 | Anderson Cooper and Gloria VanderbiltThe Rainbow Comes and Goes: a Mother and son on Life, Love, and Loss Jenny Diski - In Gratitude John Le CarreThe Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from my Life 

17. Erik LarsonDead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania Marie Kondo - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano) 

18. Patti Smith - M train

19. Gloria Steinem - My Life on the Road

20. Siddhartha MukherjeeThe Gene: an Intimate History | Robert F. WorthA Rage for Order: the Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS 

Top 20 Mysteries

1. Alan FurstA Hero of France 

2. Donna Leon - The Waters of Eternal Youth

3. Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train

4. Ian Rankin - Even Dogs in the Wild

5. Philip KerrThe Other Side of Silence

6. Daniel Silva - The Black Widow

7. Ian McEwan - Nutshell

8. Harlan Coben - Fool Me Once | Louise Penny - A Great Reckoning 

9. Peter Lovesey - Another One Goes Tonight: a Peter Diamond Investigation

10. David Baldacci - The Last Mile | Tana French - The Trespasser

11. John Lawton - The Unfortunate Englishman: a Joe Wilderness Novel

12.  Jacqueline Winspear  - Journey to Munich  | Charles Todd - No Shred of EvidenceThe Shattered Tree

13. Susie SteinerMissing, Presumed 

14. Jo Nesbø - Midnight Sun (translated from the Norwegian by Neil Smith) | P.D. James - The Mistletoe murder: and Other Stories

15. Michael Connelly  - The Crossing 

16. John Grisham - Rogue Lawyer

17. David Baldacci - The GuiltyLaura Lippman - Wilde LakeJeffrey Archer - Cometh the Hour 

18. Rhys Bowen - Crowned and Dangerous

19. Lee Child - Make me: a Jack Reacher Novel | Benjamin Black - Even the Dead: a Quirke Novel  Elizabeth Brundage - All Things Cease to Appear  Michael Connelly -The Wrong Side of Goodbye John Grisham - The Whistler 

20. Lee Child - Night School: a Jack Reacher Novel  James Runcie - Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation | Anne Perry - Revenge in a Cold River: a William Monk Novel  | Colin Cotterill - I Shot the Buddha