For National Book Lovers Day this week (August 9) we’ve compiled a guide to the ten best summer reads – based on most-read and most-borrowed lists, both locally and nationally.
According to the latest available figures from the British Library (for 2015) the most-read adult author in the UK is James Patterson, who heads a top ten of mostly thriller, crime and romantic fiction authors. In descending order they range from MC Beaton and Nora Roberts to Lee Child, Anna Jacobs, Danielle Steel, David Baldacci, Clive Cussler, Katie Flynn and Harlan Coben. The top children’s author is Julia Donalson, with Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl also making an appearance near the top of the list.
However, statistics taken from Yorkshire Libraries show that thriller writer Lee Child was the most-borrowed author. Former Huddersfield crime writer Ann Cleeves makes it into the region’s top 40 – but in Kirklees she tops the most-borrowed list with her Shetland series murder mystery Thin Air.
Crime novels and thrillers are popular with Kirklees libraries’ readers. James Patterson appears at number two; John Grisham at number three and Lee Child also makes the top ten. The most-borrowed children’s book in the area is Rodrick Rules, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, with classic fairy stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks also making the top ten. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets comes in at number eight.
In the UK book sales charts the authors most consistently featured recently for fiction have been Jojo Moyes, Paula Hawkins, Martina Cole and James Patterson, while non-fiction diet guru Joe Wicks has had two Lean in 15 books in the best-sellers range and childrens’ author David Walliams has been riding high with a book of short stories.
The ten most-borrowed classic authors are Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, Georgette Heyer, Charles Dickens, PG Wodehouse, JRR Tolkien, Daphne du Maurier and Jane Austen. Shakespeare comes in at number 11.
Here are our top 10 summer reads:
1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The original book has been re-released as a film tie-in and tells the tale of a cheerful young woman (played in the movie by Emilia Clarke, perhaps better known as Daenerys Stormborn from Game of Thrones) who becomes a caregiver for a wealthy young banker left paralysed in an accident. The sequel, After You, was released in June this year and continues the heroine’s life story.
2. Thin Air by Ann Cleeves
This is the sixth book in Ann’s series of detective novels set in Shetland. The books have been turned into a BBC One drama series starring Douglas Henshall. Book six tells the story of a group of Londoners who arrive to celebrate a wedding and stir up secrets from the past that lead to the murder of one of them.
3. NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson
The number two read for Kirklees library visitors. NYPD Red is a special task force charged with protecting the interests of Manhattan’s wealthiest and most powerful citizens. When a world-famous movie producer is poisoned on the first day of a film festival called an actor is killed on the set of a film and a Molotov cocktail explodes at a movie premiere, it’s time to bring in detectives Zach Jordan and his new partner—and ex-girlfriend—Detective Kylie MacDonald.
4. Where My Heart Used to Beat by Sebastian Faulks
From an author who is known for his interest in world war history, this story is deeply evocative tale of existential fear, memories and madness and told through the eyes of a war veteran and doctor who encounters a retired psychiatrist with information about his family’s past. Newly released but already a best-seller and in the top ten nationwide.
5. Personal by Lee Child
This book is the number five favourite of Kirklees readers and the 19th in the popular Jack Reacher detective series. The fast-paced plot features a failed assassination of the French president and an investigation that takes our hero, who has apprehended the villain once before, from France to England.
6. Behind Closed Doors by Susan Lewis
When 14-year-old Sophie Monroe suddenly vanishes one night it looks at first as though she’s run away from home.
Her computer and mobile phone have gone, and she’s taken a bag full of clothes. But as the police delve into the mystery they uncover all sorts of secrets in the surrounding community. Number four in the Kirklees top 10.
7. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
This book made the British Library’s top ten. It’s a story of what would happen if we had more than once chance to live; if an accident didn’t happen or a different choice was made. It’s also a story of a family and how its characters interweave and affect each other.
8. The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams
Ten wickedly funny stories told as modern cautionary tales by the comedian and writer.
9. Rodrick Rules - Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
The second book in a series by the American satirist and cartoonist. Featuring the character Greg, this one is about his summer vacation experiences and is written in illustrated diary format.
10. The BFG by Roald Dahl
Written in 1982 and now on the big screen, a tale of a little orphan girl and a large giant. All the usual silly names and daft but
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