Library Blog

The Most Popular Books of 2017

Friday, January 19, 2018

Among our gathering of last year's most-circulated printed books, perenially popular authors such as Elizabeth Strout, John Le Carré, Donna Leon, and more make their usual annual appearance, testifying to the consistency and enduring quality of their work. In fact, fourteen authors listed below were also represented on the 2016 list. The big surprise of 2017 was J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy. This timely memoir placed in the top 20 nonfiction list in 2016 but really broke out in 2017, largely due to steady word-of-mouth buzz, topping this year's nonfiction list with an impressive number of checkouts.  Nearly all the books below are also available as ebooks in our Cloud Library collection, which can be searched here.

If the lists of print books show the varied reading interests of our membership, the lengthy list of top-circulating ebooks is even more revealing. Authors like Barbara Pym (with two titles), Elizabeth Taylor, and Elizabeth Jane Howard sit comfortably among the latest releases. Only at The NYSL. 

The Top 10 
1. A Gentleman in Moscow | Amor Towles
2. The Underground Railroad | Colson Whitehead
3. A Legacy of Spies | John Le Carré
4. Commonwealth | Ann Patchett
5. Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis | J.D. Vance
6. Earthly Remains | Donna Leon
7. The Whistler | John Grisham
8. Moonglow  | Michael Chabon
9. Anything is Possible | Elizabeth Strout
10. Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders

1. Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis | J.D. Vance
2. Thank You for Being Late: an Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations | Thomas L. Friedman
3. This Close to Happy: a Reckoning With Depression | Daphne Merkin
4. The Men in My Life: a Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan | Patricia Bosworth
5. The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life | John Le Carré
6. The Undoing Project: a Friendship that Changed our Minds | Michael Lewis
7. Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: a Study of Genius, Mania, and Character | Kay Redfield Jamison
8. When Breath Becomes Air | Paul Kalanithi
9. Between Them: Remembering My Parents | Richard Ford
10. Avid Reader | Robert Gottlieb.

1. A Gentleman in Moscow | Amor Towles
2. The Underground Railroad | Colson Whitehead
3. Commonwealth | Ann Patchett
4. Moonglow | Michael Chabon
5. Anything is Possible | Elizabeth Strout
6. Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders
7. Golden Hill | Francis Spufford
8. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness | Arundhati Roy
9. A Horse Walks into a Bar | David Grossman (translated by Jessica Cohen)
10. Exit West | Mohsin Hamid

1. A Legacy of Spies | John Le Carré
2. Earthly Remains | Donna Leon
3. The Whistler | John Grisham
4. Magpie Murders | Anthony Horowitz
5. Camino Island | John Grisham
6. Glass Houses | Louise Penny
7. Tie: The Wrong side of Goodbye | Michael Connelly & The Late Show | Michael Connelly
8. House of Spies | Daniel Silva
9. Nutshell | Ian McEwan
10. Rather Be the Devil | Ian Rankin

1. A Gentleman in Moscow | Amor Towles
2. Camino Island | John Grisham; Earthly Remains | Donna Leon; Excellent Women | Barbara Pym; Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders; Mary Astor's Purple Diary | Edward Sorel
3. Anything Is Possible | Elizabeth Strout; Prussian Blue | Philip Kerr; The Sellout | Paul Beatty
4. Exit West | Moshin Hamid; The Pigeon Tunnel | John Le Carré
5. The Underground Railroad | Colson Whitehead; Transit | Rachel Cusk 
6. Consequences | Penelope Lively; Magpie Murders | Anthony Horowitz; The Late Show | Michael Connelly; The Woman in Cabin 10 | Ruth Ware
7. A Horse Walks into a Bar | David Grossman; Commonwealth | Ann Patchett; Out of Bounds | Val McDermid
8. A Man Called Ove | Fredrik Backman; Adam's Rib | Antonio Manzini; An Unsuitable Job for a Woman | P.D. James; Cold Earth | Ann Cleeves; Hercule Poirot Bundle| Agatha Christie; My Absolute Darling | Gabriel Tallent; The Dry | Jane Harper; The Essex Serpent | Sarah Perry; The Force | Don Winslow; The Idiot | Elif Batuman; The Ministry of Utmost Happiness| Arundhati Roy;  Killers of the Flower Moon | David Grann
9. 4 3 2 1 | Paul Auster;  A Voice in the Night | Andrea Camilleri; House of Names | Colm Toibin;  In This Grave Hour | Jacqueline Winspear; Miss Marple Bundle & Ordeal by Innocence | Agatha Christie; Outline | Rachel Cusk; Rather Be the Devil | Ian Rankin; The Cazalet Chronicles| Elizabeth Jane Howard; The Death of Kings | Rennie Airth; The Life-Writer | David Constantine;  The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries | Dorothy L. Sayers; Ties | Domenico Starnone; Flâneuse | Lauren Elkin; Hillbilly Elegy | J.D. Vance;  In Pursuit of Privilege | Clifton Hood; South and West | Joan Didion; Thank You for Being Late | Thomas L. Friedman; Theft by Finding | David Sedaris
10. A Certain Justice | P.D. James;  A Game of Hide and Seek | Elizabeth Taylor; A Legacy of Spies | John Le Carré; Brat Farrar | Josephine Tey; Less | Andrew Sean Greer; Quartet in Autumn | Barbara Pym; Six Four | Hideo Yokoyama;  Swing Time | Zadie Smith; Tenth of December| George Saunders; Testimony | Scott Turow; The Heirs | Susan Rieger; The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen;  The Templars' Last Secret | Martin Walker;  32 Yolks | Eric Ripert; A Florence Diary | Diana Athill; You Don't Look Your Age...and Other Fairy Tales | Sheila Nevins