Friday, 4 September 2009

What Clare’s Readers are Reading

Lessons in HeartbreakA look at the top 50 adult fiction books borrowed from Clare County Library so far this year shows that Irish authors continue to be hugely popular with library members. Twenty-two of the top fifty titles were written by Irish authors – mostly in the chick-lit genre. Books by Cecelia Ahern claimed five of the top spots, with Maeve Binchy, Colette Caddle, Cathy Kelly and Sheila O’Flanagan claiming two places each. John Boyne’s Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – a crossover book which is read by adults, teenagers and children - is the most popular adult fiction book so far in 2009. The release of the movie last year gave the book an extra boost. Another “crossover novelist”, Stephenie Meyer, has two books on the top fifty list. Her Twilight series of vampire novels, which are read by both adults and teenagers, have gained worldwide recognition, won multiple literary awards and sold over 70 million copies worldwide. Another notable feature of the top fifty list is the popularity of the crime genre with readers. Books by Linwood Barclay, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen are in constant demand as are those by more established authors James Patterson, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. Jodi Picoult is the only other author besides Cecelia Ahern to have five books appearing on the top 50 list. Picoult targets hot issues such as the death penalty and high-school shootings and centres on families and relationships. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini has been hugely popular since it’s release in 2003. It is joined on the list by A Thousand Splendid Suns by Hosseini which is aslo set in Afghanistan. Joanne Harris’ The Lollipop Shoes from which she read at the 2008 Ennis Bookclub Festival also makes the list of most popular adult fiction books. Anne Enright’s The Gathering and Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton also featured among the popular titles. Library membership and loans of books from Clare County Library have increased by 10% over this time last year.

Top ten adult fiction books of 2009:
Boyne, John Boy in the striped pyjamas
Kelly, Cathy Lessons in Heartbreak
Meyer, Stephenie Twilight
Binchy, Maeve This Year it will be different
Scanlan, Patricia Forgive and Forget
Keyes, Marian This Charming Man
Patterson, James Sail
O’Flanagan, Sheila Someone Special
Picoult, Jodi Salem Falls
O’Flanagan, Sheila Bad Behaviour
Ahern, Cecelia Thanks for the memories

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