BPL Reveals Most-Borrowed Books of 2016

The annual list looks pretty similar to last year's.


It seems Bostonians’ taste in books has not changed a whole lot since 2015.

The Boston Public Library has revealed which books made its Top 10 Most-Borrowed list this year, and it looks pretty similar to last year’s.

Top 10 Most-Borrowed Titles in 2016

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
4. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
5. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
6. My Brilliant Friend, Book One: Childhood, Adolescence by Elena Ferrante
7. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
8. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
9. The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
10. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

The top two most-borrowed books have flip-flopped since 2015—last year, The Girl on the Train was number one while All the Light We Cannot See was number two. Other repeats include The Boston Girl and another book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Boston likes what it likes, we suppose.

We certainly have good taste, considering Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See won both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction in 2015. The Girl on the Train has remained popular perhaps due to its film adaptation starring Emily Blunt, released in theaters in October 2016.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff is the first non-repeat on the list. The book, which examines a seemingly charmed marriage from two different perspectives, was borrowed 854 times this year. For contrast, All the Light We Cannot See at number one was borrowed 1,898 times.

Other highlights include Go Set a Watchman, the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, which has held on in popularity since it was released last year, as well as My Brilliant Friend, Book One: Childhood, Adolescence, by Elena Ferrante, an author under a pseudonym whose true identity was unmasked earlier this year.

You can browse all of the BPL’s 2016 most-borrowed lists—and place holds on your favorite titles—at bpl.bibliocommons.com.

Madeline Bilis Associate Editor at Boston Magazine @madelinebilis

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