Lee Child’s Make Me and Roald Dahl’s The BFG are most popular Suffolk library books in 2016

PUBLISHED: 08:30 28 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:28 28 December 2016

The most popular library books in Suffolk in 2016. L-R: Malcolm Knott, Sally Green, Alison Wheeler, James Powell and Lesley Clouting.

The most popular library books in Suffolk in 2016. L-R: Malcolm Knott, Sally Green, Alison Wheeler, James Powell and Lesley Clouting.


Crime and thriller novels proved to be the most popular borrowed library books in Suffolk this year.

Roald Dahl also enjoyed a renaissance among children. Three of his classics feature in the top five most loaned children’s books in the county, in the year which marked 100 years since his birth.

The BFG, which hit the big screens this year, was the most popular. The hit summer film directed by Steven Spielberg inspired 824 children to borrow the 1982 novel from a library in Suffolk this year.

Meanwhile, Lee Child’s Make Me, the 20th book in the Jack Reacher series, was the most popular book among adults. More than 1,800 copies of the thriller were loaned out.

A close second was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, which was another cinematic hit this year, featuring Emily Blunt.

Alison Wheeler, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: “Once again, our readers are very keen on thrillers and crime, with Ian Rankin and Lee Child titles always proving popular.

“It’s great to see that the most popular children’s books reflect the success of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which had a Roald Dahl theme.

“We made 2016 our ‘Year of Reading’ and we are very proud that the numbers of children taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge in Suffolk rose again for the fourth year running.

“I was a children’s librarian for 16 years and I still love children’s books. I now have four grandsons – all very keen on books of course – and I love reading to them.

“The first book I ever read to children in a library was Dogger by Shirley Hughes.

“It’s a beautifully illustrated picture book about a boy and his lost dog which was published in 1977 and is still a popular library book now.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Wheeler also gave her top tips on what might prove to be the most popular books of 2017.

She said: “Paula Hawkins, the author of Girl on the Train, has a new book ‘Into the Water’ due out in May, which we know will be huge. Our stock team is already ordering books for mid-March in 2017 so we already have a lot of titles on order.

“Other books we expect to be big in 2017 are Peter May’s latest Enzo Macleod adventure Cast Iron, which is out in January, and perennial favourite Josephine Cox has a new title ‘A Family Secret’ also out in January.

“There is a lot of buzz about ‘Here and Gone’ by Haylen Beck which is due out in April. Elif Shafak, the excellent Turkish novelist, also has a new title ‘Three Daughters of Eve’ out in February. The one that will probably eclipse all these when it comes out is Hilary Mantel’s ‘The Mirror and the Light’ which will complete the Wolf Hall trilogy.

“Personally I am very excited about this last book as I’m a history addict and love Hilary Mantel’s work. I thought ‘Bring up the Bodies’ (the second in the Wolf Hall trilogy) was exceptional and I love her dazzling use of words. I’m really looking forward to The Mirror and the Light.

“I also love Alison Weir and her historical biographies. She is the biggest selling female historian and I was thrilled to meet her in person at one of our Bookfest events in Beccles Library last year.”

Suffolk Libraries has also talked about what they think might be the best children’s books to look out for in 2017:

Picture books for young children:

Award winning author Jeanne Willis has a new picture book out in January. ‘I’m in charge’ is a rhyming story about a very bossy toddler age rhino, so it’s bound to be popular with anyone who cares for children of that certain age.

Any new book by Julia Donaldson heads to the top of publishing charts, so we are expecting a lot of interest in her new book ‘The Everywhere Bear’ due out in February

Junior novels:

Ross Welford’s next middle grade novel ‘What to do when you turn invisible’ will reach library shelves in January. His first book ‘Time travelling with a hamster’ has been nominated for several awards.

Then in February, we’ll see the latest in Lyn Gardner’s popular Victorian detective series, ‘Rose Campion and the curse of the Doomstone’.

Young adult:

Sara Barnard’s first title, Beautiful Broken Things, caused quite a stir. Her new title ‘A Quiet kind of Thunder’ about a girl who has chosen to be mute and a boy who can’t hear, is already being flagged up as one to watch in January.

Mind the Gap by Phil Earle, due out in January is already getting amazing reviews. Patrick Ness also has a title coming out next May called ‘Release’ which is bound to be much talked about.

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