What was popular in 2015?

Cover of Through the seasons: The free range cookYou may have read recently in the media about the top titles borrowed from Christchurch City Libraries in 2015, but that just scratches the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got even more to share with you.

If the publishing industry is a literary popularity contest then these titles from our library collection are the cool kids in school.

In non-fiction last year food and health were the overriding themes. Last year’s king of the culinary castle, Simon Gault was ousted by kitchen queen Annabel Langbein in 2015 with her Through the seasons: The free range cook taking out top spot.

Honorable mention must go to Dr Libby Weaver for appearing no less than 5 times in the top 10 non-fiction.

Cover of PersonalIn fiction, Personal by Lee Child finally made the top spot after getting pipped at the post in 2014.

Mysteries, thrillers and suspense titles continue to be popular and is reflected in the most popular authors for adults list which for the second year in a row was topped by James Patterson, but there’s still ran audience for perennial favourites like Danielle Steel, and even more perennial Agatha Christie, whose popularity continues unabated.

Novels by Lee Child also make a strong showing in the top eBooks list (5 times in the top 20), though the number one spot goes to Eyes on you by Kate White.

The most popular eAudiobook was cross-generational film-franchise juggernaut The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, with the three books of the series taking out the top three spots.

In fact, books with successful movie tie-ins made up a whopping 14 out of the top 20 eAudiobooks, showing that fans of franchises like Harry Potter, and the Divergent series aren’t solely interested in the visual part of “audiovisual”.

Cover of We're going on a bear huntIn kids books, again classic titles were very popular with Michael Rosen’s We’re going on a bear hunt, originally published in 1989, continuing to find an audience and securing the number one slot.

Geronimo Stilton featured strongly in the most popular kids’ titles and was the overall most popular author of children’s books whilst still leaving room for old favourites like Enid Blyton, Dr Suess and Margaret Mahy.

For teens The maze runner by James Dashner was the most popular fiction title with several other “books of the movie” also appearing in the teens top 20.

Top of the top titles

Cover of Cross Justice by James Patterson    Cover pf The race against time by Geronimo Stilton Cover of The maze runner Cover of Eyes on you Cover of The hunger games

See more annual lists of popular titles.

The most popular items in our collection

What was popular in 2014

Cover of Modern classicsKia ora and welcome to our annual popularity contest – these are the titles in our library collection that were most popular in 2014.

New Zealand dominated the non-fiction section, with Modern classics by Simon Gault taking out top spot.

In the fiction forum, Life after life by Kate Atkinson was numero uno (it was in 4th place in 2013). Last year’s winner The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton taking top spot for New Zealand fiction (coming in at a highly respectable number 16) as well as being the most popular eBook in our Wheelers collection.

Cover of Life after lifeInterestingly, while Dirty Politics didn’t gain a spot in our non-fiction list, it was the 2nd most popular Wheelers eBook.

James Patterson was the most popular author for adults, ahead of Nora Roberts.

Many classic authors and titles rated highly in all categories. Nancy Drew and the clue crew by Carolyn Keene was the winner for kids, with Daisy Meadows as author number one. Joy Cowley, Lynley Dodd, and Margaret Mahy rated highly too.

Manga and graphic novels were hugely popular with teens, and series like The Hunger Games also dominated the teen list.

Top of the top titles

The most popular items in our collection

See our most popular stuff in previous years.

What was hot at Christchurch City Libraries in 2013

We have had a look into our reports to see what books were most popular in 2013. The popularity of titles is calculated by the number of holds. For e–books and e–audiobooks, it is calculated by checkouts.


And your number ones are:
Cover of The Luminaries Cover of The Third Wheel Cover of The fault in our stars Cover of Catching Fire

and The Official New Zealand Road Code for Car Drivers is top of the non-fiction list.

I feel a special Kia ora and tip o’the hat is due to the many New Zealand authors represented. Eleanor Catton hops off with the top spot in our fiction list and also get 51st place with The Rehearsal, but also on the fiction list are Deborah Challinor for Girl Of Shadows (77) and Fiona Kidman for The Infinite Air (100).

On the non-fiction list, New Zealand publications look even more healthy. As well as the New Zealand Road Code at number 1, there is Dr Libby Weaver in second place (and her books are all over the list). Patched: The History Of Gangs In New Zealand by Jarrod Gilbert is fourth. A History Of Silence: A Memoir by Lloyd Jones at eighth. Plus lots more: Masterchef judges and contestants alike, Jo Seagar, books about quake dogs, Molesworth Station and more.

In the kids arena, Rachael King came in at 64th with  Red Rocks. For teens, Into The River by Ted Dawe weathered controversy and gained 27th place. When We Wake by Karen Healey came in at 94th.

Have a browse of the lists and see what Christchurch was reading!

Most popular stuff for adults 2011

You love me, but love Lee Child even more ...

Here’s Christchurch City Libraries’ top 100 items from last year for adults.

Factoids and observations:

  • Road Code – number 1. Essential stuff.
  • Wow –  check out the number of James Patterson titles in the list (7?)
  • Passion for Scandinavian crime is so not melting away
  • Oldies like Wilbur Smith can still cut it with the new fellas
  • Looks like people do want to know about Paul Henry, as his memoir What was I thinking is the top NZ book (after the Road Code) … but closely on its tail is The Conductor by Sarah Quigley
  • About 15 out of the 100 are New Zealand books

Any observations or surprises?