From modern classics, to the latest in popular fiction, Orange County Library System customers read a surprisingly diverse selection of titles in 2020. Here were the most popular checkouts from across the system this year:
1. Where the Crawdads Sing / Delia Owens
Originally published in 2018, Delia Owens’ sprawling novel, Where the Crawdads Sing continues to be one of the bestselling and most often checked out books in the country. Don’t expect the popularity for the novel to die down any time soon: The film rights were recently optioned by actor Reese Witherspoon.
Digital Audiobook (English): https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2228645~S1
Digital Audiobook (Spanish): https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2275637~S1
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2233491~S1
Large Print: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2235461~S1
2. Becoming / Michelle Obama
Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s blockbuster memoir, Becoming set the record for highest-selling book of the year when it was released in 2018. More impressive, is that it only took 15 days after the book’s publication to reach that milestone. Two years on, Becoming remains one of the most highly requested items in the library collection.
Large Print: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2225100~S1
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2229669~S1
Digital Audiobook: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2239205~S1
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone / J.K. Rowling
No surprise here: Since 1998, this first entry in the adventures of everyone’s favorite “boy who lived,” has rarely strayed too far from the top of this list.
Book (Illustrated): https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2058578~S1
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b1498818~S1
Digital Audiobook: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b1810452~S1
4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes / Suzanne Collins
Speaking of popular fiction for young adults, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel to the dystopian mega-hit Hunger Games Trilogy. While opinions of the latest novel seem to be divided, the initial fanfare for the release skyrocketed check out numbers.
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2279211~S1
Digital Audiobook: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2298294~S1
5. The Alchemist / Paulo Coelho
The popularity of Paulo Coelho’s metaphysical allegory, The Alchemist, seems to increase exponentially every year. Fortunately, the library offers the novel in almost every conceivable digital and physical format in order to keep up with the quenchless demand (we even have it as a graphic novel).
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b1529711~S1
Graphic Novel: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b1751081~S1
6. Educated: A Memoir / Tara Westover
Consistent with many other titles on this list, Tara Westover’s memoir/treatise on the importance of education, was a breakout hit when it first hit shelves in 2018. The book’s powerful message clearly has lasting power: As of December, Educated: A Memoir has sold six million copies and been translated into 45 languages.
Large Print: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2195017~S1
Digital Audiobook: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2202013~S1
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2246807~S1
7. The Guardians: A Novel / John Grisham
The Guardians is the first of two novels on this list by popular fiction talisman John Grisham. In The Guardians, Grisham brings his usual flair for legal suspense to the small town of Seabrook, Florida where a young black man who was wrongfully accused for a heinous crime must rely on the generosity of Guardian Ministries, and lawyer/minister, Cullen Post.
Digital Audiobook: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2261315~S1
Large Print: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2260688~S1
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2270120~S1
8. Walk the Wire: Amos Decker Series, Book 6b/ David Baldacci
This latest book in David Baldacci’s Amos Decker series, follows the titular FBI consultant as he attempts to solve a violent murder in North Dakota. For fans of Baldacci’s trademark mystery and suspense, Walk the Wire is a balancing act you won’t want to look away from.
Large Print: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2276126~S1
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2279216~S1
Digital Audiobook: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2289021~S1
9. Blue Moon: Jack Reacher Series, Book 24 / Lee Child
Not even a pandemic can stop Jack Reacher’s stranglehold on the list of most checkouts for the year. This time out, Reacher finds himself smack in the middle of a gang turf war, equipped with only his wits to see him to safety. Will he survive to see Book #25? Probably.
Large Print: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2258735~S1
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2259299~S1
10. Camino Winds / John Grisham
The first of two books that Grisham published in 2020, Camino Winds blows us back to the fictional tropical setting that first appeared in his 2017 thriller, Camino Island. Like his other books, readers can expect a cyclone of cunning characters, tornados of thrills, and gale-force gasps.
Book on CD: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2280436~S1
Large Print: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2280519~S1
Digital Audiobook: https://iii.ocls.info/record=b2282321~S1