A gritty street lawyer who represents addicts and crime lords and works out of a bulletproof van.
A how-to book on the Japanese art of decluttering your home and your life.
A teenager's struggle for identity in post-apocalyptic Chicago.
The diaries of a wimpy middle schooler.
Readers just couldn't get enough of them. They represent some of the hottest reads for adults and youth across Erie County, based on Buffalo and Erie County Public Library circulation data from nearly 300,000 patrons last year.
"I think what's fascinating about the list is the wide variety of things – fact and fiction – people are choosing to read about," library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski said.
The most popular books were ranked in the categories of adult fiction and non-fiction, young adult and children's books, most-requested electronic books, and The People’s Choice Book as voted on by readers.
Rogue Lawyer, a recent legal thriller by John Grisham, took the top spot for adult fiction as well as the top spot for the single-most popular book borrowed by library patrons, circulating 2,000 times. Circulation figures include all available book formats, including print, audiobook and ebook downloads.
"Fast paced, witty, and overflowing with drama, Rogue Lawyer kept me in my chair reading straight up to the very end," wrote North Park Library branch manager Paul Guminski in a review he wrote for The Buffalo News, one of many reviews running as a companion to this story.
Some veteran, best-selling authors -- like Grisham and Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series -- were predictable list makers. But others were more surprising.
A modest, little book called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo topped the adult non-fiction list, circulating 759 times. The book has also, not coincidentally, become an international best-seller since first being published in 2014.
"The title is correct – it is life changing!" wrote Small Business Outreach Librarian Sandra Courtney in her review for The News. "Her focus is about releasing the past with honor, choosing to live today with joy and becoming more passionate about our future."
Teens and young adults gravitated toward books that champion heroes who break the mold. Harry Potter pops up again, as well. Popular children's non-fiction delves into a world of Minecraft and Lego play.
Following is the full list of the most popular books of 2016, ranked by category. Much more detailed information about each book listed, including local reviews by library staffers and others, is available on The Buffalo News website. And of course, they can be found at your local library in multiple formats.
1. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
3. Cross Justice by James Patterson
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō
2. Buffalo Memories: The Early Years by The Buffalo News
3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth -- top choice two years in a row
2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
1. Minecraft: Redstone Handbook by Nick Farwell
2. LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life by Daniel Lipkowitz
3. The Big Book of Hacks for Minecrafters by Megan Miller
Most Requested eBook Fiction
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins -- most requested two years in a row
Most Requested eBook Non-Fiction
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
The People’s Choice Book - selected through online voting
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany