The New York Public Library is the second largest public library system in the U.S. (behind only the Library of Congress), so it has its pulse on what people are reading.
The library just revealed the most popular fiction and non-fiction books of September, based on how many times a book (hard copy or ebook) was checked out across all 91 branches of its system.
Check out the most popular books from September.
Top Adult Fiction
by Dan Brown: Brown’s infamous hero Robert Langdon heads once more into Italy. After solving a mystery inspired by “The Mona Lisa” in “The Da Vinci Code,” Langdon’s latest adventure takes its cue from Dante’s epic poem in the “Divine Comedy.”
2. “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini: Hosseini is well-known for “The Kite Runner,” about two young friends in Kabul, Afghanistan. His latest novel also starts in Kabul with a father telling his two young children a folktale. Then he gives his daughter away to a wealthy man in the city. The story spans several decades and continents following the family’s trials and tribulations.
3. “Revenge Wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger: Weisberger revisits Andy Sachs’ magazine career in this follow-up to her wildly popular novel, “The Devil Wears Prada” (which starred Meryl Streep in the 2006 movie version). This book picks up 10 years after Andy quit her job working with her hellish editor, Miranda Priestly, to start a high-end bridal magazine.
4. “The Casual Vacancy” by J.K. Rowling: Rowling leaves behind the world of Harry Potter in her latest novel. Instead, she opts for analysing the motivations of the everyday person. When Barry Fairbrother dies in the middle of his term on the parish council in the fictional town of Pagford, he creates a casual vacancy. His seat must be temporarily filled until the next elections. The election for the next council member is the backdrop against which the seedy underbelly of the town emerges.
5. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn: Nick and Amy Dunne are getting ready to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary as Flynn’s critically acclaimed suspense novel opens. But when Amy disappears from the couple’s rented home on the Mississippi River, suspicions turn toward Nick. Nick is oddly evasive, but does that make him the killer?
6. “The Walking Dead” by Robert Kirkman: Book One features the first 12 issues of the popular zombie comic epic that has since turned into a hit show for AMC. It starts with a small-town cop waking up from a coma to find the world overrun with the “walking dead.” From there it follows the cop and a ragtag bunch of fellow survivors who try to rebuild after the spread of the zombies.
7. “First Sight” by Danielle Steel: Follow the famous American designer Timmie O’Neill as she traipses around the globe for fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris. An intriguing Frenchman comes into Timmie’s life, but as she explores a relationship with him she tries to guard the secrets of her own troubled childhood.
8. “W is for Wasted” by Sue Grafton: Part of the Kinsey Millhone mystery series, “W is for Wasted” follows Kinsey as she investigates two seemingly unrelated deaths: The first a local PI and the second a John Doe. The deeper Kinsey digs, the more unexpected links she finds between the two deaths.
9. “Never Go Back” by Lee Child: Child’s latest novel in his Jack Reacher series follows the former military cop as he finally makes it back to his old unit in D.C. from South Dakota. This time Reacher is on a mission to find his missing commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, and clear his own name in the process.
10. “50 Shades of Grey” by E.L. James: This series started as fan-fiction based on the popular vampire teen romance “Twilight,” but it trades vampirism for S&M. Young literature student Anastasia Steele falls for Christian Grey, a young and handsome entrepreneur with very particular tastes in the bedroom.
Top Adult Non-Fiction
1. “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg: As the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sandberg shares her leadership secrets. She combines personal anecdotes, hard data and research studies to understand the bias against women in leadership positions and offer advice for women in the workplace and daily life.
2. “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” by David Sedaris: In his latest collection of humorous essays, Sedaris recalls what his father wore during dinner, his first colonosocopy, and the time he thought about buying the skeleton of a murdered pygmy, among other stories from his own life.
3. “My Beloved World”
by Sonia Sotomayor: Sotomayor is the first Hispanic and the third woman ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court. In “My Beloved World,” Sotomayor recounts her life from her early childhood in the Bronx to Yale Law School and finally to her position on the Supreme Court bench. Her humanising portrait includes her struggles with diabetes and a failed marriage.
4. “VB6: Eat Vegan before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health…for Good: the Flexible Diet You Can Really Stick To, with more than 60 Easy, Delicious Recipes” by Mark Bittman: Six years ago, The New York Times’ food writer Mark Bittman was overweight and pre-diabetic. His doctors told him to adopt a vegan diet if he wanted to avoid medication. Since then, he adopted a diet of fruits, veggies and grains which he followed every day only until 6 p.m., at which point he allowed himself to eat however he wanted. Bittman shares his food lifestyle and recipes in VB6.
5. “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” by Michael Moss: Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss follows the rise of the processed food industry and its relationship to the obesity epidemic in America. Moss includes research from brands including Kraft, Coca-Cola, Lunchables, Kellogg, and Oreos, among others.
6. “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” by Michael Pollan: Pollan apprentices himself to a variety of culinary masters, from a barbecue pit master to a Chez Panisse-trained cook. In each section of “Cooked,” Pollan chronicles his attempt to master a single classic recipe which requires either fire, water air or earth as its primary preparation method.
7. “Cracking the GED” by Geoff Martz: This study guide book reviews all subject matter that’s likely to be covered on the General Educational Development test, which is the equivalent to graduating high school.
8. “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan: Stand up comedian Jim Gaffigan writes about life with five young kids in a style very similar to Bill Cosby. He includes anecdotes about his toddlers’ eating habits and how they talk to him and each other.
9. “The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves” by Stephen Grosz: Grosz uses his experience as a practicing psychologist to deliver insight into some of the most baffling human behaviour. He shares stories of everyday life without jargon to also tell the story of himself as the analyst at work.
10. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman: Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002. He breaks down the brain according to two systems of thought: one is a fast, intuitive and emotional way of processing information while the other is slow, deliberative and logical. He includes case studies of how people make different decisions from choosing what investments to make on the stock market to where to go on vacation.
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