Several of 2016s bestsellers have also been the years most borrowed books at the library, according to the Brooklyn Public Library.

Whether “BK readers” chose to head to one of the public library systems 60 branches or take advantage of the systems growing e-book collection, residents of Kings County proved this past year that borrowing books is still en vogue and, furthermore, Brooklynites have a particular taste: historical fiction and thrillers.

Author Paula Hawkinss psychological mystery book-turned-movie, The Girl on the Train, was one of four thrillers on the Brooklyn Public Librarys top-ten list of most checked-out fiction books. Historical fiction was the second most popular fiction genre among library visitors, including All the Light We Can Not See by Anthony Doerr and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, both World War II dramas.

Among the librarys list of most checked-out non-fiction books include, When Breath Becomes Air, a memoir by Dr. Paul Kalanithi about his life and illness battling stage IV metastatic lung cancer. It was posthumously published by Random House in January 2016, and very shortly after earned its place at the top of the list.

The celebrity journalist Ta-Nehisi Coatess much talked about book, Between the World and Me, took the second spot. In fact, books written by celebrities dominated the nonfiction list in 2016. In M Train, musician Patti Smith recounts her ventures to unusual places; actresses Leah Remini’s Troublemaker is a riveting account of her surviving Hollywood and Scientology; and comedian Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance tries to make sense of the modern dating scene.

Check out the full list of Brooklyn favorites below, and then check them out at your local public library:


  1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  2. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
  3. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
  4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  6. NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
  7. Blue by Danielle Steel
  8. Private Paris by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
  9. The Girls by Emma Cline
  10. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff


  1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  2. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  4. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg
  5. M Train by Patti Smith
  6. Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
  7. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  8. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini and Rebecca Paley
  9. H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  10. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

Shiloh Frederick

Shiloh Frederick reports for BK Reader. She is a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she earned an undergraduate degree in history, with a minor in journalism. Shiloh is now dedicating her...

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