San Antonio Library: Most Popular Books Of 2017

Dec 28, 2017

The books most frequently checked out of San Antonio Public Library this year were mysteries and bestsellers, according to library records of the top 10 books in adult fiction, adult non-fiction, young adult fiction, digital fiction and digital non-fiction.


Credit San Antonio Public Library /

Adult Fiction (Print)

According to the library, the favorite adult fiction book of 2017 is “The Whistler,” a John Grisham novel about a corrupt judge. James Patterson’s “Never Never” came in second. It stars an Australian detective whose brother is accused of murder.

The top five adult fiction books are:

  1. “The Whistler” by John Grisham
  2. “Never Never” by James Patterson
  3. “Cross the Line” by James Patterson
  4. “Camino Island” by John Grisham
  5. “Night School: a Jack Reacher novel” by Lee Child

Young Adult Fiction (Print)

The adventures of middle-schooler Greg Hefley took over the young adult fiction list: eight of the top 10 books are from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

The top five young adult fiction books are:

  1. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down” by Jeff Kinney
  2. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School” by Jeff Kinney
  3. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul” by Jeff Kinney
  4. “The Thank You Book” by Mo Willems
  5. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever” by Jeff Kinney

Credit Amazon /

Adult Non-Fiction (Print)

“The Train to Crystal City” was the most frequently checked out non-fiction book. It’s about an internment camp used to exchange prisoners during World War II. Crystal City is about a hundred miles south of San Antonio, near the border.

Other history and how-to books also rose to the top of the list.

The top five adult non-fiction books are:

  1. “The Train to Crystal City” by Jan Jarboe Russell
  2. “Guinness World Records 2017”
  3. “How To Prepare for the GED® Test” by Christopher Sharpe
  4. “Hillbilly Elegy : a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance
  5. “Killing the Rising Sun : How America Vanquished World War II Japan” by Bill O'Reilly

Digital Fiction

San Antonio’s most popular digital fiction books have been turned into movies or TV shows: “Harry Potter,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Girl on the Train.”

Two more books turned TV shows, “Game of Thrones” and “Thirteen Reasons Why,” also made it on the list.

“The Girl on the Train” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” are so popular they both appear on the list twice: once as an e-audiobook, and once as an e-book.

The top five digital fiction books are:

  1. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” by J.K Rowling (e-audiobook)
  2. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood (e-book)
  3. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins (e-audiobook)
  4. “The Whistler” by John Grisham (e-book)
  5. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” by J.K Rowling (e-book)

Credit San Antonio Public Library /

Digital Nonfiction

San Antonians’ digital non-fiction habits mirror their print selections, with a little more preference for how-tos, memoirs and books turned into movies.

The top five digital non-fiction books are:

  1. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up : the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo (e-audiobook)
  2. “The Train to Crystal City” by Jan Jarboe Russell (e-book)
  3. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jan Sincero (e-audiobook)
  4. “The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story” by Diane Ackerman (e-audiobook)
  5. “Hillbilly Elegy : a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance (e-book)

According to the San Antonio Public Library, about 7.2 million books and other items were checked out in fiscal year 2017. About 17 percent were digital books and e-audiobooks.

Camille Phillips can be contacted at or on Twitter @cmpcamille