SHELDON—“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah was placed on many of 2018’s best-seller lists, but the novel also topped another list: It was last year’s most checked out adult book at the Sheldon Public Library.
This did not a shock Sheldon library director Nicole Morgan.
“I wasn’t surprised to find that ‘The Great Alone’ was the number one checkout for adults last year,” she said. “This book remains to be continually checked out and often on reserve. Patrons are still asking about this title because of the wonderful things that they heard about it.”
According to Hannah’s artist excerpt on Amazon, the novel is “an epic love story and intimate family drama set in Alaska in the turbulent 1970s is a daring, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival and the wildness that lives in both nature and man.”
The top 10 most checked-out adult books at the library in 2018 were:
1. “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah
2. “The Fallen” by David Baldacci
3. “The Masterpiece” by Francine Rivers
4. “The Kept Woman: A Novel” by Karin Slaughter
5. “Haunted” by James Patterson
6. “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn
7. “A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux
8. “Shelter in Place” by Nora Roberts
9. “Dark in Death” by J.D. Robb
10. “The Silent Wife” by Karen Fisher
Morgan was pleased to see that Sheldon bibliophiles reading patterns aligned with most of the national trends.
“Many of the titles and authors on the top 10 list for adults are New York Times Best Sellers,” she said. “It’s great to know that many of the books that Sheldon residents are reading are popular throughout the nation as well.”
Morgan has read two of the top 10 adult books.
“I have read ‘The Fallen’ by David Baldacci and ‘The Woman in the Window’ by A.J. Finn,” she said. “Thrillers are my favorite genre and it was fun to see so many thrillers on the top 10 list for adults.”
The list for young adults/teens varied by genre and writer; however, Neal Shusterman managed to nab the No. 1 and No. 3 spots.
Shusterman topped the list with “Thunderhead,” his second book in the “Arc of a Scythe” series. Featuring two teen protagonists, the books are set in the far future where natural death has nearly been eliminated and society is controlled by an advanced artificial intelligence. Additionally, an organization called the Scythedom decides who must die to control the population.
Originally released in 2016, “Scythe,” the first book in the “Arc of a Scythe” series, was third on the young adults/teen list.
“Making Bombs for Hitler” by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch was the book that separated the Shusterman-penned literary works from each other, which surprised Morgan.
“Fantasy and science fiction are hot genres right now with teens so I was stunned to see that a historical fiction book — ‘Making Bombs for Hitler’ — was on the teen list,” she said.
“Making Bombs for Hitler” and “Scythe” are nominees for the Iowa Teen Award 2018-19.
Morgan also was impressed with how the top children’s books featured titles suitable for various age levels.
Overall, during the 2017-18 fiscal year, which ran July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, 34,098 items were checked out from the library and 5,460 people attended library programs, which is slightly higher than Sheldon’s population.
“It was nice to see such a variety of authors and titles in all three groups, this shows that there is a book for everyone no matter what your age or interest,” Morgan said.