10 MOST POPULAR BOOKS OF FICTION
# 1. First on the list of the most popular fiction this year, Call Me Irresistable is sixth in Phillips' series of novels set in Wynette, Texas. Meg Koranda’s best friend, Lucy Jorik, is planning to wed Ted Beaudine, favorite son and popular mayor of Wynette. Meg, daughter of Hollywood celebrities, has had her family charge accounts canceled, but she won't let that make her miss the most important day of Lucy's life. Lucy’s mom is the former President of the United States, and Wynette is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone else. This book begins with a wedding and it ends with one; in between is plenty of suspense and romance.
#2. The last generation of an old Martha’s Vineyard family faces the need to give up the family home after their mother’s long illness and death leaves them without the means to support their fifteen acre property on the Atlantic Ocean. The three sisters grew up there, summered there in picturesque Daggett’s Way, brought their children there every year, as their family had for nearly four centuries. Only Dar had stayed a Vineyard year-rounder, living in a tiny winterized beach cottage on the family estate, caring for their mother in her long decline, supporting herself with the sales of her graphic novels, and looking forward to every summer with her sisters, nieces and nephews.
#3. Minnesotan medical researcher, Dr. Marina Singh, seems an unlikely candidate for a quest in the Amazonian jungle, but her lab partner at the American pharmaceutical company where she works went before her to track down a research group that had stopped sending reports. Now there is a report that he died of an unnamed fever. Someone has to retrieve his effects and report back to the company. The research project which the company has been funding was secretly studying a remote tribe of natives whose women remain fertile well into old age -- ultimately, of course, seeking a fertility drug to develop based on their findings.
#4. Stephen King takes us back in time with Jake Epping, 2011 English teacher. Recruited by a dying friend, he agrees to investigate a “rabbit hole” in time that always takes him back to the exact same day in 1958. Suspend disbelief early on, because coming back the same way allows him to reappear in the same spot precisely two minutes later in 2011 time, no matter how long he spends in the “Land of Ago." Caught up in the excitement of time travel, the temptation to change history becomes irresistible, but Jake also learns that life “turns on a dime,” that time is obdurate -- the more a particular incident affects others, the more it resists change -- and in time travel there are also “harmonies,” -- isolated incidents that appear to be simple repetitions of earlier scenes.
#5. Sing You Home is loaded with issues, as Picoult's novels always are. This one is about gay marriage and fertility interventions: from state laws on marriage to contracts determining the future use of frozen embryos, and from contention over biological determinism to religious concepts of sin. Bringing in Westboro Baptist Church protesters to buck up the local evangelicals adds a nice contemporary touch. Picoult’s exploration of music therapy also fit the novel very well, but the CD of original songs that accompanys the book is superfluous. Setting the novel in the fictional Rhode Island town of Wilmington added familiar local color especially to Max’s surfing scenes and the need to cross the Massachusetts border to attend a gay wedding.
#6. Brooks recreates the world of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, prince of a small band of Martha’s Vineyard Wampanoags, and 1665 graduate of Harvard College. Told in the voice of Bethia Mayfield, minister’s daughter and childhood friend of young Caleb, the novel bows to modern sensibilities on racism and Puritanism, but the prince is true to his history, and Brooks preserves the language and physical realities of the time. Bethia struggles with a wild nature and a taste for book learning, neither suitable for a Puritan goodwife. Holding off the forces of genocide with Christian education, Bethia’s father and the kindly Master Corlett in Cambridge teach Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and scripture to bright young native men. Brooks transports us with the language, life and dangers of the time.
#7. Eugenides skillfully develops a romantic triangle of Brown University seniors in this complex coming of age novel. Setting it in the early 1980’s recession, when unemployment reached 10% and even the best and brightest worried about getting a good start in life, he blends contemporary concerns with 20th century nostalgia. Readers will fall for all three: Madeleine the beautiful, romantic, and wealthy English major, Mitchell the thoughtful, scholarly, and philosophical Religious Studies major, and Leonard the mercurial brilliant Don Juan of a Biologist.
#8. In this suspense-filled police procedural from Sweden, a little girl has been abducted from a train near Stockholm while her mother’s attention was diverted. Days later, when the child’s corpse is discovered in a far away northern city, the word “unwanted” has been scratched into the skin on her forehead. Inspector Alex Recht and his special team of federal investigators are assigned to the case, assisted by a new investigative analyst, Fredrika Bergman. Frederika’s academic degrees and social service experience do not impress her more experienced police colleagues until a second abduction disproves all their theories.
#9 Quinn is the second book in a trilogy that reveals the backstory of Iris Johansen’s “Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller Series.” The extraordinarily prolific Johansen has been turning out enough new titles to supply her own book-of-the-month club recently, and this entire trilogy appeared within just four months: “Eve,” “Quinn,” and “Bonnie.” Fans of Eve Duncan, forensic sculptor, have long known that she found her vocation while pursuing the disappearance of her only child, Bonnie, so the trilogy is a must-read for them. Hanging on the cliff at the end of “Quinn,” very little has been resolved, so readers will want to have a copy of “Bonnie” close to hand.
#10 The Silent Girl is ninth in Gerritsen's popular series of thrillers about Boston PD homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. We know an orphaned Chinese American girl was rescued from the streets of San Francisco, some years ago. Jane and Maura know that a red-haired woman was murdered on a Boston Chinatown rooftop, her throat slit, and her hand sliced off so cleanly that when it dropped on a sidewalk below, it appeared to be a fake until the blood began dripping on the shoes of the child who picked it up. The corpse yields two strands of silver hair and a tiny chip of unusual metal broken from the blade that killed, but those are just the first clues to a complex history of unspeakable violence.
Popularity rankings are based on circulation records for books that have been added to the Browsing Collection during the last two and a half years. So, the 2013 rankings are based on the circulation of books added to the Browsing Collection from January 1, 2011 to present.
The Browsing Collection is comprised of new books, mostly bestsellers, that Adams Library rents, rather than buys, due to their short-term popularity. Most Browsing Collection books are retained on average, for two or three years, then returned for newer popular books.
Browsing Collection books that are selected for lasting value are purchased, rather than exchanged for newer rental books, usually two or three years after they arrive. The books that are selected for purchase are shelved on the New Books shelves in the front lobby until they are borrowed one more time. Upon return, they are then shelved in their permanent locations in the main circulating book collection on levels 1, 1a, and 1b.