What’s our most popular fiction title?

Appearing a whopping seven times in our top 500 most borrowed titles this year list, author James Patterson is no surprise appearance. You may remember a previous blog post about him where he had become the most published author of all time. Alex Cross, Run, currently his most popular title, is sitting at number 2 with 150 checkouts this year. Other recent work Private Berlin and Twelfth River come in an numbers eight and nine.

the dropCoveted first place though, is the ever popular Michael C0nnelly with The Drop, a book that is three years old, but is still lending very heavily with 153 checkouts.

David Baldacci, Lee Child, Dan Brown and Maeve Binchy fill out the rest of the top ten.

At the other end of the list, number 500 is Aussie author Caroline Overington’s, I came to say goodbye.


The stories behind the world’s favourite books

We’ve had it for years, but I only just discovered the book ‘Behind the Bestsellers this week. It’s a fascinating collection of the stories behind the stories – anecdotes and experiences that led to the creation of some of literature’s most famous places, characters and books.

Did you know that the tales that good friend Bertram Russel told Arthur Conan Doyle about ghostly demon dogs that roamed Dartmoor, were the basis for the creative return of Conan Doyle’s most famous character? Sherlock Holmes had been killed off in The Final Problem  eight years earlier, but returned in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Orwell’s 1984was a culmination of his life’s political beliefs and experiences. His work with the Indian Imperial police in Burma, his involvement with the Spanish Worker’s Party during their Civil War and producing BBC wartime propaganda moulded his hatred of ‘the man’ with it’s bureaucratic secrecy and hypocrisy.

Dan Brown’s father was a mathematician, creating codes, puzzles and cryptic clues as elaborate treasure hunts for his children on their birthdays and at Christmas. His college years in New England, surrounded by Masonic Lodges and ‘Founding Father’ clubs, piqued an interest in secret societies, and an incident at school when Secret Service agents arrived to detain a student culminated in his fascination of  government agencies.  All three put together form the basis of The Da Vinci Code.

I could go on all day, there’s the background to 50 books listed!

The book’s always better… or is it?

Have you noticed how many popular novels are being made into films this year? Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown’s popular Robert Langdon series started the year off with a blockbuster film from a bestseller book.  Oddly enough the book is set prior to the events is The Da Vinci Code, but the film is made as a sequel. 

If thrillers weren’t your thing, ever popular Jodi Picoult had her first novel to film treatment with My Sister’s Keeper just a few months back.  Shortly after, Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic also came to the screen starring Australia’s Isla Fisher. This film was a reasonable box office success, but panned by the critics. Audrey Niffennegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife has just been released starring another Aussie, Eric Bana, and whilst we are on the Aussie theme, Maurice Sendak’s timeless children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are which was filmed in and around Melbourne will be released next month. Most of this feature was actually filmed in 2005 but has been in what they call ‘development hell’ until this year.

If Graphic Novels are your thing, the very popular Will Eisner series The Spirit was released as a film this year, but has unfortunately been tagged one of worst films of 2009.

But wait there’s more!

Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol has had a CGI re-imagining, released just in time for Christmas and to rave reviews. But possibly the most highly anticipated book-to-film event this year is the Twilight sequel, New Moon which was released today across Australia!

There’s plenty I’ve missed, tell us what others you have enjoyed this year or are looking forward to being released in 2010?

Which do you think was better, the book or the film? If you haven’t yet read the book, come to the library, grab a copy and make up your own mind which was better.

Spotlight on: Dan Brown

Dan brownWith the release of Dan Brown’s latest novel The Lost Symbol,he continues to cement his position as one of the world’s most popular fiction writers. Dan Brown rocketed to fame in 2003 when his novel The Da Vinci Code was released to both worldwide acclaim and criticism. In hindsight, in what can be considered very clever marketing, he alluded that much of his story was factual based, resulting in the ire of religious groups around the world.

Dan’s first novel was Digital Fortress, released in 1998 and sold relatively poorly for an American fiction novel. The next two, Deception Point and Angels and Demons did marginally better (Angels and Demonswas the first to feature symbologist Robert Langdon), but when Da Vinci Code was published, Brown’s previous novels were rereleased and became bestsellers!

The Lost Symbol  is the third book to feature Robert Langdon (incidentally selling a million copies on its first day) competing against time and another secret society to solve a series of puzzles in order to save a friend’s life. It also features the notion that science can explain some aspects of the supernatural.

The library has several copies of all of Dan Brown’s books, and if it’s not on the shelf you can certainly place a hold!