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Most popular books and authors in 2002

Clare County Library holds a bookstock of over a quarter million items which are available for borrowing at its fifteen branch libraries throughout the county. 25,827 new books were added to stock in 2002. 433,046 items were loaned by the library service in 2002, an increase of 4% over the previous year.

Books written by Irish authors featured prominently among the most popular adult fiction books borrowed in 2002, as was the situation in 2001. Sheila O’Flanagan’s Dreaming of a Stranger held the number one place on the list, up from the number two spot last year. Two of Marian Keyes’s books, Last Chance Saloon and Rachel’s Holiday, appeared in the top ten lists in both 2001 and 2002. In the Forest by Edna O’Brien, based on the tragic murders in East Clare in 1994, was the 6th most popular adult book borrowed from County Clare libraries last year. John Grisham was again the only male author to have made the top ten listing.

Although the heavy-weights Danielle Steel, Josephine Cox, and Catherine Cookson topped the list of the most popular author in 2002, it must be remembered that these authors have a huge number of books in print compared to the Irish authors who made the list such as Cathy Kelly (7 titles), Sheila O’Flanagan (8 titles) and Patricia Scanlan (12 titles).

For non-fiction books, those with an Irish, and especially a Clare, interest again topped the list. The Clare Anthology edited by Kieran Sheedy and published by CLASP Press, which topped the list last year, was the sixth most popular non-fiction book borrowed from the libraries in 2002. The Official Theory Test for Learner Drivers topped the list and Ger Loughnane’s book beat Roy Keane’s in the rankings. Authors who write on topics such as health (both mental and physical), cookery and gardening topped the list of the most borrowed authors in the non-fiction category last year. Darina Allen was the second most borrowed author in this category, perhaps proving that there really is no such thing as bad publicity!

The most popular children’s books remain consistent for the second year in a row. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were as popular as ever in 2002, with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in first place. This was followed by Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in second place and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in third place. Jacqueline Wilson’s book, The Illustrated Mum was the fourth most popular read among Clare children with a return to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for fifth place. Artemis Fowl was the only book by an Irish author appearing in the top ten listing.

Jacqueline Wilson was the most popular author for children. Books by this author were issued over 11,000 times from library branches in 2002.

Terry Deary, the author of the Horrible Histories series of books, also featured in the top issuing authors for children. Titles include The Vicious Vikings, The Savage Stone Age, The Slimy Stuarts and The Rotten Romans to name but four of these unusual history books “with the nasty bits left in.” The books are particularly appealing to children with their mixture of comic strips, jokes, lots of illustrations and most importantly, interesting and accurate history presented in a novel way.

( * indicates Irish Author)

FICTION – most popular titles
1. Dreaming of a Stranger Sheila O’Flanagan*
2 Francesca’s Party Patricia Scanlan*
3. The Summons John Grisham
4. Jinnie Josephine Cox
5. Marble Gardens Deirdre Purcell*
6. In the Forest Edna O’Brien*
7. My Sister’s Child Lyn Andrews
8. The Woman Who Left Josephine Cox
9. Last Chance Saloon Marian Keyes*
10. Rachel’s Holiday Marian Keyes*

FICTION – most popular authors
1. Danielle Steel
2. Josephine Cox
3. Catherine Cookson
4. James Patterson
5. John Grisham
6. Cathy Kelly*
7. Sheila O’Flanagan*
8. Patricia Scanlan*
9. Patricia Cornwell
10. Barbara Taylor Bradford

NON-FICTION – most popular titles
1. Official Theory Test for Learner Drivers Dept. of Env. & Local Govt.*
2. It’s a Long Way from Penny Apples Bill Cullen*
3. McCarthy’s Bar Pete McCarthy
4. Blueprint Home Plans*
5. Raising the Banner: Official Biography of Ger Loughnane Ger Loughnane*
6. The Clare Anthology Kieran Sheedy*
7. Keane: the Autobiography Roy Keane*
8. Guinness World Records
9. Detox Yourself Jane Scrivner
10. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking Allen Carr*

NON-FICTION – most popular authors

1. Miriam Stoppard – women’s health, childcare
2. Darina Allen* - cookery
3. David Pelzer - abusive childhood
4. Bill Bryson – humurous travel
5. Gael Lindenfield – self-esteem, self-help
6. D.G. Hessayon - gardening
7. Delia Smith - cookery
8. John Gray – self-help, relationships
9. Tony Humphreys* – psychology, education
10. Patrick Holford – alternative health

CHILDREN’S BOOKS – most popular titles

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets J.K. Rowling
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J.K. Rowling
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K. Rowling
4. The Beano Book
5. The Illustrated Mum Jacqueline Wilson
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J.K. Rowling
7. The Dare Game Jacqueline Wilson
8. Girls under Pressure Jacqueline Wilson
9. Vicky Angel Jacqueline Wilson
10. Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer*

CHILDREN’S BOOKS - most popular authors

1. Jacqueline Wilson
2. R.L. Stine
3. Ann M. Martin
4. Lucy Daniels
5. Dick King-Smith
6. Martin Waddell
7. Terry Deary
8. Roald Dahl
9. Goscinny
10. J.K. Rowling