Best-selling author John Grisham talks to sold-out audience at Abode Venue on Halloween. Fernando Salazar File/The Wichita Eagle
Best-selling author John Grisham talks to sold-out audience at Abode Venue on Halloween. Fernando Salazar File/The Wichita Eagle


What books were most popular at the Wichita library in 2017?

By Suzanne Perez Tobias

January 02, 2018 03:30 PM

Grown-up readers in Wichita love a good whodunit.

And younger ones love wizards, dorks and wimpy kids.

The Wichita Public Library compiled its lists of the top 10 most checked-out books in several categories – adult fiction, non-fiction and children’s books – and it looks like 2017 was a year for mysteries and crime thrillers.

Topping the adult fiction list was John Grisham’s “The Whistler.” The author, who appeared in Wichita in October as part of his most recent book tour, claimed two spots in last year’s fiction top 10: His novel “Camino Island,” a lighthearted thriller about a literary heist, claimed the No. 6 slot.

More than half the books in the fiction top 10 are recent installments of crime thriller series, featuring popular sleuths such as Stephanie Plum, Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch and Alex Delaware.

There’s more variety in Wichita’s nonfiction top 10, with books about history, cooking, immigrants and “Fixer Upper” couple Chip and Joanna Gaines.

The No. 1 nonfiction book among library patrons was last year’s Wichita Big Read selection, Kao Kalia Yang’s “The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir.” No. 2 was “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance’s best-selling memoir about growing up poor.

No. 1 in the children’s category was “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” author J.K. Rowling’s long-awaited return to the Potterverse. The book also claimed No. 9 on the adult fiction list, and three of Rowling’s earlier books made the children’s top 10.

Here are the lists of the Wichita Public Library’s top 10 books systemwide in 2017:

Adult fiction

1. “The Whistler” by John Grisham

2. “Turbo Twenty-Three” (Stephanie Plum No. 23) by Janet Evanovich

3. “Night School” (Jack Reacher No. 21) by Lee Child

4. “The Woman in Cabin 10” by Ruth Ware

5. “No Man’s Land” (John Puller No. 4) by David Baldacci

6. “Camino Island” by John Grisham

7. “The Wrong Side of Goodbye” (Harry Bosch No. 19) by Michael Connelly

8. “Chaos” (Kay Scarpetta No. 24) by Patricia Cornwell

9. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by J.K. Rowling

10. “Heartbreak Hotel” (Alex Delaware No. 32) by Jonathan Kellerman


1. “The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir” by Kao Kalia Yang

2. “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance

3. “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines

4. “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Grann

5. “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly

6. “Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan” by Bill O’Reilly

7. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo

8. “EveryDayCook” by Alton Brown

9. “The Whole30 Cookbook: 150 Delicious and Totally Compliant Recipes to Help You Succeed with the Whole30 and Beyond” by Melissa Hartwig

10. “Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah

Children’s books

1. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by J.K. Rowling

2. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11: Double Down” by Jeff Kinney

3. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1: Greg Heffley’s Journal” by Jeff Kinney

4. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

5. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling

6. “Dork Diaries #9: Tales From a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen” by Rachel Renee Russell

7. “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss

8. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid #6: Cabin Fever” by Jeff Kinney

9. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5: The Ugly Truth” by Jeff Kinney

10. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling

The Wichita Public Library is working to help readers complete the Wichita Eagle's #READICT 2018 reading challenge.


Suzanne Perez Tobias: 316-268-6567, @suzannetobias