Rowling reigned over 2016 book sales, USA TODAY's annual list shows


Rowling reigned over 2016 book sales, USA TODAY's annual list shows
  1. Rowling reigned over 2016 book sales, USA TODAY's annual list shows
    usatoday.com
    'Cursed Child,' 'Girl on the Train' sell well, as fiction has another banner…
    Books

Britannia — in the form of female novelists J.K. Rowling, Paula Hawkins and Jojo Moyes — ruled U.S. book sales in 2016, as USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list shows. USA TODAY's Jocelyn McClurg looks at the year's hottest literary trends.

1. For J.K. Rowling, a 'Fantastic' year

Call it Potter, more. It was like old times on the list for J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter in 2016, as the boy wizard’s creator proved she hasn’t lost her magic touch. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, the script of the hit London play about a grown-up Harry (co-written with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany), is USA TODAY’s No. 1 book of the year. It earned the crown by spending six consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the weekly list (Aug. 4-Sept. 8), the most of any book in 2016. Rowling’s good year continued with her Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, the No. 13 top seller for 2016. Nearly a decade after Deathly Hallows wrapped up the beloved children’s series, Harry Potter continues to enchant readers. Rowling had six books in the year’s top 100. The others: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (No. 22); Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (No. 67); Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (No. 91); Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition (No. 96).

2. Carrying on with Hawkins, Moyes

Rowling may be queen of the list, but fellow Brits Paula Hawkins and Jojo Moyes were her ladies-in-waiting with the No. 2 and No. 3 books of the year, propelled by movie adaptations. Hawkins’ psychological thriller The Girl on the Train, the No. 1 USA TODAY top seller in 2015, barely took a breather; it roars in as the No. 2 book of 2016. Pulling in just behind Hawkins is Moyes at No. 3 with Me Before You, her 2012 assisted-suicide weepie. The 2016 film versions of the two books didn’t exactly blow away the box office (Train was a disappointment that left many of the novel’s fans unhappy, while Me Before You had a more solid outing), but they drove publicity and delivered book sales. Moyes’ sequel After You also got a boost and comes in at No. 12. Meanwhile, Hawkins, who has sold 8 million copies of Train in the USA, according to publisher Riverhead, is on track for another blockbuster year. Fans are ready to book a ticket for her next thriller, Into the Water, out May 2.

3. Fiction is hot, but non-fiction had its moments

Readers turned to fiction for escapism in 2016, as 74 of the top 100 best sellers were fiction titles, and stalwarts such as John Grisham, David Baldacci, James Patterson and Nora Roberts produced reliable hits. Blame it on a contentious election, but it actually reflects an ongoing trend. Last year, 77 fiction titles made the top 100. Only two of the top 10 books of 2016 were non-fiction. Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, the latest in a best-selling history franchise, is no surprise at No. 4. But who could have predicted that Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air would be No. 10 for the year when it was released last January? The posthumous memoir by a young, cancer-stricken neurosurgeon resonated with readers, as did its poignant back story. Among other non-fiction standouts, the memoir Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (No. 20) got a Trump bump, and two Hamilton-related titles were hot tickets thanks to the Broadway juggernaut: Ron Chernow’s 2004 bio Alexander Hamilton is No. 16 for the year, and the show’s companion volume, Hamilton: The Revolution, is No. 42.

4. Celebs sing out their stories

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