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DeKalb County library directors share top reads from 2013

Lori Jones checks out books Thursday at the DeKalb Public Library.
Lori Jones checks out books Thursday at the DeKalb Public Library.

When the weather outside is frightful, that’s a good time to dive into a good book.

And local libraries have no shortage of good reads.

Librarians in Sycamore and DeKalb shared which books were the most circulated in 2013.

Sycamore library director Sarah Tobias said the most popular nonfiction reads were diet and cookbooks.

The top five were: “The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks and Beverages” by Loren Cordain; “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust” by Ina Garten; “Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle” by Diane Sanfilippo; “A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II” by Adam Makos; and “Obamacare Survival Guide” by Nicholas Tate.

In DeKalb, library communications manager Edith Craig said finding the top nonfiction circulators was not so easy.

“Magazines, graphic novels and other miscellaneous books are catalogued under nonfiction, so the stats are skewed,” Craig said.

Based on reports, she said two books by Bill O’Reilly, “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy,” were heavily circulated. She said HGTV magazine and a graphic novel, “Naruto,” were the top checked out magazine and graphic novel of the year.

As for the most popular fiction, Tobias said it’s no surprise that books turned into movies were heavily read, including the “Hunger Games” series.

“We get a large surge of people wanting to read or reread a book before they see the movie,” Tobias said.

She said the “diehards” returned to read “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” before the latter hit the big screen.

“When ‘Mockingjay’ comes out [the third book in the ‘Hunger Games’ series], as I’m sure it will, we’ll see a resurgence of all three being checked out,” Tobias said.

Far from being a current book, she noted that “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald circulated 36 times in 2013 because of the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The top five, according to Tobias, were: “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, “Whiskey Beach” by Nora Roberts, “12th of Never” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, “Inferno: A Novel” by Dan Brown and “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James.

The top four choices in DeKalb, according to Craig, were similar. Also in the top spot was “Gone Girl,” followed by “Fifty Shades of Grey,””The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins and “Inferno: A Novel.”

National bestsellers for 2013


• “Americanah” by Chimamanda Mgozi Adichie

• “The Flamethrowers” by Rachel Kushner

• “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt

• “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson

• “Tenth of December” a story collection by George Saunders.


• “After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response and the Work Ahead” by Alan S. Blinder

• “Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House” by Peter Baker

• “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital” by Sheri Fink

• “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914” by Christopher Clark

• “Wave” by Sonali Deraniuagala.

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