Books in Reading roomIt’s always intriguing to find out what London Library members have been borrowing and the list of Most Borrowed Books for 2017 continues to shed interesting light on your reading habits.

The top 20 Non-Fiction List includes seven books written by London Library members, while four members feature in the top 20 Fiction list (remarkably one of those members is Henry James whose Portrait of a Lady, published in 1881, is the 15th most borrowed fiction book for 2017.)

As in previous years, we’ve excluded multi-volume works, collected works and journals, but here’s the Fiction and non-Fiction top 20:


  1. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (2017)
  2. The Sellout, Paul Beatty (2015)
  3. The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes (2016)
  4. Anything is Possible, Elizabeth Strout (2017)
  5. Days Without End, Sebastian Barry (2016)
  6. The End of Eddy, Édouard Louis (2017)
  7. All the Light we Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (2014)
  8. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (2016)
  9. Conclave, Robert Harris (2016)
  10. My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout (2016)
  11. The Power, Naomi Alderman (2016)
  12. Exit West, Mohsin Hamid, 2017
  13. Mothering Sunday, Graham Swift, 2016
  14. The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry, 2016
  15. The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James, 1881
  16. Golden Hill, Francis Spufford, 2016
  17. Autumn, Ali Smith, 2016
  18. First Love, Gwendoline Riley, 2017
  19. Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi, 2016
  20. Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz, 2016


  1. Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation, James Stourton (2016)
  2. Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee, John Bew (2016)
  3. East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, Philippe Sands (2016)
  4. Age of Anger: A History of the Present, Pankaj Mishra (2017)
  5. The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House between the Wars, Adrian Tinniswood (2016)
  6. Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, Christopher de Hamel (2016)
  7. Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman, Minoo Dinshaw (2016)
  8. The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics, David Goodhart (2017)
  9. The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World, Michael Lewis (2017)
  10. Victorians Undone: Tales of Flesh in the Age of Decorum, Kathryn Hughes (2017)
  11. A Very English Scandal, John Preston, 2016
  12. Bosch and Bruegel, Joseph Leo Koerner, 2016
  13. Who Lost Russia?, Peter Conradi 2017
  14. The Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan, 2015
  15. The Marches, Rory Stewart, 2016
  16. The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray, 2017
  17. Inglorious Empire, Shashi Tharoor, 2017
  18. Martin Luther, Lyndal Roper, 2016
  19. At the Existentialist Café, Sarah Bakewell, 2016
  20. Man of Iron, Julian Glover, 2017