We have been looking at summers past – mining the borrowing records to compile the list of July and August’s 20 most borrowed books (Fiction and non-Fiction) over the past ten years.

Here's what we found:


Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel (London: Fourth Estate, 2009)

Journey Into Fear, Eric Ambler (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1940)

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, Elizabeth Taylor (London: Chatto & Windus, 1971)

The Siege of Krishnapur: a novel, J.G. Farrell (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1973)

A Sport and a Pastime, James Salter (New York: Modern Library, 1995)

The Mandelbaum Gate, Muriel Spark (London: Macmillan, 1965)

An Officer and a Spy, Robert Harris (London: Hutchinson, 2013)

Stoner, John Williams; with an introduction by John McGahern (London: Vintage Books, 2003)

The Stranger's Child, Alan Hollinghurst (London: Picador, 2011)

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, Kazuo Ishiguro (London: Faber, 2009)

Scoop: A Novel, Evelyn Waugh (London: Eyre Methuen, 1978)

Orlando: A Biography, Virginia Woolf (London: Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1928)

The Wedding Group, Elizabeth Taylor (London: Chatto & Windus, 1968)

The Radetzky March, Joseph Roth; translated by Eva Tucker (Harmondsworth : Penguin, 1984)

The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro (London: Faber & Faber, 2015)

The Green Hat: a romance for a few people, Michael Arlen (London: Collins, [1924])

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (New York: Signet, c1992)

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath (London: Faber, 1996)

Excellent Women, Barbara Pym (London: Cape, 1952)

Some Hope, Edward St. Aubyn (London: Heinemann, 1994)


Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, Christopher Clark (London: Allen Lane, 2006)

Cairo in the War, 1939-1945, Artemis Cooper (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1989)

The Long Weekend: life in the English Country House between the wars, Adrian Tinniswood (London: Jonathan Cape, 2016)

Between the Woods and the Water: on foot to Constantinople, Patrick Leigh Fermor (London: John Murray, 1986)

A Time of Gifts: on foot to Constantinople: (London: John Murray, 1977)

East West Street: on the origins of genocide and crimes against humanity, Philippe Sands (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2016)

Outsider: always almost: never quite: an autobiography, Brian Sewell (London: Quartet, 2011)

The Wartime Journals, Hugh Trevor-Roper; edited by Richard Davenport-Hines (London: I. B. Tauris, 2012)

Vanished Kingdoms: the history of half-forgotten Europe, Norman Davies (London: Allen Lane, 2011)

Hugh Trevor-Roper: the biography, Adam Sisman (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010)

Bloody Victory: the sacrifice on the Somme and the making of the twentieth century, William Philpott (London: Little, Brown, 2009)

A View from the Foothills: the diaries of Chris Mullin, Chris Mullins, edited by Ruth Winstone (London: Profile Books, 2009)

The Fall of Rome; and the end of civilization, Bryan Ward-Perkins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)

The last Bourbons of Naples: (1825-1861), Harold Acton (London: Methuen, 1961)

Religion and the Decline of Magic: studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century England, Keith Thomas (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971)

Gladstone, Roy Jenkins (London: Macmillan, 1995)

Citizens: a chronicle of the French Revolution, Simon Schama (London: Viking, 1989)

Capital in the Twenty-first Century, Thomas Piketty; translated by Arthur Goldhammer (Cambridge Mass; London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014)

One Hundred Letters from Hugh Trevor-Roper, edited by Richard Davenport-Hines and Adam Sisman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

An English Affair: sex, class and power in the age of Profumo, Richard Davenport-Hines (London, Harper Press, 2013)