Most popular Talking Books of 2016

Find out what everyone else was reading in 2016! 

RNIB has thousands of audio books available to read, but which were the most popular titles of the past year?

Listen to audio clips from the most read books in our Overdrive library in 2016 and borrow the books to read in your own time.

 

1. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne

Unsurprisingly, the script book of the enormously popular stage production is number one in our annual chart.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23322) 
 
 

2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This international best-selling novel is number 2 in our annual chart (having held on to this position for the past three months). No doubt partly thanks to the successful film version, starring Brit actress Emily Blunt, released at the beginning of October.

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see: she's much more than just the girl on the train.

Listen to an audio sample of The Girl on the Train (media player opens in a new window)

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB22561) 

 

3. Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin

RNIB were thrilled to be able to make the latest book from this best-selling author available as a Talking Book in our library on 3 November - the same day the hardback and audio book were commercially published! This book was number one in our chart of the most read books in November, and so it is no surprise it holds such a high position in our annual chart.

For John Rebus, forty years may have passed, but the death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand still preys on his mind. Murdered in her hotel room on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were staying there, Maria's killer has never been found. Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs. A young pretender, Darryl Christie, may have staked his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him weakened and vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position. Has old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty really given up the ghost, or is he biding his time until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23607)

 

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

Despite the fact the first book in the Harry Potter series was published more than 15 years ago, the boy wizard dominates our chart, with 6 of the top 10 books telling his story.

Harry Potter believes himself to be an ordinary boy. Or at least as ordinary as living in a cupboard under the stairs of the his aunt and uncle's house can be. All that changes with the arrival of a letter, inviting Harry to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he finally learns the truth about his parents' death, and that nothing in his world will ever be ordinary again.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB11799)

 

5. His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

While it just missed out on winning the Man Booker Prize this year, this highly acclaimed book has been gracing our most popular books chart for the past couple of months (it was number one in October). 

A brutal triple murder in a remote northern crofting community in 1869 leads to the arrest of Roderick Macrae, a seventeen-year-old from the village. There's no question that he is guilty, but why did he commit the crime? Was he insane? Whose account should we believe? And will he hang? The story is recounted through Roderick Macrae's memoir, trial transcripts, and newspaper reports.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23483) 
 

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

When Harry wakes up with his scar burning, he knows this can't be a good sign. Ron's invitation to join his family at the Quidditch World Cup provides a welcome distraction, until a terrible event at the match casts a shadow over everyone.

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7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by JK Rowling

Now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter is no longer a child. As he learns that many in the wizarding world do not know the truth about his latest encounter with Lord Voldermort, life in Hogwarts is threatened by the arrival of the strict new professor, Dolores Umbridge, and the sense of impending danger that is unsettling the Ministry of Magic.

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8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

In the seventh and final instalment of Harry Potter's adventures, Harry is burdened with a dark and dangerous task of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. Harry must find the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow the inexorable path laid out for him.

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9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

Harry Potter is in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and is immersed in the daily round of Potions, Herbology, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, and Quidditch. When evil voices start haunting the halls of the school and sinister messages appear on the wall, nothing can prepare Harry and his friends for what happens next.

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10. Julian Fellowes's Belgravia Episode 1 by Julian Fellowes

At the start of December 2016, Lord Fellowes bacame a Vice President at RNIB, and so we are delighted to see his fantastic book rounding up our list of the most popular books of the year!

On the evening of 15 June 1815, the great and the good of British Society have gathered in Brussels at what is to become one of the most tragic parties in history - the Duchess of Richmond's ball. For this is the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, and many of the handsome young men attending the ball will find themselves, the very next day, on the battlefield. For Sophia Trenchard, the young and beautiful daughter of Wellington's chief supplier, this night will change everything. But it is only twenty-five years later, when the upwardly mobile Trenchards move into the fashionable new area of Belgravia, that the true repercussions of that moment will be felt. For in this new world, where the aristocracy rubs shoulders with the emerging nouveau riche, there are those who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain buried.

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This book is also available from the Talking Books library (TB23163)

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