40 books Pittsburghers can’t put down in 2019

When it comes to reading this year, Pittsburghers are looking to be thrilled and looking to improve their lives, according to data from Allegheny County libraries.

Best-selling authors have continued to claim the top of library fiction charts so far in 2019 with their tantalizing thrillers.

“There’s a sense of familiarity with it but you still get that twist of suspense and surprise,” said Shayna Ross, new and features librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

As for non-fiction, self-help books are hot right now, like “Girl, Stop Apologizing” for the 20-40 crowd and “Women Rowing North” for the 60+ age group. Readers are also into political books and personal accounts of life experiences, like “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive” and “Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love.”

Celebrity book clubs have an impact on library check-outs, Ross said. Even though it didn’t crack the top 10 list for print books, the mega popular book “Where the Crawdads Sing” got a boost from Reese Witherspoon’s book club. More than 900 people across Allegheny County are waiting to borrow a copy of the book, Ross said, and it’s topping the charts for e-book check-outs.

Here’s what’s trending right now. Pick one off the list or get a personalized recommendation — more on that below.


New fiction

In the new fiction category, stalwarts Danielle Steel and James Patterson top the list. These are the most read fiction books published in 2019.

  1. “Turning Point” by Danielle Steel
  2. “The Chef” by James Patterson
  3. “Connections in Death” by J. D. Robb
  4. “The Wedding Guest” by Jonathan Kellerman
  5. “The House Next Door: Thrillers” by Tim Arnold, Max DiLallo, Susan DiLallo, and James Patterson
  6. “Run Away” by Harlan Coben
  7. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides
  8. “The Cornwalls are Gone” by Brendan DuBois and James Patterson
  9. “Redemption” by David Baldacci
  10. “Silent night: A Novel” by Danielle Steel

All-time fiction

In the all-time fiction category, you’ll likely recognized a bunch of these titles. These are the most-read books this year, regardless of their publication date.

  1. “Camino Island” by Grisham, John
  2. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng
  3. “Origin” by Dan Brown
  4. “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins
  5. “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah
  6. “The Midnight Line” by Lee Child
  7. “The Fix” by David Baldacci
  8. “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham
  9. “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn
  10. “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles


New non-fiction

Self help, strong storytelling, and politics are topping the non-fiction charts right now. These are the top 10 most checked-out books published in 2019.

  1. “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive” by Stephanie Land
  2. “The First Conspiracy” by Brad Meltzer
  3. “Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love” by Dani Shapiro
  4. “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis
  5. “The Threat” by Andrew McCabe
  6. “Women Rowing North” by Mary Pipher
  7. “Team of Vipers” by Cliff Sims
  8. “Path Made Clear” by Oprah Winfrey
  9. “The Truths We Hold” by Kamala Harris
  10. “Outer Order Inner Calm” by Gretchen Rubin

All-time non-fiction

In the all-time fiction category, similar themes emerge. These are the most-read non-fiction books so far this year, regardless of their publication date.

  1. “Hillbilly Elegy” by J. D. Vance
  2. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
  3. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover
  4. “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up” by Marie Kondo
  5. “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann
  6. “Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson
  7. “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  8. “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
  9. “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff
  10. “Fear: Trump in the White House” by Bob Woodward

Looking for your next read?

Your local library has you covered.

Stop by in person or ask online with #mynextread: on Twitter, tag @carnegielibrary; on Facebook, message here; or ask through this book recommendation form.

And it’s not too late to sign up for summer reading so you can log all those new reads. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is encouraging everyone to log five book this summer. The summer reading program runs until Aug. 31, and it’s open to all ages. Sign up in person or online.