Most Popular Recent Books

If you looking for a book to read, consider trying those listed below! These books were all published in 2018. Since being added to the collections of public libraries in North Carolina (those belonging to the NC Cardinal consortium of libraries), each of these books has been checked out 600 to 1000 times (not counting other formats such as audiobooks, large print, or e-books).

All the below books except one were written for adults. There are, after all, more adults than children in North Carolina! However, there are many wonderful books written for children or young adults which can be thoroughly enjoyed by adult readers.

James Patterson is a highly successful author, who works closely with multiple co-authors to craft exciting stories. He has published over 300 thrillers and mysteries (with help from his co-authors), starting in 1976. Four are included in this list.

Note that the number of books in a series may have increased by the time you read this!

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Starting in 1991, Kristin Hannah has published twenty-three novels. The Great Alone is set in Alaska in 1974 and portrays “the ultimate test of human spirit.”


C. J. Box has published thirty-four books since 2001. The Disappeared is the seventeenth of twenty mysteries featuring Joe Pickett, a game warden in Wyoming.


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The Woman in The Window is A. J. Finn’s (aka Dan Mallory) first novel, a thriller.

The Fallen (Memory Man series Book 4)

David Baldacci has published fifty-four novels since his first in 1996. The Fallen is the fourth of five mysteries featuring Amos Decker, a police detective in Ohio who never forgets anything.


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Educated is a memoir by Tara Westover describing her leaving her Mormon fundamentalist upbringing to get an education.

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Debbie Macomber has published over 150 novels since 1983. Cottage By the Sea is a standalone romance.


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James Lee Burke has published forty novels since 1965. Robicheaux is the 22nd mystery featuring Dave Robicheaux, a deputy sheriff in Louisiana.

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Dav Pilkey has published sixty-four books for children. Dog Man and Cat Kid is the fourth of eight in the Dog Man series.



This is the first of James Patterson’s novels in the list. As one might suspect, 17th Suspect is the seventeenth (of twenty) in the Women’s Murder Club series, featuring four women in San Francisco: a homicide detective, a reporter, the Chief Medical Examiner, and a defense attorney.

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Mary Kay Andrews (aka Kathy Hogan Trocheck) has published thirty-two novels since 1992. The High Tide Club has both mystery and romance.


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Every Breath is one of twenty romances Nicholas Sparks has published since 1996. North Carolina is Sparks’ home state.

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Where the Crawdads Sing is Delia Owens’ first novel. This includes a coming of age story, a mystery, and much more.



Nora Roberts (aka J. D. Robb, Jill March, and Sarah Hardesty) has published over 200 romance and suspense novels since 1981.

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Charles Frazier — a native of Western North Carolina — published Cold Mountain in 1997. Varina, his fourth novel, is based on the life of the First Lady of the Confederate States of America.



John Sandford (aka John Roswell Camp) has written fifty-six novels since 1988. Twisted Prey is the twenty-eighth of thirty in the Prey mystery series featuring Lucas Davenport, a police detective in Minnesota.

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Another James Patterson book: Murder in Paradise is the sixth in the Murder is Forever true-crime thriller series, including stories from the TV show.



Jude Deveraux has published over 100 romances starting in 1978. As You Wish is the third of four Summerhouse books, which include elements of time travel.


Stuart Woods has published eighty-four novels since 1981. Unbound is the forty-fourth of fifty-three mystery legal thrillers featuring Stone Barrington.



Lisa Scottoline has published forty-seven novels since 1993. After Anna is a standalone legal thriller with courtroom and family drama.

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Ambush is the twelfth James Patterson thriller in the series featuring Michael Bennett, a New York City detective.



Texas Ranger is the first of two James Patterson thrillers featuring Rory Yates, who started as a highway patrolman.


John Lescroart has written thirty legal thrillers since 1981. Poison is the seventeenth of eighteen in the series featuring Dismas Hardy, a defense attorney in San Francisco.



Lee Child (aka Jim Grant) has published forty-seven books since 1997. Past Tense is the twenty-third of twenty-four mysteries featuring Jack Reacher. Lee Child is retiring; his brother Andrew Grant will continue the series.