Vera creator among most popular novelists in North East - here's the full top 20 books borrowed from region's libraries

The creator of North East TV detective Vera Stanhope is one of the most popular novelists in the North East, according to the latest figures.

By James Harrison
Saturday, 6th June 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 6th June 2020, 3:37 pm
Brenda Blethyn (left) and a fellow actress recording Vera on Middleton Beach, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID
Brenda Blethyn (left) and a fellow actress recording Vera on Middleton Beach, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

Works by Ann Cleeves, who also created Scottish crime series Shetland, bagged three spots in the top 10 most borrowed books in the region.

But it was American army hardman Jack Reacher who proved himself one of the North East’s most popular fictional characters, occupying five slots in the rankings, including first and second place.

The data, collected by the British Library through the Public Lending Right scheme, covers books borrowed from public libraries during 2018/19 and for the first time also includes e-books.

In the North East, novels by crime writers David Baldacci and James Patterson also made the top 10, as did Gail Honeyman’s breakout hit Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Nationally, Eleanor Oliphant was the most borrowed e-book, with Normal People by Sally Rooney, which recently became a hit BBC series, in eighth place.

Among printed titles, Lee Child’s 22nd installation in the Jack Reacher series, the Midnight Line, topped the tables both nationally and in the North East, as well as in the North West, Scotland, the South East, Wales, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Culture Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said: “It is brilliant that, thanks to digital services, so many people can still engage with their local library and enjoy the nation’s most popular titles.

“E-books are a fantastic way to entertain and educate, especially as we spend more time at home.”

North East England top 20 most borrowed books 2018/19

1) The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22) – Lee Child

2) Past Tense: (Jack Reacher 23) – Lee Child

3) NYPD Red – James Patterson

4) Night School: (Jack Reacher 21) – Lee Child

5) Wild Fire – Ann Cleeves

6) The Seagull – Ann Cleeves

7) Personal: (Jack Reacher 19) – Lee Child

8) Make Me: (Jack Reacher 20) – Lee Child

9) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

10) The Fallen – David Baldacci

11) Cold Earth – Ann Cleeves

12) Dead if You Don’t – Peter James

13) 17th Suspect – James Patterson

14) The Late Show – Michael Connelly

15) Pieces of Her – Karin Slaughter

16) Two Kinds of Truth – Michael Connelly

17) Long Road to Mercy – David Baldacci

18) Origin – Dan Brown

19) Careless Love – Peter Robinson

20) In a House of Love – Ian Rankin

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