In 2016, Preston Hollow preferred to read about murder and history

From Sheila Cunningham’s “BookBerm” installation that appeared at Texas Discovery Garden, Fair Park and the Creative Arts Center.

The abundance of online quizzes suggesting that what we read showcases our personalities may not be so far-fetched. Studies show we even adopt the behaviors of characters we admire.

If what we read defines who we are, Preston Hollow’s affinity for tragedy could be alarming.

The most checked-out books at the Preston-Royal branch library in 2016 were tales of missing persons investigations, forgotten adventurers and unsolved murders  — topics that aren’t very uplifting, to say the least.

All jokes aside, readers in the neighborhood did gravitate toward mystery/suspense and historical fiction novels ranging from “Murder House” to “The Nightingale.”

The Dallas Public Library system compiled this data for our February cover story, and we’ve narrowed it down to the Top 10 books that neighbors checked out.

Without further ado, they are:

1.) “The Girl on the Train,” Paula Hawkins

2.) “Rogue Lawyer,” John Grisham

3.) “Circling the Sun,” Paula McLain

4.) “Memory Man,” David Baldacci

5.) “Blue,” Danielle Steel

6.) “The Boston Girl,” Anita Diamant

7.) “Murder House,” James Patterson and David Ellis

8.) “The Nightingale,” Kristin Hannah

9.) “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” David Lagercrantz

10.) “My Name is Lucy Barton,” Elizabeth Strout


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