Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Ireland’s 2016 bestseller
Paul O’Connell and Graham Norton top adult fiction and non-fiction bestseller charts
Roisin O’Neill, Lucia Kelly and Emer Feeney in Hodges Figgis bookstore in Dublin for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Home-grown talents Paul O’Connell and Graham Norton topped the Irish adult fiction and non-fiction bestseller charts in 2016, but Ireland’s most popular title of the year was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.
The latest Potter sold 69,890 copies, valued at just over €1.3 million, according to Nielsen BookScan. The only other title to break the €1 million mark was former Irish rugby international O’Connell’s autobiography The Battle, which sold 66,738 copies, earning just under €1.25 million. Its sales towered over its nearest non-fiction rival, Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks, which sold 46,841 copies.
Television chat show host Norton’s debut novel Holding, described by John Boyne in his Irish Times review as “one of the more authentic debuts I’ve read in recent years”, was Ireland’s most popular novel of 2016, selling 51,814 copies, valued at just under €620,000. Norton’s novel has proven strikingly more sucessful in Ireland than in Britain, where it sold just over 30,000 copies. By contrast, the combined Irish sales of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on The Train and its film tie-in were 58,000, compared with 1.3 million in Britain, where it was the year’s No 2 bestseller behind the new Harry Potter.
Remarkably, both Holding and The Battle topped the annual charts despite only being published on October 6th.
It was a good year for Irish authors, who made up half of the top 20. Ross O’Carroll-Kelly’s Game of Throw-Ins was at No 3, with 23,997 sales, followed by Anne Enright’s The Green Road (7th), Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It (8th), Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait (9th), Emma Donoghue’s Room (15th), Cecelia Ahern’s Lyrebird (16th), Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn (17th), Claire Keegan’s Foster (18th) and Donal Ryan’s All We Shall Know (20th).
Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run was the third most popular non-fiction title, but Irish books accounted for 14 of the top 20, including two Happy Pear cookbooks by David and Stephen Flynn.
By contrast, only two of the top 20 children’s/YA titles were Irish. In a sector dominated by David Walliams (six titles), JK Rowling (three) and Jeff Kinney (two), Historopedia by John and Fatti Burke (5th, 16,380 sales) and Pigin of Howth by Kathleen Watkins and Margaret Anne Suggs (17th, 10,578 sales) flew the Irish flag.