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Most popular English books of 2016 in Kuwait

English novels are widely popular among the youth and younger readers. Interest in self-development, action and thriller books also tops interest in romantic novels.


— Photos by Athoob Al-Shuaibi

With the swift pace of life and the need to achieve some sort of balance between work and family responsibilities, while keeping up with friends and other social relations, all of us need some me-time. We strive to savor some relaxing moments to enjoy a book with a favorite hot drink in a quiet place to escape from daily pressures.

This year, English readers in Kuwait found what they searched for in these 25 popular books, according to sales figures from That Al-Salasil, Afaaq and Jarir Bookstore, in no particular order:

– Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
– Solitaire: This is not a Love Story by Alice Oseman
– The Next Together by Lauren James
– The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
– Paper Towns by John Green
– What Light by Jay Asher
– Looking for Alaska by John Green
– The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
– Inferno by Dan Brown
– The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
– Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
– Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
– Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J K Rowling
– Age of Myth: The Legends of the First Empire by Michael J Sullivan
– All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
– The Last Mortal Bond: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne by Brian Staveley
– The Axe and the Throne by MD Ireman
– Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith
– Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
– Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
– Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
– Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
– Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter more than IQ by Daniel Goleman
– Return to the Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel by Melissa de la Cruz
– The Forty Rules of Love by ElifShafak

As we can see from the list above, English novels are widely popular among the youth and younger readers. There is an absence of romantic novels, compared tobooks of mythology, action and thriller genres. The list also shows there’s some interest in self-development books. In addition, novels turned into movies become popular in the same year, because readers like to compare between the two, and usually exclaim:”The novel is way better than the movie!”

Nevertheless, Kuwait is far behind global book trends, and we can’t assign the blame only on the bureaucratic procedures of the censorship department of the information ministry.  Bookstores often bring in what sells the most. Therefore, the lack of variety is disappointing foravid readers, turning them to buy their favorite books online.

By Athoob Al-Shuaibi

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