Shuffling of the Shelves – August Part 1
By Hannah Moore, Lucy Shardlow, Melissa Tran and Holly Watson
With summer here and the weather finally heating up, the book charts are topped with romances and thrillers perfect for a beach read. These novels provide the very best literary escapism for any summer getaway!
The WHSmith chart features a lot of new thrillers this month. Liane Moriarty, author of Nine Perfect Strangers, is at number one with her gripping summer read, Apples Never Fall. It tells the story of the Delaney family – a tennis-obsessed “perfect” family – with mysterious secrets soon to be revealed. Coming in at number two is A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train. Daniel Sutherland has been murdered and three separate women serve as the suspects, but who did it and more importantly why? A Slow Fire Burning is a murder mystery guaranteed to have you hooked from the very first page. And at number five is Ken Follett’s Never, an international bestseller that touches on government corruption and political tension – a definitely unmissable thriller.
The summer reads continue to pile into the Amazon charts this month! At number fifteen this week, we have The Marriage Lie, a psychological thriller by Kimberly Belle. This novel follows Iris as she struggles with her husband's tragic death, finding out why he got on an unplanned flight and questioning if their perfect marriage was a lie. As an international bestselling author, Belle is no stranger to the book charts with previous hits such as the recent My Darling Husband. At number twenty in the most read chart and number three in the most sold chart, we have One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke. Clarke introduces us to six different ladies on a bachelorette trip of a lifetime to Greece, but one of them is trying to sabotage the bride and make sure she never gets off the island. Described as an “escapist thriller," Clarke’s new novel is bound to be in many holidaymakers’ bags!
At number three in the Waterstones chart is A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle. This detective drama takes place on a ship, where the discovery of a body leads the ship’s officer to believe a tragedy has occurred. Taking the number nine spot is Miranda Cowley Heller’s The Paper Palace, which is currently receiving attention after being longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. This epic love triangle story follows Elle, whose dramatic childhood leads her to make an unimaginable decision. At number twelve sits Emily Henry’s enemies-to-lovers romance, Book Lovers. Nora, an ambitious and successful literary agent, and Charlie, a top editor, are sworn rivals, but end up on the same small-town holiday by chance. Neither of them are happy about this coincidence, but soon feelings start to change.
Still proving to be popular on BookTok is Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis, a romance novel with a slight twist. In an attempt to convince her best friend that she still believes in happily-ever-after, Olive conceives a fake-dating relationship with her ominous professor, Dr Carlsen. Described by many as a TikTok sensation, there is no denying that this book will impress any reader! Meanwhile, a thriller writer who is recirculating the social media book world is Lisa Jewell. The Family Upstairs and The Family Remains are two of her most popular psychological thrillers. What is so fascinating about Jewell’s writing is that she is able to “help us travel through the story without ‘waffle’,” gripping you from the very first page with her immersive and addictive plotlines (@ontheborder_ofbooks on Instagram).
Our noteworthy book this month is The Sunday Times bestseller Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson; it is the first novel in Dawson’s new supernatural series, with many already desperate for the next instalment! Social media is boosting the hype surrounding the book, with one reader describing it as “if the Spice Girls were all grown up and were witches,” and if that description doesn’t draw readers in, we don’t know what would (@dreamsofmanderley on Instagram!) Dawson writes for a young adult LGBTQIA+ audience, covering everything from a magical world of witches, warlocks and demons to real-world issues. Since its publication, there have been a few special editions of the book released, one being the neon pink cover and a FairyLoot edition with an inverted yellow and pink cover. If all of this does not entice readers enough, the incredible Nicola Coughlan (famous for Derry Girls and Bridgerton) narrates the audiobook! It is exciting to see LGBTQIA+ stories rising to the top of the charts, and we look forward to seeing what Dawson does next.