Shuffling of the Shelves: August part 2
By Anais Aguilera, Lucy Shardlow, Sana Khalid and Melissa Tran
The UK summer weather may not be what we expected, but we can always count on the charts to give us the hottest summer reads!
This week, the Amazon charts are full of summery holiday reads, despite the weather in England not being so cheerful. At number one is One Night in August by Victoria Hislop, which is the sequel to her previous novel, The Island. One Night… is set in 1957 in Greece and follows the story of two sisters, Maria and Anna, as their lives begin to change forever. Hislop writes a historical fiction novel which explores the true meaning of home and family. At number four is One Moment in Time by Shari Low, which follows the story of Zara and her parents. Zara takes them on a surprise romantic trip to renew their vows, but what she doesn’t know is that her mother plans on leaving her father as soon as they get home. What ensues is a novel about romance, family and belonging. It’s the perfect, feel-good summer read.
As we move through mid-August, the WHSmith ‘Fiction Book Chart’ has many suspenseful reads to help you finish summer with a bang. Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year, Maggie O’Farrell maintains her hold on the literary world with The Marriage Portrait. Our sixteen-year-old protagonist, Lucrezia, takes a visit to a remote country villa that quickly turns sinister. Lucrezia realizes her husband, Alfonso, plans to kill her and she has no way to protect herself. Set in Renaissance Italy, the novel grapples with issues of womanhood and power. Another novel following a young woman going head-to-head with the powers that be, is Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong. Five years after she killed her family, Princess Calla Tuoleimi is set on killing her only living uncle and ending the monarchy for good. Full of body-swapping, death games and romance, Gong’s fantasy debut is quickly becoming a hit.
At the top spot of the Waterstones book chart is The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn. Named the August ‘Fiction Book of the Month’, this should be on everyone’s TBR list this summer. A lavish coming-of-age story set in the midst of a war, this story focuses on an old English Manor House sat by the edge of the sea. This is also the story of a whale that washes up on a beach, whose bones are claimed by a young, ambitious child. Joanna Quinn’s new book is destined to become a classic! Slightly further down the chart is Those People Next Door, the brand-new unputdownable thriller by Kia Abdullah. You can choose your house but you can’t choose your neighbours, and Salma’s neighbours are everyone’s worst nightmare! An exciting, escalating read that explores just how far people are prepared to go to defend themselves and the people that they love.
After news was released that Lisa Jewell has written a novel for Marvel, she has been dominating the world of Bookstagram as everyone dives headfirst into her latest novel, None of This Is True. Best known for her fast-paced narratives, twisted characters and captivating prose, Jewell’s psychological thriller follows a woman who discovers that she is the subject of her own popular true crime podcast. Alix Summer’s life threatens to unravel when she allows her ‘birthday twin’ to wheedle their way into her life. One account on Instagram describes this read as “unique, disturbing and so much fun.” What more could you possibly want? Another popular read on Bookstagram is Jenny Mustard’s brilliant debut novel, Okay Days. Nuanced, intelligent and tackling a whole range of important issues, Okay Days chronicles the rise and fall of Sam and Lucas’ relationship with each other. Here is a romance novel that is messy, raw and, most importantly, real. With writing so unique and beautiful, it is certainly a book we will continue to talk about for a long time.
What better author to spotlight this week – none other than the thriller master, Riley Sagar, who once again dominates the literature world with his latest release, The Only One Left. Best known for his novels The House Across the Lake and Final Girls, Riley Sagar once again leaves bookworms freaked out with his brand-new gothic thriller. Everyone believes that Lenora Hope is a mass murderer. When the Hope family was murdered decades ago, she was the only one left after that tragic night. Mute, paralysed and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora has never been able to tell her side of the story – until her new live-in carer Kit brings her a typewriter. And with one working finger, Lenora begins to type: I want to tell you everything.