The Publishing Post
Shuffling of the Shelves - December Part 2
By Serena Kerrigan-Noble, Hannah Moore, Lucy Shardlow and Melissa Tran
Mariah Carey has been playing full blast, Christmas trees are being decorated and every street is decked in sparkling lights, which can only mean one thing: it’s officially the festive season! At The Publishing Post, we have been sharing the books causing a snow flurry across the charts, which are perfect for some cosy reading, especially when paired with a hot festive drink and a blanket.
The bestsellers on the WHSmith Fiction Book Chart combine the darkness and cosiness of the season. Nothing says Christmas more than a romantic Hallmark film, and the same can be said of Sunday Times bestseller, Heidi Swain’s A Christmas Celebration. Philippa Ashley has praised this as the perfect “heart-warming story of romance, community and secrets” to cosy up to with a hot chocolate, this festive season. A sparkling Christmas read, brimming with festive cheer, the novel follows Paige, as she returns to her hometown only to find that it, and some of its most handsome residents, are hiding secrets she never noticed before. For readers looking for a darker book to settle down with this season, Eve Chase’s new spine-tinselling thriller, The Birdcage, immerses readers into an engrossing tale of dark secrets and shadowy histories.
In the Waterstones chart this week is The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan, a historical fiction novel set in 1822, in Enlightenment era Edinburgh, it includes themes of female agency, secrets and romance. Additionally, Jamie Oliver’s cookbook One is high in the Waterstones chart this holiday season, providing quick and tasty recipes for all. One is the perfect gift for food lovers of any kind.
The Amazon Bestsellers this Christmas season favour those who are looking to enhance their curiosity, become a lot more creative in the kitchen or those who wish to spend this festive season lost in a good book! Taking the Amazon Bestsellers number one spot is Jordan Moore’s Interesting Facts for Curious Minds. Ever wondered what the Big Bang sounded like? Or, when zero became a number? The answer to these mind-boggling questions and so many are all revealed in this factual extravaganza. Another fun, family Christmas pick on Amazon is Tom Fletcher’s The Christmasaurus. Fletcher has re-invented his beloved Christmas story as a rhyming picture-book adventure for all young readers to enjoy. What the Christmasaurus wants more than anything is to be able to pull Santa’s sleigh across the sky and one Christmas, he meets a dinosaur-obsessed little boy who teaches him the magic of believing…
Since the release of Netflix’s series Wednesday, there have been many TikTok trends
inspired by the titular character. One of which being “books to read if you liked Wednesday” which has inspired readers to pick up some spooky crime reads like the Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro, which follows Charlotte and Jamie, descendants of the beloved detective Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they follow in their footsteps to uncover crimes. Perfect for those who love the mysterious aspect of Wednesday, Charlotte has a similar (but not as dark) wit and cynicism to Wednesday Addams.
Another suggestion is When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey. This is a YA novel, set in high school that follows a group of friends with magical powers. If you can’t get enough of Wednesday’s Nevermore Academy and its supernatural students, then this book is certainly for you!
Our noteworthy book this month is Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan. Keegan portrays the beautiful scenery of rural Ireland in the eighties, and the life of a simple coal and timber merchant, Bill Furlong. It focuses on Furlong’s family as well as his discovery of the dreadful conditions of the girls in the Magdalene Laundries. Since the book’s release in October 2021, it has been nominated for several prizes, including The Rathbones Folio Prize. The Irish novel of the year was shortlisted for The Booker prize and has won the Orwell prize and The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year award. Recently, it has found itself at number one in the Independent bookshops’ top twenty on The Bookseller. Its recent surge in popularity can be put down to it being a Booker Prize-nominated book but also the announcement of it being adapted to the big screen.
“Smart, funny, joyous and powerful,” is there any better way to describe our Author of the Year for 2022? Not only has Bonnie Garmus’ debut novel Lessons in Chemistry taken our top spot to round off the year, but she is unbelievably storming across all the big book charts. Meet the unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott – female scientist living in the 1960s. I think we can see where this one is headed… Placed in her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute solely for her undeniable beauty and grace, Elizabeth strives to defy all gender stereotypes of the time and dares to change the status quo. The perfect read for fans of Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.