Shuffling of the Shelves – January 2023 Part 1
By Serena Kerrigan-Noble, Lucy Shardlow and Melissa Tran
As we welcome in an exciting 2023 and everyone has been busy setting those New Year’s resolutions and goals, we begin the search to find the most popular books to help you fight off those January blues!
At number four in the WHSmith chart this New Year is Snow Bride (The Rockwood Chronicles Book 5) by Dilly Court. Continuing the series, a sequence of events brings Nancy Sunday to London to help those less fortunate than herself. A heart-warming series that is not to be missed. In the number five spot is Dream Town by David Baldacci, a Private Investigator Archer novel. Set in Hollywood, Archer has to solve another mystery full of shocking twists and turns that keep you guessing. Crime and mystery novels feature heavily in the WHSmith chart this week, with the number nine slot being taken by 22 Seconds by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, a Women’s Murder Club 22 mystery. Following the story of Lindsay Boxer, Patterson and Paetro have created a page-turning mystery thriller.
New in the Waterstones chart for 2023 is Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes. Haynes, previously known for A Thousand Ships and Pandora's Jar, retells the myth of Medusa in a story about family, betrayal and loss. Stone Blind kicks off the year in the number four slot. Also in the top ten is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which tells the story of famous film actress, Evelyn, reflecting on her life. This book saw huge success on TikTok this previous year and, evidently, remains a popular reading choice by being number ten in the charts long after its release.
To kickstart the New Year, we have taken a look across Amazon’s Most Sold Book Chart. It comes as no surprise after the Christmas Day animation special to see that Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse has taken the top spot! In this thought-provoking book, we enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends and discover their most poignant life lessons. This is a book about love, friendship and kindness – it speaks a universal language to us all. At number seven we have Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter, a novel opening in 1982, with Emily Vaughn getting ready for her high school prom. Emily has a huge secret and by the end of the evening, she will be dead. Girl, Forgotten follows forty years later, with the case of Emily’s murder remaining unsolved. Can there ever be justice for Emily or will the truth remain a mystery?
There is one book series in particular that always seems to be storming through the charts – The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The first book in a trilogy that follows Avery Grambs, who has inherited a billion dollar fortune of a man she has never met. In order to receive her inheritance, Avery must move into the spine-tingling Hawthorne House, still occupied by the remaining Hawthorne family, where every room unlocks different secrets, riddles and codes. Soon, Avery gets caught up in a deadly game - just how far will the family go to keep their fortune? This utterly addictive and twisty thriller continuously unveils dark family secrets and deadly stakes. This is the perfect read for fans of Karen M. McManus’ One of Us is Lying and Netflix’s hit movie Knives Out!
Noteworthy Book and Author
Our noteworthy book of the month unveils a charming tale of companionship and creativity with an Austen-esque twist: Gill Hornby’s Godmersham Park. Based on the diaries written by Fanny Austen and inspired by the true story of Jane Austen’s friend Anne Sharp, Hornby’s novel follows Anne’s journey as a governess. But with no real experience and nowhere else to turn after the death of her mother, Anne’s new position appears more of a struggle than she first anticipated. She is neither one of the servants, nor one of the family and being able to balance a position between ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ becomes one big diplomatic chess game. One wrong move and Anne’s days at Godmersham Park are numbered! Many critics are in awe with how this “elegantly written tale skilfully recreates a world where governesses are midway between the family upstairs and the servants downstairs.” (The Independent) This is bound to be Gill Hornby’s best book yet!