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Shuffling of the Shelves: June 2023 Part One

By Hannah Moore, Lucy Shardlow, Melissa Tran and Mairead Zielinski

As summer quickly approaches and the weather is warming up, let’s take a look at the current book charts and trends.


There is nothing like discovering a fresh new voice and the WHSmith chart is full of amazing reads that you’ll find impossible to put down. First, we have The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore. Set on the beaches of the Isle of Wight, Moore brings us a powerful tale of family secrets, betrayal and the bonds of sisterhood. This is a novel with one big question: can children ever be free of the mistakes their parents make? Flawed, complicated and utterly secretive, you’ll fall absolutely in love with The Garnett Girls. It is a true escapist read! Next, Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks. Yamaye is a young woman unsure of her future. But everything changes when she meets Moose, the man she falls in love with, the man who offers her a chance at freedom. Through a transformative journey that carries her from Bristol to Jamaica, Yamaye’s past and present collide. This triumphant debut is told with immense musicality and emotional honesty.


Summer is fast approaching and the Amazon Best Sellers chart is supplying all those amazing holiday reads. At number four is the epic conclusion to the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley. Co-authored by her son Harry Whittaker, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt draws the infamous saga to its unforgettable conclusion. A series that has been described as “heart-wrenching, uplifting and utterly enthralling” by Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party, fans will fall in love with Atlas, where everything will be revealed. Further down the chart is the laugh-out-loud summer read from bestselling author Sophie Gravia: Meet Me in Milan. Zara Smith just can’t stop thinking about her ex. Zara’s ex Tom is engaged to beloved actress Quinn Foxx, but when she finds an old note from him, she needs to know whether he still feels the same way. Will Tom be the one that got away? Fun, flirty and absolutely fantastic, this is the only book you need this summer.


The Waterstones book chart this week feature two of the six shortlisted books for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023, with Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver and Trespasses by Louise Kennedy, coming in fourth and sixth on the bestseller list respectively. Demon Copperhead is a brave new retelling of Dickens' David Copperfield, where Kingsolver takes this quintessentially English story and reimagines it in the mountains of Appalachia. The novel cleverly transposes the social criticism of the original story to reflect and examine the pressing, and often deadly issues facing our modern world; from deprivation to opioid addiction. Trespasses tackles equally devastating power struggles but on the other side of the pond. Set at the height of the Troubles in Belfast, Kennedy weaves a vivid and heartbreaking tale of love, loss and the strength of an ordinary woman desperately trying to hold everything together in a truly extraordinary time. Both packed with expert prose and unforgettable characters, we look forward to seeing if either of these bestselling novels will be announced as the winner of the prestigious Women’s Prize next month.

Social Media

Making a comeback on social media this week is Boy Parts by Eliza Clark, following its US publication three years after its initial release. Boy Parts tells the story of Irina, an art school graduate from Newcastle who takes explicit photographs of interesting looking men she scouts. It is a dark-humoured novel that explores mental health, loneliness and the human condition. This is Eliza Clark’s debut novel and it was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2021. The US publication involves a new cover to market to a new audience. In addition to this, Clark was recently part of a Waterstones event with fellow author Ottessa Moshfegh to discuss Lapvona. The event sold out on the same day it was announced. Eliza Clark also has a new novel coming out in July 2023 titled Penance, which is already getting glowing reviews from those lucky enough to have read it early.

Noteworthy Author

Just days after publication day, everyone has been obsessed with Rebecca F. Kuang and her brand-new novel Yellowface. Best known for her infamous novel Babel, Kuang is back again with a tantalising and humorous literary thriller that harnesses her own satirical powers. Athena Liu is a literary darling, whereas June Hayward is literally a nobody. But, when Athena dies in a freak accident, June steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it as her own under the ambiguous name Juniper Song. As evidence continues to threaten June’s stolen success, she will discover just how far she is willing to go to keep exactly what she thinks she deserves. A novel that investigates ambition, greed and white privilege, Kuang reconstructs her own experiences into a dark and sinister read. This is the thriller that everyone is going to be talking about for a very long time.


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