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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Shuffling of the Shelves: June Part One

By Anais Aguilera, Katie Norris, Olivia Paris and Sophie Poirier

Happy June! Check out what summery reads are topping the charts, whether you’re looking for a steamy, sunny romance or a nail-biting thriller.


With summer vibes in full swing, it’s no surprise that a seaside romance like Veronica Henry’s The Secret Beach has shot up the Amazon Most Sold Fiction chart after its February release. Nikki has a secret. And in the tiny beach town of Speedwell, nothing stays a secret for long. A note left on her doorstep has the potential to change her life forever and unveil dark truths about her past. Part thrilling mystery, part small-town romance, The Secret Beach is the perfect holiday read.

British author Dandy Smith is known for gripping thrillers, and her most recent, The Wrong Daughter, is just what her readers have come to expect. This novel has been solidly in the top ten of Amazon’s Crime, Thrillers and Mystery Best Sellers list since February. Caitlin has spent years mourning the disappearance of her sister, Olivia, until a mysterious woman appears, claiming to be Olivia. The return of a loved one should be a good thing, but Olivia’s newfound presence in her family’s life unveils a dark truth about what really happened the night she went missing.


In the WHSmith charts this month is Heather Morris’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which has been recently adapted into a limited series and has seen high success, leading to the book’s resurgence in the charts since its release in 2018. The novel tells the harrowing life of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew and his experience of Auschwitz-Birkenau as a tattooist of his fellow prisoners, where he experiences the horrors of the concentration camp but also the power of hope and love for the young woman Gita. The novel acts as a testament to the bravery of those in the camps and how love can endure even in the most horrific conditions.

Another author who has been moving up the charts is Scott Mariani, with his adventure and spy thriller The Golden Library. The novel follows the ex-SAS soldier Ben Hope and his hunt for a missing girl that takes him to China. In his quest, he realises that the mystery revolves around an ancient secret – one that people will kill for. His experience as a fighter should serve him well, but has he bitten off more than he can chew? Mariani writes a gripping thriller that is perfect for a sunny read in the park or by the pool.


Paul Murray brings a compelling and unexpectedly funny family novel to readers this summer. The Bee Sting follows a family in rural Ireland as they take on some of the most formidable challenges they’ve ever faced. From crumbling marriages to misguided teens, each member faces their own individual challenges – with bankruptcy looming over them all simultaneously. Murray brilliantly weaves a narrative of a dysfunctional family with both compassion and light-heartedness, making for a book sure to please any reader.

Another option in the realm of dysfunctional family dynamics, also by an Irish author, is Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent. This novel’s main character has been likened to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’s titular character for her quirky nature. Nugent’s main character, Sally Diamond, gains unwanted attention for what she sees as fulfilling her father’s dying wish, but others don’t see it that way. At the same time, she’s learning new things about friends, life and her own traumatic past. As if that weren’t enough, she can’t shake the feeling that others are watching her a bit too closely. Sally must figure out her place in the world, all without knowing who she can really trust. 

Social Media

One novel that has BookTok locked tightly in its grips is The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. As hundreds flock to the like button and comment to show their unwavering support for the first novel in Black’s fantasy romance series, perhaps this summer you too will be whisked away to the world of the Faeries. When Jude is taken away, she faces all sorts of dangers and terrors, but maybe the scariest of

them all is her feelings for Prince Cardan, arrogant leader of this realm.

Having maintained its popularity since its release in 2017, book lovers take to social media to continuously recommend If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio. Often compared to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, as it similarly invites readers into the intimate complexities of a close inner circle of friends, If We Were Villains is a tale of mystery, suspense and passion that will have your heart racing and keep you page turning. 

Noteworthy Author

Sayaka Murata is a Japanese writer and is the recipient of numerous awards for her writing that explores subjects such as gender roles, parenthood, sex and identity. Her books, such as Convenience Store Woman and her collection of short stories, Life Ceremonies, examine nonconformity with societal expectations of marriage, having a ‘successful’ job and living supposedly ‘correctly’. Partially influenced by her own experiences growing up, in which she tried embracing conventional ideas of womanhood to avoid social harassment, Murata writes to expose society’s dark underbelly of intolerance and misogyny. Whilst her writing can be disturbing, the discomfort it causes reflects her power as a writer and thinker. Murata is the recipient of the Noma Literary New Face Prize, Akutagawa Prize and the Gunzo Prize for New Writers.



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