The Publishing Post
Shuffling of the Shelves: May 2023 Part 1
By Hannah Moore, Melissa Tran, Lucy Shardlow and Mairead Zielinski
With the days getting warmer and the evenings longer, spring really has arrived. What better way to celebrate than with some fantastic new reads that you can dive straight into?
The WHSmith chart is showcasing the best of the recently released non-fiction titles. At number two is Feed Your Family for Under a Fiver by Mitch Lane, better known as Meals by Mitch on TikTok. We are seeing a rise in quick and cheap recipe books in the charts, with this book focusing on “quality budget recipes” and “helping families up and down the country to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.” At number three is Love, Lists and Labels by Jemma Solomon, where she reveals her secret to overcoming anxiety: just a bit of organisation! In this book, the ‘Label Lady’ tells the story of how she turned her love for organisation into a business and how you can improve yours and your family’s life with lists, labels and planning. This book is available to pre-order and is surely going to be a popular title with it already ranking third in the charts.
Remaining in the Waterstones chart this week is The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. MacLean, which was the Waterstones Book of the Month in March 2023. The novel is a gripping historical thriller that takes place post the 1746 battle of Culloden and follows Iain MacGillivray, who was left for dead in the battle, yet remains alive six years later by pretending to be deceased. He is now bookselling, living a calm life, but this all changes when a strange man starts hanging around his bookshop, who ends up murdered on the shop floor. Full of mystery, suspense and intrigue, The Bookseller of Inverness is the perfect thrilling read. Also remaining in the Waterstones charts are some long standing favourites, including Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus at number one and Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors at number three.
At number one in the Amazon Movers and Shakers chart is an incredibly honest memoir written by singer-songwriter Madison Beer: The Half of It. Chronicling the past decade of her life in the spotlight, Madison reveals the ups, downs and everything in-between. Not only is this a revealing book about the star who shot to fame at twelve-years-old, but it really hits the nail on the head when it comes to social media; that no matter how close the internet makes us feel to people, we really do not know the half of it. At number three, we have a BBC Radio Two Book Club Pick: Tell Me How This Ends by Jo Leevers. When Henrietta meets the eccentric Annie, she cannot help but find herself drawn in. Could unlocking Annie’s story be the key to Henrietta rewriting the most devastating passages of her own life?
Trending on social media this week, particularly on Bookstagram, is The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell. This is following the release of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023 shortlist, on which this book features. The Marriage Portrait has previously been shortlisted for The British Book Awards 2023 Fiction Book of the Year and for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2022. O’Farrell’s novel is eye-catching, with a stunning hardback cover that draws readers in, especially on visual social media platforms such as Bookstagram and BookTok. The novel is set during the Italian Renaissance in 1561 and follows Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, who suspects her husband has taken her to the countryside in order to kill her. Having been sheltered for her entire sixteen years of life, Lucrezia has been thrown into the world of court expectations, heir preservation and dynasty that she now must navigate, all with the looming fear of her husband in the background. The Marriage Portrait is a beautifully written novel that is very much worthy of the shortlist nomination that has put it back on the book-related social media radar.
This issue’s noteworthy author is Marian Keyes, with her latest novel Again, Rachel having leaped to the number one spot in the UK Official Top 50 charts after its release in February this year. As a bestselling author, Keyes already has an extensive back catalogue of twenty-two books, including sixteen fiction novels, five non-fiction and a short story. Again, Rachel is a sequel to her earlier hit, Rachel’s Holiday, originally published a quarter of a century ago in 1997. It begins two decades after the original story left off and explores the ways Rachel’s life has changed in the intervening years. With Rachel’s Holiday having sold over 1.5 million copies to date, establishing a large and dedicated fanbase for Keyes, it’s no surprise that its sequel has garnered so much popularity. This is well deserved though, as Again, Rachel is an expertly crafted tragic comedy that will have you laughing and crying in equal measure as it examines grief, regret and ultimately forgiveness; of others and of yourself.