Shuffling of the Shelves: May 2023 Part Two
By Hannah Moore, Melissa Tran, Lucy Shardlow and Mairead Zielinski
Spring is now in full swing - although the weather outside could have fooled us! Let’s see what everyone is reading this month and how the book charts and trends have changed.
It’s that time of year again when the Richard and Judy Book Club brings us some fantastic reads to bury our noses into. This season’s book club includes high-octane car chases, deadly assassins and mystifying crimes. Richard and Judy have picked six amazing new reads and we have picked out two of our all-time favourites! The first is The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell. Although never intending to be viewed as a sequel, we are back in the spine-tingling Chelsea mansion to find out exactly what happens next. Four deaths, an unsolved mystery and a family whose secrets cannot stay buried forever. The second book is Mark Dawson’s The House in the Woods; the first in his new Atticus Priest murder mystery series. Critics have described this book as “nerve-shreddingly tense” and “utterly addictive,” you won’t be able to put this thriller down.
Looking at the Amazon chart this month, we can see some amazing escapism reads rising to the top to get you ready for the summer ahead. At number five on the Amazon Most Wished For chart is Sarah Morgan’s The Island Villa. A messy family drama and a steamy romance takes place right under the Mediterranean sun in this fun and thrilling read. The cover alone will have you booking your next getaway. A little further down the chart everyone has been talking about Happy Place by Emily Henry. Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple and every year they go away with all of their favourite people. Except this year, things are slightly different as the couple broke up six months ago. But can they pretend to be in love (and get away with it) in front of all the people who know them the best? With so many other authors and book bloggers describing this book as their happy place, it is sure to be the book of the summer!
Waterstones fiction book of the month for May is Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow. This story traces the lives of three generations of an African American family in Memphis. It is a powerful exploration of mother-daughter relationships; an epic story woven in intricate detail. Having been nominated for the Women’s Prize for fiction, this topical and popular novel is not one to miss. Top of the non-fiction charts is the salient and evocative The Lost Rainforests of Britain by Guy Shrubsole. Not only is it eye-opening and educational, charting the history of Britain's historic rainforests from the Western Highlands all the way down to Cornwall, but it also examines how we can protect, restore and expand these forests. Shrubsole’s passion and excitement for the British environment is infectious, bringing previously dry and abstract topics alive with his lush descriptions.
Currently trending on social media right now is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. A Little Life was published in 2015 and has since found a lot of popularity on BookTok and Bookstagram. Yanagihara’s novel is set in New York City and tells the story of four friends, Jude, Willem, JB and Malcolm, and how their relationships develop throughout their life. The book deals with difficult subjects such as mental health issues, drug addiction and sexual abuse, so is it definitely not a light-hearted read. A Little Life has been gaining popularity online again after the start of the play adaptation run in London. The play has a star cast including James Norton, Omari Douglas, Luke Thompson and Zack Wyatt, and is over three and a half hours long. The popularity of the play and the novel are working in tandem to create a popular social media buzz surrounding A Little Life.
Author of the Month
An author that has been described as “an exhilarating new voice in British fiction, ”we are beyond excited to share that Caleb Azumah Nelson is our Author of the Month for May. So many of us already loved his first book Open Water and with his second book Small Worlds to be released in a matter of weeks, the excitement continues to grow. Set in both London and Ghana across three summers, Small Worlds is an intimate and powerful exploration of a father-son relationship, music and searching for meaning. Dance is the centre of this novel and is the only thing that can solve Stephen’s problems. He dances at Church, with his family and despite losing his faith, one thing he will always believe in is rhythm. But who is Stephen when the music begins to fade? This is an expansive read about the worlds we build for ourselves, the worlds we live, dance and love within.