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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Shuffling of the Shelves: May Part Two

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

With a new month comes new bestsellers. Take a look at which books have been trending this month – from romance, slice-of-life, fantasy and thriller, there’s something for everyone.


As the weather gets warmer, beach reads may be on the cards for many. And what better to start with than Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez. This book follows Justin and Emma, two unlucky-in-love people who start a summer fling in the hopes of breaking both of their curses. However, unforeseen circumstances leave them both taking on greater burdens than they can handle. Stuck together with their troubles, their fling may evolve into something that lasts more than just a summer.

For those in search of more serious beach reads, try David Baldacci’s A Calamity of Souls. Set in the 1968 South, a Virginian Black man named Jerome Washington is wrongfully accused of murder. His case brings together an out-of-his-depth white lawyer named Jack and a passionate Black lawyer named Desiree as they struggle to save their client. Tackling systemic racism and a corrupt legal system, will these two partners be able to push back against the forces stacked against them?


Rising up the current WHSmith charts, Stop Them Dead by Peter James will have you hooked. Who would have thought that confronting a burglar could land you dead? What first appears as a break-in gone wrong is soon revealed to be a glimpse of greater gang violence and crime. As Roy Grace is put on the case, there is no telling the power and strength of the growths that have flourished in the shadows. 

Another popular crime thriller making its way up the charts this month is Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena. How would you react if your whole world was turned upside down? If the neighbourhood you thought was the epitome of safety was actually filled with secrets and lies? When William’s daughter Avery goes missing, the peaceful exterior of Stanhope is taken away. What’s inside is far from pretty.


Weak Teeth follows Ellis, whose seemingly stable life is crumbling after her boyfriend leaves her, her mother begins to date a younger man, and on top of it all, she’s stuck with a horrid toothache. This slice-of-life story explores familiar themes of early adulthood: complicated relationships, financial worries and the all-too-familiar annoyance of going to the dentist. Set in a lonely Edinburgh summer, this debut from Lynsey May was named Waterstones May Scottish Book of the Month.

For the thriller fans, the Waterstones monthly award went to The Housekeepers, a 2023 debut from Alex Hay. After Mrs King is unexpectedly fired from her long-term role as a housekeeper for one of Mayfair’s most opulent houses, she wants revenge, and an upcoming ball presents the perfect opportunity. She recruits a group of down-and-out women looking for vengeance and together they plan what could be the heist of the century – but only if everything goes to plan.

Social Media

With the days becoming longer and the weather warming up, summer is almost here – and what is summer without a bit of romance. Wild Love by Elsie Silver has been rising through the ranks on BookTok and Goodreads in May. The adult romance novel follows Ford Grant, an attractive billionaire who is suddenly confronted with a long-lost daughter whilst also trying to deny his feelings for his best friend’s sister, Rosie Belmont. Wild Love follows TikTok’s well-loved trope – black cat and golden retriever energy – to a T.

There are also books resurging in the Goodreads ranking, such as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. The series is a young adult fantasy that involves romance, adventure and faerie lore. Feyre, a young huntress, is thrown into the world of faeries after a hunt gone wrong and has to battle her feelings for her captor whilst trying to save his world from a wicked power. First published in 2015, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a timeless page-turner that will immerse you in a world you can only dream of. 

Noteworthy Author

Ocean Vuong is a Vietnamese-American poet and author known for his illustrious prose and incredible portrayal of human emotion. As a child, Vuong and his family moved from his birthplace of Ho Chi Minh City to the United States, where he later studied English Literature at Brooklyn College and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from New York University. After having many poems and collections published to critical acclaim in various journals and magazines, Vuong’s debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, was released in 2019. His work has been praised for his thorough explorations of grief, sexuality and the Vietnamese-American experience. Vuong is a recipient of many awards including the Whiting Award and the TS Eliot Prize.


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