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BooksMarch 1, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 1


The only published and available best-selling book chart in New Zealand is the top 10 sales list recorded every week at Unity Books’ stores in High St, Auckland, and Willis St, Wellington.



1 The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35)

Manson, writing on Twitter recently: “Don’t hope for a life without problems. There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.”

2 Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide by John Walsh & Patrick Reynolds (Massey University Press, $20)

We look forward to publishing a luscious big excerpt at The Spinoff Review of Books on Monday.

3 Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $6)

A short story.

4 Factfulness by Dr Hans Rosling (Sceptre, $30)

“The basic point Rosling makes in Factfulness is simple: the vast majority of us get it wrong about the state of the world. We think it is poorer and unhealthier, more dangerous and violent than it actually is”: The Times of London.

5 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $33)

“A future classic”: Guardian.

6 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson (Allen Lane, $40)

“Thank you, Mark,” Peterson wrote on Twitter, addressing The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck author Mark Manson; Manson had read Danyl Mclauchlan’s essay on 12 Rules for Life at The Spinoff Review of Books, and tweeted, “Author of the article addresses nothing about my work. Simply insults it, then uses the title of my book to crap on Peterson’s work, without engaging it either.” Clarification: the title, “The subtle art of not giving a fuck about Jordan Peterson”, was written by Spinoff literary editor Steve Braunias.

7 Hello Darkness by Peter Wells (Mighty Ajax, $40)

How it all began, on November 17, 2017, when the late author’s memoir of living with cancer was serialised at The Spinoff Review of Books: “After the long silence of the night, which begins about 9.15 in Oncology Acute and goes through to the first stirrings round 5.30ish it’s a pleasure to look out the window and see a crisp day with people hurrying off to work. I think of all the times I – likewise – walked past the hospital, screening from my mind all the pain that dwells within, focusing instead on my end objective, or the fact I was running late or early, or when was I going to have a coffee and especially where? It’s a tonic for me looking out the window now seeing life going on, everyone out there beautifully engaged in the act of living…”

8 Ocean by Sarah Ell (Penguin Random House, $70)

Illustrated portrait of New Zealand’s relationship with the sea.

9 Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

“Resistance to normalising lesbianism is still a long way from being overcome. Several reviews of Conversations with Friends emphasise the book’s originality in interrogating the meaning of friendship in the contemporary era – where your girl buddy may double up as a lover. Yet readers of the novel could be forgiven for thinking they had strayed into a 19th-century Gothic novel such as Jane Eyre, given the focus of its central plot on a heterosexual romance between a neurotic young woman and a handsome and physically imposing troubled strong and silent type. The romantic relationship between the book’s protagonist Frances and her close female friend Bobbi barely gets a look in. Encounters between them are not described with anything approaching the rapturous eroticism of lines such as: ‘He put his hand on my waist and I felt my whole body lift toward him.’ This very old-fashioned description emphasises a binary approach to sex in hackneyed terms of male dominance and female submission”: from the lively Australian academia site, The Conversation.

10 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $65)



1 Not Bad People by Brandy Scott (HarperCollins, $35)

Aimee, Melinda and Louise meet on New Year’s Eve. The next day, two passengers are pulled out of a plane crash, including a young boy.

2 Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (Michael Joseph, $38)

“Marlon James’ fourth novel has already been showered in Tolkien comparisons, but don’t expect a genteel tale of an unexpected journey. Black Leopard, Red Wolf opens as it means to go on – with defiance and challenge, as a captive showers his interviewer in threats and insults. The prisoner is Tracker, a supernaturally gifted mercenary known by no other name. The story he grudgingly unfolds is one of a strange and dangerous quest”: Sam Finnemore, Listener.

3 Hello Darkness by Peter Wells (Mighty Ajax, $40)

4 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber, $33)

5 Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Little Brown, $25)

“To me, it’s a book about the saddest things I can think of and the most difficult things in my life. But the comic novels that I like, are clearly born from sadness. So was this. I was in a really hard place when I wrote it. And I think of it as sad. I don’t mind when people say it’s a comic novel because I worked really hard to make it…readable, I guess. So when people say ‘It was so funny, I enjoyed it’, in a way I feel like they’ve swallowed a pill. And it may work on them. They may not have realised what they were reading because they thought it was such fun”: the author, interviewed at the lively entertainment site,

6 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson (Allen Lane, $40)

7 Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Windmill, $28)

“I am far from the first critic to recommend Tara Westover’s astounding memoir, but if its comet tail of glowing reviews has not yet convinced you, let me see what I can do. Westover was born sometime in September, 1986—no birth certificate was issued—on a remote mountain in Idaho, the seventh child of Mormon survivalist parents who subscribed to a paranoid patchwork of beliefs well outside the mandates of their religion…Westover examines her childhood with unsparing clarity, and, more startlingly, with curiosity and love, even for those who have seriously failed or wronged her”: New Yorker.

8 Five Minute Salad Lunchbox by Alexander Hart (Simon & Schuster, $29)

52 fast recipes for a packed lunch, including vegan salads, grain salads, seafood salads, Vietnamese-style chicken coleslaw, Mexican-spiced quinoa salad, and edamame and chickpeas with avocado-lime dressing.

9 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $60)

10 Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber, $33)

Winner of the 2018 Man Booker prize for fiction.

Keep going!