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BooksFebruary 2, 2018

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending February 3

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The best-selling books of the week at Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland.


1 Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

All-gorilla TV, all the time, and other revelations.

2 The Cage by Lloyd Jones (Penguin, $38)

We look forward to Stephanie Johnson’s forthcoming review.

3 Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (Profile Books, $23)

From a recent profile in the Guardian: “Beard is a celebrity, a national treasure, and easily the world’s most famous classicist. Her latest book, Women and Power, about the long history of the silencing of female voices, was a Christmas bestseller…Out and about, she is regularly flagged down by fans, often, but not always, young women. One admirer, Megan Beech, published a poem called When I Grow Up I Want to Be Mary Beard – a phrase that now adorns T-shirts worn by her fans…As recently as a decade ago, it would have seemed unlikely, even outlandish, that a middle-aged classics don, her appearance a million miles away from the groomed perfection expected of women in the public sphere, would end up so famous and, by and large, so loved. That unlikeliness was summed up by notorious reviews of her early programmes by the late TV critic AA Gill, who declared that she ought to be “kept away from cameras altogether”. But it was Gill who was out of tune with the times. Beard hit back in the Daily Mail, pointing out that ‘There have always been men like Gill who are frightened of smart women who speak their minds.'”

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

Manson’s philosophy can sometimes seem kind of…narrow. He nominates Freud’s penetrating 1930 work Civilization and Its Discontents as “one of the seven most mind-fucking books I’ve ever read”, and summarises it, possibly accurately, thus: “The book makes one simple argument: that humans have deep, animalistic instincts to eat, kill, or fuck everything. Freud basically came to the conclusion that as humans, we had one of two shitty options in life: 1) repress all of our basic instincts to maintain some semblance of a safe and cooperative civilization, thus making ourselves miserable and neurotic, or 2) to let them all out and let shit hit the fan.” Oh fuck up.

5 Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin, $26)

Literary fiction.

6 The Only Story by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape, $35)

Literary fiction.

7 Call Me by Your Name (Film Tie-In) by Andre Aciman (Atlantic, $23)

Film tie-in.

8 Tinkering: The Complete Book of John Clarke by John Clarke (Text Publishing, $40)

Anna Karenina in 43 words, and other classic pieces.

9 The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin, $26)

Named the sixth best book of 2017 at the Spinoff Review of Books.

10 A History of Bees by Maja Lunde (Simon & Schuster, $38)

We continue to look forward to the forthcoming review by Rachael King.


1 Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

2  Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman (Picador, $35) 

3  A Māori Word a Day by Hemi Kelly (Raupo, $30) 

365 words.

4  Hellbent by Gregg Andrew Hurwitz (Michael Joseph, $37)

Trash fiction.

5  The Only Story by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape, $35)

6  The Stakes by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin, $33)

Trash fiction.

7  Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur (Andrews & McMeel, $30)

how you love yourself is

how you teach others

to love you

8  Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Favilli & Cavallo (Particular Books UK, $40) 

Named the second best book of 2017 at the Spinoff Review of Books.

9  1984 by George Orwell (Penguin Pop Classic, $14)

“If the book was simply an allegory or a Totalitarianism for Dummies Guidebook, it would not have lasted nearly 70 years  – Orwell would be in the charity shop with Koestler and Solzhenitsyn. You can ignore Orwell’s embedded theses on language and ideology and still be gripped by a cleanly-written, deeply humane page-turner about love, hope, betrayal and (spoiler alert!) torture. Winston Smith, hiding in the shadows and daring to come into the light, is one of mid-20th century literature’s tragic figures”: Philip Matthews, the Spinoff Review of Books.

10 Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Echo, $28)

Based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews, who survived Auschwitz and made their home in Australia.

The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.

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