Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending November 2

Only 53 shopping days till Xmas! Get in early and peruse the week’s bestselling books at the Unity stores in Willis St, Wellington, and High St, Auckland.


1 Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber, $33)

Winner of the 2018 Man Booker prize for fiction. “A young woman is forced into a relationship with an older man during the Troubles in Northern Ireland in this tale of tribalism and hope…An original, funny novel”: The Guardian.

2 Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking (John Murray, $35)

Yes, aliens exist; no, God doesn’t.

3 The Ice Shelf by Anne Kennedy (Victoria University Press, $30)

“A comic novel about Janice, a wry, accident-prone writer. Janice leads a literary life in Wellington. She attends awards ceremonies, book launches and creative writing sessions…She name-checks actual Wellington writers. She engages in activity on Twitter in an attempt to ingratiate herself with literary figures playfully called Dean Cuntface, Roderick the Dick and Dame Carol. (Are these based on actual ‘luminaries’? Will they raise a ‘knowing laugh’ in ‘some quarters’?)”: Charlotte Grimshaw, The Spinoff Review of Books.

4 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury, $60)


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

John Campbell was in the paper the other day saying that he has been thoroughly enjoying the Irish author’s novel.

6 Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety by Naomi Arnold (Victoria University Press, $30)

“The long story involves two hours of papers being shuffled and people talking about me in hallways and signing paperwork…The short story is that I was admitted, under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, to the secure unit of the psychiatric ward just after noon on Friday the 13th”: from an extraordinary memoir by Paula Harris, whose story features in this superb new anthology.

7 Ko Taranaki Te Maunga by Rachel Buchanan (Bridget Williams Books Texts, $15)

Parihaka stories.

8 Hillary’s Antarctica: Adventure, exploration and establishing Scott Base by Nigel Watson and Jane Ussher (Allen & Unwin, $50)

Sir Ed ft. the great Ussher.

9 Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

“A novel of World War II espionage with an unlikely heroine…. Fans of Life After Life, Atkinson’s 2013 masterpiece, will recognize the artful pathos with which she renders the war’s cratering effect on Londoners”: Jennifer Egan, New York Times.

10 Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $45)



1 Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber, $33)

2 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber $33)

3 Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $45)

4 Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking (John Murray, $35)

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

6 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins, $28)

The feel-good novel of the year.

7 Heroes by Stephen Fry (Michael Joseph, $37)


8 Flame by Leonard Cohen (Canongate, $45)

Poems and jottings by the great artist near the end of his life.

9 The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (Hamish Hamilton, $37)

One of the year’s best novels.

10 Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly (Allen & Unwin, $30)

“Ingenious, frantically suspenseful, and very, very bleak”: Washington Post.

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