Image: Pixabay.
Image: Pixabay.

BooksOctober 4, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending October 4

Image: Pixabay.
Image: Pixabay.

The only published and available best-selling indie 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  Talking to Strangers: what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcolm Gladwell (Allen Lane, $40)

Auckland braces for Christmas party season. 

2  The Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith (Bloomsbury, $33)

“A beautiful, elegant, and poetic memoir that takes a single year in the artist’s life, 2016, and delves deep into the events that shaped it — and the feelings and memories they produced.” – NPR

3  The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, $48)

Why the green, asked Time

Atwood: “I colored it with my crayons and said, ‘I think it would look better green.’” 

4  The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury, $33)

“The melancholy realism with which Patchett draws out the unrealised potential of her characters feels downright un-American, yet her storytelling is leavened by moments of grace and reconciliation.” – the Guardian.

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

“The great trick of The Silence of the Girls is that it fills in the borders of one character in literature while uncovering the vast gaps that persist in the rest of the Western canon. How many stories like this one remain to be told?” – the Atlantic

6  On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein (Allen Lane, $35)

“As for those children and grandchildren and generations to come who were invoked so promiscuously? They are no longer mere rhetorical devices. They are now speaking (and screaming, and striking) for themselves. Unlike so many adults in positions of authority, they have not yet been trained to mask the unfathomable stakes of our moment in the language of bureaucracy and overcomplexity. They understand that they are fighting for the fundamental right to live full lives …”

7  The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press, $35)

“Taryn closed her eyes and let her arms float. The weight lifted from her shoulders. Her lacerations smarted, then after a time stopped. Now and then she let herself lose contact with the seat and bobbed up to cool her shoulders. Her skin turned rosy, her scabs softened and yellowed. Sometimes the steam-soaked bushes dripped blood-warm water on her head.”

8  Permanent Record by Edward Snowden (Pan Macmillan, $38)

Some guy on Twitter: “How is it that there has been just one whistleblower?”

Edward Snowden: “gee i wonder”

9  Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape, $37)

Key-shot. Key-shot. 

10  21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage, $38)

I feel like we only need two or three really and they’re something like “stop buying shit you don’t need” and “plant trees” and “protest”.


1 Craven by Jane Arthur (Victoria University Press, $25)

Once again a poetry book in number one. Soz Elizabeth, soz Margaret!

2  The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press, $35)

3  The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, $48)

4  No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, $8)

A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.

5  The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (Doubleday, $55)

“Like a grown-up version of some Usborne Amazing Book of the Body” – the Telegraph

6  Flying High: The Photography of Lloyd Homer by Simon Nathan (Geoscience Society of New Zealand, $45)

Before there was drone photography there was Lloyd Homer.

7  The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury, $33)

8  The Adventures of Tupaia by Courtney Sina Meredith & Mat Tait (Allen & Unwin, $35)

A picture book of stars and seas and sad, poetic endings. 

9  Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press, $25)

“Kennedy honours her brother without turning him into a saint and explores her grief without fingering the wounds too thoroughly.” – The Reader

10  Listening In by Lynley Edmeades (Otago University Press, $28)




I think we just had our second ever Rooney-free list since like June 1924.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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