An awesome foursome (Image: Tina Tiller)
An awesome foursome (Image: Tina Tiller)

BooksApril 5, 2024

The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending April 5

An awesome foursome (Image: Tina Tiller)
An awesome foursome (Image: Tina Tiller)

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.

AUCKLAND

1 AMMA by Saraid de Silva (Moa Press, $38)

From Brannavan Gnanalingam’s glowing review on The Spinoff: “The book uses the time differences thematically instead, to create a literal barrier between the three generations’ lives – because their key moments occur separately from the others, the three characters never actually fully come to understand each other. The thrust of the book becomes the extent to which the three of them can come to peace with each other’s flaws, while also highlighting the horrors or guilt that have shaped them. The book ultimately focuses on how people come to find themselves, despite what they – and their parents – go through.”

2 Butter by Asako Yuzuki (Fourth Estate, $35) 

“A tasty exposé of fatphobia and trauma” says The Guardian. Can an exposé be tasty?

3 Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Vintage, $26)

Gabrielle Zevin has written 10 novels if anyone wants to try the rest.

4 The Financial Colonisation of Aotearoa by Catherine Comyn (Parallel, $30)

A future classic that you can read all about right here on The Spinoff.

5 The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin (Canongate, $55)

How many of Auckland’s coffee tables are displaying Rubin’s clothy eye/boob right now?

6 Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Faber & Faber, $25)

From one of the most brilliant writers working today. Make sure you go back and read her other stories, too, as collected in Antarctica and Walk the Blue Fields. Absolutely exquisite.

7 BBQ Economics: How Money Works and Why It Matters by Liam Dann (Penguin, $40)

From the publisher’s blurb: “Should I fix or float? Is now a good time to buy – or sell? What do self-made billionaires know that you and I don’t? Why does cheese cost so much? Veteran financial journalist Liam Dann has fielded as many money-related questions as he has enjoyed beers around the BBQ – and often at the same time. In this book, he sets out to answer them all, sharing his decades of insight with stories and quotes from prominent politicians, financial experts and business moguls and loads of helpful graphs and illustrations in a super-informative, entertaining introduction to money, how it works, what we should do with it, and why it matters.

8 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage, $30)

Welcome back to one of the best-selling books about why we are the way we are.

9 The Unsettled: Small Stories of Colonisation by Richard Shaw (Massey University, $40)

Essential reading for Pākehā. This book is Shaw’s follow-up to his memoir, The Forgotten Coast, and is an open-hearted, curious and deep-thinking consideration of “settler” histories and what happens when we look at those histories through the lens of colonisation and land theft. Read an excerpt from the book here on The Spinoff.

10 Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Bloomsbury Academic, $37)

The Booker Prize winner. Coming to an Auckland Writers Festival near you, next month.

WELLINGTON

1 AMMA by Saraid De Silva (Moa Press, $38)

2 When I Open the Shop by romesh dissanayake (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $35)

In line for one of the best covers of the year so far. We could eat it. Our review of this luminous debut novel, coming soon.

3 The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton, $37)

Last month this novel won the inaugural Nero Gold book award in the UK, worth 30,000 quid. Judge, Bernadine Evaristo, said: “This is a wonderfully ambitious and entrancing novel about a family imploding against a background of Ireland’s economic and social crisis of the late 00s.” Read more over on The Guardian, here.

4 Dune by Frank Herbert (Hodder, $28)

Pronounced “doon” according to Timothée Chalamet. Did we like the second film as much as the first?

5 Unsettled: Small Stories of Decolonisation by Richard Shaw (Massey University Press, $40)

6 The Financial Colonisation of Aotearoa by Catherine Comyn (Parallel, $30)

7 Mrs Lowe-Porter by Jo Salas (Jackleg Press, $43)

Jo Salas is a New Zealand writer who now lives in the USA and is married to a descendant of translator and artist Helen Lowe-Porter. Salas’ novel is a fictionalised account of Lowe-Porter’s life, as explained here in the NY Times. We also sleuthed this great Substack essay by Salas in which she talks about writing the book and becoming and author later in life.

8 Beautiful Afternoon by Airini Beautrais (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $38)

A powerful collection of essays from acclaimed writer Airini Beautrais. You can read one of them (excerpted) on The Spinoff, here.

9 Tom Lake by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury, $38)

The latest novel by beloved American novelist and bookshop owner (who is also coming to Auckland Writers Festival next month).

10 Strong Female Character by Fern Brady (Brazen, $28)

Memoir by Scottish comedian who was diagnosed with Autism as an adult (who is also coming to Auckland next month, but for the Comedy Festival. Here is a very funny clip of Brady on “being trapped in a Scottish accent”).

Keep going!