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Photo by Jorge Fern·ndez/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo by Jorge Fern·ndez/LightRocket via Getty Images

BooksOctober 5, 2018

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending October 5

Photo by Jorge Fern·ndez/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo by Jorge Fern·ndez/LightRocket via Getty Images

Only 81 shopping days till Xmas! Get in early and peruse the week’s biggest-selling books at the Unity stores in Willis St, Wellington, and High St, Auckland.


1 Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

“It is 1940 and Juliet Armstrong, in her late teens, educated but idealistic, is employed by a mysterious arm of the secret service. Stationed in a room in Dolphin Square, London, she transcribes the conversations of fascist sympathisers in the neighbouring flat. Soon, her responsibilities are promoted to that of a spy…The reader watches the slow, intimate unravelling of Juliet ‘like a ball of wool’ as she veers from naïve and romantic to violent and despairing”: The Economist.

2 Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Sphere, $38)

“Strike, a disabled Afghan war veteran with an unlucky history in family and ex-girlfriends, is approached by a man in the throes of a mental breakdown, who claims he witnessed a child being strangled to death when he was small. When Strike catches another case in the halls of Westminster, he’s forced to try to work out whether the two stories are linked. The sprawling, complicated hunt for a killer spans family, politicians, wealthy landed gentry and the middle-class activists of London, and unfolds against the backdrop of preparations for the 2012 Olympics”: Charlotte Graham-McLay, the Spinoff Review of Books.
3 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $33)

“A smart, cool sketch of mismatched lovers”: The Telegraph.

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

“An impressive feat of literary revisionism that should be on the Man Booker longlist”: The Independent.

5 Government for the Public Good: The surprising science of large-scale collective action by Max Rashbrooke (Bridget Williams Books, $50)

The surprising science of large-scale collective action.

6 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury, $60)


7 Munro: A Cat, a Mouse, a Crossword Clue by Sharon Murdoch (Potton & Burton, $20)

Sharon Murdoch! Genius.

8 Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, $50)

“I can’t resist giving a couple of examples of the book’s style, which as usual owes much to the classic hard-boiled novel. Favourite cliché: not one but two retired generals are said to have ‘ramrod-straight posture’. Favourite unnecessary colour detail: Melania Trump speaks two lines in the entire book, one ‘in her Slovenian accent’, the other ‘in her soft accent’. (Just as well she didn’t borrow someone else’s.) Finally, my favourite poorly chosen metaphor: ‘At the White House, Trump went through the roof.’”: Giovanni Tiso, Overland.

9 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (Jonathan Cape, $38)

“In the final two chapters he stops talking about Stalin and the Lascaux cave paintings and industrial farming and the Meiji Restoration and The Lion King and Aldous Huxley and Assyrian military tactics and Mark Zuckerberg, and talks about his own life and beliefs…Harari meditates for two hours every day, and he spends one month a year at a retreat, meditating intensely. This isn’t about escaping reality, he insists: it’s about getting in touch with reality…It’s the path he recommends to his readers after three books debunking every other religion, system of belief or ideology ever conceived”: Danyl Mclauchlan, the Spinoff Review of Books.

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

The novel that just wouldn’t stop selling has just about stopped selling.



1 Women Now: The legacy of female suffrage edited by Bronwyn Labrum (Te Papa Press, $35)

Twelve essays, by Sue Bradford, Barbara Brookes, Sandra Coney, Golriz Ghahraman, Morgan Godfery, Dame Fiona Kidman, Charlotte MacDonald, Tina Makereti, Ben Schrader, Grace Taylor, Holly Walker and Megan Whelan.

2 Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

3 Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Sphere, $38)

4 Love is Blind by William Boyd (Viking, $37)

“This audaciously unpredictable tale of passion and pianos in 1880s France and Russia is worthy of adulation…A rapturous return to form”: The Guardian.

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

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

7 Are Friends Electric? by Helen Heath (Victoria University Press, $25)

We kiss goodbye in the morning –

a peck on the cheek and that’s it.

Then the phone call, like a bad movie. …

8 Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, $50)

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

10 I am Jellyfish by Ruth Paul (Puffin Books, $20)

Beautifully illustrated kids book about a jellyfish in peril.

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

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