The week’s best-selling books at the Unity stores in High St, Auckland, and Willis St, Wellington.
1 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35)
Number one for the third consecutive week! Auckland is really mastering the subtle art of not giving a fuck.
2 Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (Granta, $33)
“Initially, Lisa Halliday’s debut appears to be a roman à clef. A young publishing assistant named Alice embarks on a love affair with the American literary lion Ezra Blazer, who sounds and behaves very much like Philip Roth. In fact, any identification with Roth, with whom Halliday once shared a romance, seems there for the reader’s delight and plucking…The moment Asymmetry reaches its perfect ending, it’s all the reader can do to return to the beginning in awe, to discover how Halliday upturned the story again and again”: Washington Post.
3 The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes (Bodley Head, $40)
Inside the Obama White House.
4 Lost Connections by Johann Hari (Bloomsbury, $30)
“Part personal odyssey and part investigation, this rigorous if flawed study finds fault with contemporary treatment of depression and anxiety”: The Guardian.
5 Happiness by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury, $27)
“On London’s Waterloo Bridge, Dr Attila Asare, a Ghanaian psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of ‘post-traumatic stress disorder in noncombatant populations,’ collides with Jean Turane, an American wildlife biologist studying the city’s foxes. These central figures in Aminatta Forna’s fourth novel have come to middle age — and London — as worldly, self-sufficient individuals, albeit grieving private losses. Their friendship will deepen when Attila’s niece is rounded up by the immigration authorities and the niece’s young son goes missing. To find him, Jean enlists the help of her ragtag team of wildlife sighters — the immigrant street cleaners, traffic wardens and hotel staff who move stealthily, like hunted animals, in the shadows of the city”: New York Times.
6 Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon Winchester (William Collins, $37)
Father’s Day approacheth.
7 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins, $25)
8 Cicada by Shaun Tan (Hachette, $30)
Children’s book illustrator Tan is a genius; his latest is about a hard-working insect that toils away in an office, wearing a tight-fitting suit, doing its best to survive.
9 Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape, $35)
10 Born A Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (John Murray, $28)
Memoir by the TV host.
1 This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Vintage, $38)
From a marvelous interview by Diana Wichtel with the author, in the Listener: “Her new novel, This Mortal Boy, centres on Albert Black, the ‘jukebox killer’, the second-to-last man to be hanged in New Zealand..It’s impossible not to be affected by young Albert Black’s good-natured last greeting from the gallows. ‘I wish you all a Merry Christmas, gentlemen, and a prosperous New Year,’ he said. The book seems like an attempt to redeem him or at least to take that mortal boy on a journey and return him to history, reimagined and remembered. Meeting Black’s daughter was a spur. Kidman says, ‘I’d love her to feel somehow, through this book, that his life has been vindicated a little bit because I think that his death did have an impact. The account of his death influenced public opinion and led to National MPs crossing the floor and the abolition of the death penalty. For that alone he’s memorable.'”
2 Fishing For Maui by Isa Pearl Ritchie (Te Ra Aroha Press, $35)
A novel about food, whānau, and mental illness.
3 Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape, $35)
4 Less by Andrew Sean Greer (LittleBrown, $25)
5 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins, $25)
6 Happiness by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury, $27)
7 Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury, $22)
The story of two British-Pakistani families, divided over a rebel brother’s fate.
8 Calypso by David Sedaris (LittleBrown, $35)
9 Pruning Fruit Trees: A Beginner’s Guide by Kath Irvine (Kath Irvine, $27)
The fruit tree bible. Irvine also maintains an essential blog, although the latest entry makes a howling apostrophic blunder in the headline: “How To Plant And Prune New Fruit Tree’s”.
10 How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran (Ebury Press, $37)
The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed daily digest of New Zealand’s most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.