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BooksSeptember 6, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending September 6


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  Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $35)

Here I’ll just open a random page and find a string of wonderful sentences for you.

“She knew how to talk to people, how to get the rich and boring interested in something new. Like her father’s friends, for example. She looked them in the eyes and told them they would be remiss to not get involved in this person’s art show, or that person’s golf wear. She used her hair and her smile and who she was in the world. She was not someone to overlook.”

2  Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar (Picador, $35)

“Lucy Treloar joins a growing number of novelists whose fiction is marked by anthropogenic catastrophe. Her latest offering confronts two urgent global crises: the climate emergency, and the plight of refugees.” – Australian Book Review.

3  The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35)

I just I mean I could google this and find some kind of pithy quote but …

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

At this point I’d rather read about tigers. Or … otters. Or rat tail maggots.

5  The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Hachette, $35)

By a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction; Aaron Smale reviewed it for us

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

Winner of the Man Booker Prize. (This year’s shortlist is similarly unreadable, per the Guardian).

7  Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Headline Publishing, $35)

Fleishman is a middle-aged newly-divorced doctor dude juggling Tinder and childcare in New York City. The book is way better than that sounds. 

8  Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide by John Walsh & Patrick Reynolds (Massey University Press, $20)

Coming soon from Auckland University Press: a field guide to Auckland’s volcanoes which we are extremely excited about. 

9  The Truants by Kate Weinberg (Bloomsbury, $33)

“All I wanted from university was literary debate and parties where poetry was recited standing up shouting drunk on cheap Tesco wine. I spent the entirety of my first year dreaming of a friendship like the complex, multifaceted one this foursome found” – teaser from an upcoming review by Chloe Blades. 

10 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Windmill Books, $26)

“Melinda and I sometimes read the same book at the same time. It’s usually a lot of fun, but it can get us in trouble when one of us is further along than the other—which recently happened when we were both reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.” – Bill Gates.



Relative Strangers: A Mother’s Adoption Memoir by Pip Murdoch (Fern Publishing, $30)

“They took him straight out of the delivery room,” Pip tells. “You weren’t meant to see the baby after that, but I asked the doctor if I could, and he said I could go and see him but I wasn’t to pick him up” – the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. 

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

“Quichotte is pronounced “key-SHOT” as readers are told on the first page. It’s the name – or, actually, the pseudonym – of the central character.” – Salman Rushdie, coming over all prickly on Twitter. 

3  The New Zealand Wars: Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa by Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books, $40)

“Many of those opposing the petition were elderly (and disproportionately male) Pākehā, and had grown up in an era when New Zealanders still liked to think of themselves as living in a land of racial harmony and prosperity. Nostalgia for an imagined past can sometimes be a powerful lure.” – on the 2015 petition, organised by high school students, calling for a national day of commemoration for the New Zealand Wars.

4  Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney

5  Native Son: The Writer’s Memoir by Witi Ihimaera (Vintage, $40)

The much anticipated, grown-up sequel to Māori Boy

6  How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid (Little, Brown, $30)

“More than thirty years after introducing the first-ever openly lesbian detective into British crime fiction, and almost a decade after receiving the Diamond Dagger for a career of ‘sustained excellence’ and a ‘significant contribution’, Val McDermid continues to raise the bar” – Craig Sisterson, at

7  This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (Picador, $23)

Weird that a memoir by a comic training to be a doctor in the UK is still really consistently in the top 10 a year after it came out, but OK. 

8  The Art of Logic by Eugenia Cheng (Profile Books, $25)

“It’s a shame that not everyone can read this book” – the Guardian.

9  Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon Winchester (HarperCollins, $27)

All precision engineers will probably read the book, though.

10  Out of Our Minds: A History of What We Think & How We Think It by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Oneworld, $35)

Spoiler: we are all SUPER ILLOGICAL except for Eugenia Cheng and the precision engineers.

Keep going!