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BooksNovember 8, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending November 8

sam (54)

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

Bryson, eh? Just casually walloping both Booker winners a few weeks into their reign.

2  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton, $40)

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.

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

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.

4  A Ladybird Book about Donald Trump by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris (Michael Joseph UK, $24)

Cover image: still life of an orange.

5  Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay (Picador UK, $20)

“Witness the anaesthetist wearing a badge that says: ‘He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.’” – the author, in a promo column for the Sun.

6  James Cook: The story behind the man who mapped the world by Peter FitzSimons (Hachette Australia, $38)


7  The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez (Hachette AUS, $20)

A 2006 novel set in 1960s America and as the Guardian put it, “reissued now, presumably, because its story of activists and bystanders chimes with the times.”

8  The Anarchy: the relentless rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury, $33)

“The company was an extraordinary strange beast that morphed rather like the creature in Alien – moving from that sort of little slug thing that comes out of John Hurt’s chest to the moment when it grows into the great mother beast.” – the author, to Kim Hill.

9  Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Viking Penguin $35)

“Unforgettable, luminous, tender” – stand by for a rapturous review from Marion McLeod.

10  Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner (Hachette, $35)

More from the ‘her husband was an absolute twat’ files, per RNZ: “Kent Adonai went on to become Colin’s personal carer, and when he died in 2010, Colin left him £20 million worth of assets – and not a thing for Anne and their children.”



1 All Of This Is For You: A Little Book of Kindness by Ruby Jones (Penguin Books, $24)

Small and sweet and perfect for posting.

2  How To Walk A Dog by Mike White (Allen & Unwin, $35)

” … spring at the dog park is spectacular. The grass grows like bamboo and small dogs risk being lost in it, until the council mower man arrives and returns it to normal with slow, calculated circles of his tractor. There are snowdrops – or are they that onion weed? – and among them, along one bank, a single jonquil that’s somehow sprouted and survived the year’s dog action. I smile at it every morning and feel like guarding it …”

3  We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall & Tim Denee (Massey University Press, $70)

“A smashed-it-out-of-the-park heroically monumental work of data visualisation art” – data scientist Aaron Schiff in his Spinoff review.

4 Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence & Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams & Puawai Cairns (Te Papa Press, $70)

Gibson, also to the Spinoff, on the Women’s Suffrage Petition 1893: 

“There was so much energy put into those pieces of paper in the way that they were all glued together and wound around a broom handle, which I always thought was ironic.

The object itself has so much presence. It’s a very important material object about effort and belief and passion and determination and the object is the focus of that and it’s incredibly powerful. An online petition, it’s digital, you can’t feel the weight of it. Even if it’s got a million signatures you still couldn’t feel that weight.”

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

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

Stand by for a rapturous account of a Patchett binge from Scarlett Cayford.

7  Blue Moon by Lee Child (Bantam Press, $38)

The 24th in the series. “Not bad,” said Kirkus Reviews,  “but it’s far from the tight, nifty execution that made the Reacher books so much fun to begin with.”

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

9  Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $35)

“He is a loaf of man. He’s wearing a hooded sweatshirt and work pants and his hair is buzz-cut. He’s a little drunk, having come from his stepfather’s funeral by way of a bar in between. He drinks cans of beer and his breath always has that taste, which Lina has come to associate with pure passion.”

10  The Anarchy: the relentless rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury, $33)

Keep going!