Unity Books best-seller chart: week ending February 9

The week’s best-selling books at the Unity stores in Auckland and Wellington.


1 Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

The Wolff who cried, “Oh boy!”

2 The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young (Faber, $23)

“The author has deep faith in cows having individual personalities and quirky traits; that they hold grudges, get jealous, are sociable or introverted, display loyalty and love…A respectful, readable, charming little book”: Rachel Stewart, the Spinoff Review of Books.

Tinkering: The Complete Book of John Clarke by John Clarke (Text, $40)

We look forward to the forthcoming review by Roger Hall.

4 Gentlemen in Moscow by Amor Towles (Windmill, $26)

Fiction. “Sentenced to house arrest in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel by a Bolshevik tribunal for writing a poem deemed to encourage revolt, Count Alexander Rostov nonetheless lives the fullest of lives…Though Stalin and Khrushchev make their presences felt, Towles largely treats politics as a dark, distant shadow”: Kirkus Review.

5 Only Story by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape, $35)

Fiction. “A bored 19-year-old student, on his university holidays, joins the local tennis club, where he dismisses all the girls his age as wholesome ‘Carolines’ but falls for Mrs Susan Macleod, a spirited, sarcastic woman in her forties. Paul shocks the village by taking her for drives (both are soon barred from the tennis club) and then starts taking her to bed in her marital home….This intense, taut, sad and often beautiful tale may well be Barnes’s best novel for some years”: New Statesman.

Call Me By Your Name (Film Tie-In) by André Aciman (Picador, $35)

Film tie-in.

7 Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece by Stephen Fry (Michael Joseph, $37)


Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Walker Books, $19)

Speculative fiction. The first in a new series which imagines a world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, including death. Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

The Stakes by Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin, $33)

Crime fiction. An NYPD robbery detective uses his insider cop knowledge to rob rich criminals.

10  Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin, $26)

The sequel to Winter.



1 Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

2 Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (Profile Books, $23)

A Lego model of Mary Beard has been created to celebrate the work of the author and Cambridge University classicist.

3 The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin, $26)

“An unsavory minor character called Weinstein makes a brief appearance. Was that pure chance?”, asked the New York Times of Alderman in an interview last month. She noted the character was “odious” and “treacherous”, and said, “In hindsight, it was kind of eerie that I gave him that name. Am I psychic? Well, maybe.”

4 Tinkering: The Complete Book of John Clarke by John Clarke (Text Publishing, $40)

5 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury, $33)

Fiction. Ghosts talk about things.

6 Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (Profile Books, $33)

“A very readable account of owning Scotland’s largest second-hand bookstore at a time when huge online businesses are taking over the trade….His view of the second-hand trade is realistic and alert to the eccentricities of everyday life. He describes the serendipity of discovering a rare volume in an unexpected place, propping up a piece of furniture or covered in dust and cat-fur in a neglected house”: David Herkt, Stuff.

7 Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece by Stephen Fry (Michael Joseph, $37)

8 A History of Bees by Maja Lunde (Simon & Schuster, $38)

Fiction. We commissioned Rachael King to write a review and she was all set but then she got crook; unfeelingly, we nagged her for a sentence, and she complied: “A complete (wholegrain) meal of a novel: beautifully drawn relationships, a fascinating history, and a chilling look at where we’re headed if we don’t do something now to save our fuzzy friends.”

9 Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House by Luke Harding (Guardian Faber, $33)

Oh so what. This week’s Gallup poll showed Trump’s approval rating among Republicans at 90 per cent.

10 The Cage by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Books NZ, $38)

Fiction. In the back garden of a quiet country hotel, two strangers are locked behind wire, and fed like zoo animals.

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