Image: Pixabay.
Image: Pixabay.

BooksAugust 9, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending August 9

Image: Pixabay.
Image: Pixabay.

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)

“I based my selection of these three women on the relatability of their stories, their intensity, and the way that the events, if they happened in the past, still sat on the woman’s chest.”

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

Much more interested in the women on either side of you, mate.

3  Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Windmill Books, $28)

“Everything I wrote at the beginning was awful. Then I became obsessed with the New Yorker fiction podcast” – Westover, to the Guardian

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

“‘The Iliad’ meets #MeToo” – Atlantic headline

The Overstory by Richard Powers (Vintage, $26)

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

6  Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (Fourth Estate, $25)

Gutsy and dense. Standard sentence: “Slim coughs, chokes up brown tobacco spit that he missiles out the window to our sun-baked and potholed bitumen street running past fourteen low-set sprawling fibro houses, ours and everybody else’s in shades of cream, aquamarine and sky blue.”

7  Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Little, Brown, $35)

Arthur Less packs his best blue suit and embarks on an extraordinary mid (late?) life crisis. 

8  Performance Under Pressure by Ceri Evans (HarperCollins, $40)

I have 11 minutes to finish this list before I’m back on baby duty.

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

Ten minutes.

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

Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney


1  Brain Connections: How To Sleep Better, Worry Less & Feel Happier by Giresh Kanji (Pain Publications, $36)

“This is his third book, after Fix Your Back and Fix Your Neck Pain, Headache and Migraine” – RNZ

2  AUP New Poets 5: Carolyn DeCarlo, Sophie van Waardenberg & Rebecca Hawkes edited by Anna Jackson (AUP, $30)

We’re most excited about Hawkes’technicolor poems about magnolias, pig nipples, werewolves and pitcher plants”.

3  How to Live by Helen Rickerby (AUP, $25)

More poetry!

“History has that way of erasing women – women are so forgettable – and of the few who are remembered, many are called something else: prophetess, wise woman, mystic, witch. Writer. We all know what a philosopher looks like: he has a beard, a robe, and carries a staff. We all know what a philosopher looks like: he has a serious look and two-day stubble above his turtleneck sweater.”

4  Faber & Faber: The Untold Story of a Great Publishing House by Toby Faber (Faber, $45)

Letters and illustrations, 1920-1990.

“Charles Monteith to Ted Hughes, 15 February 1963

We’ve just heard the shattering news about Sylvia…”

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

“They were also said to have another name for these devastating conflicts: ‘Te Riri Pākehā’ – ‘the white man’s anger’.”

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

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

8  Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

The fifth outing for Jackson Brodie, described by the Telegraph as: “a private detective, sexy-grumpy in the Morse mode, who has been deeply hurt by life and is determined to prevent as many people as possible suffering as badly as he has.”

Can, apparently, be read as a stand-alone.

9  Close to the Edge by Toby Faber (Faber, $33)

The publisher turned novelist is now pondering a sequel.

10  Te Tiriti o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Piripi Walker (Lift Education, $20)

Toby rulz!

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox


The Sport OGs, photographed in 1988. Clockwise from left: Nigel Cox, Fergus Barrowman, Damien Wilkins, Elizabeth Knox. (Photo: Supplied)

Long live Sport, 1988-2021

One of our great literary magazines is no more. Its publisher looks back on what it achieved, and muses on the long-gone golden age of New Zealand publishing.