fun reading

BooksDecember 9, 2016

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ended December 13

fun reading

What’s everyone reading – and buying – at Xmas? Fucking Apostrophes and other gift ideas, going by the latest Unity Books best-seller chart at their stores in Auckland and Wellington.


1 Fucking Apostrophes (Icon Books, $19) by Simon Griffin

Your cool Simon!

2 Wish Child (Victoria University Press, $30) by Catherine Chidgey

“This is a brilliant novel, with a cohesive and persuasive vision of human beings under stress, a subtle prose-style and a major grasp of things that really matter”: Nicholas Reid, Reid’s Reader.

3 Portholes to the Past (Steele Roberts, $25) by Lloyd Geering

Graeme Lay claimed in the Spinoff a few months ago that John Dunmore, at 92, was New Zealand’s oldest living practising writer. So not true! Professor Lloyd Geering has turned in his new memoir at the tender age of 98.

4 The Sympathizer (Piatkus, $28) by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Sure to feature in the Spinoff’s best novels of the year list next week.

5 Swing Time (Hamish Hamilton, $37) by Zadie Smith

Will this feature in the Spinoff’s best novels of the year list next week?

6 Wellington in Your Pocket (FitzBeck Creative, $25) by Nigel Beckford & Michael Fitzsimons

Appealing city guide by the team who are responsible for publishing five collections of verse by broadcaster Richard Langston.

7 The Sellout: A Novel (Oneworld, $28) by Paul Beatty

Runaway hit by the winner of the 2016 Man Booker prize.

8 Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life (Viking, $38) by John Le Carre

One of the best memoirs of the year.

9 Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No. 1 Enemy (Corgi, $26) by Bill Browder

“In 2008 a young Russian lawyer called Sergei Magnitsky uncovered a massive tax fraud. He found evidence that a group of well-connected Russian officials had stolen a whopping $230m. The same officials had Magnitsky arrested; he was tossed into a freezing cell and refused medical treatment….One day his condition grew critical. Guards put him in an isolation cell. There, they beat him to death. Magnitsky’s case was to become the most notorious example of human rights abuse in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. That this happened was down to one man: Bill Browder, a US-born financier…Red Notice is a dramatic, moving and thriller-like account of how Magnitsky’s death transformed Browder from hedge-fund manager to global human rights crusader”: The Guardian.

10 Havana Coffee Works (Phantom House, $50) by Geoff Marsland & Tom Scott

“We used Fidel Castro on our mood board when we designed a new range of moccacinos”, etc.


1 Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany (Allen Lane, $55) by Norman Ohler

Nazis on P.

2 The Sympathizer (Corsair, $28) by Viet Thanh Nguyen

3 Swing Time (Hamish Hamilton, $37) by Zadie Smith

4 Rather Be the Devil (Orion, $38) by Ian Rankin

Latest Rebus by the master.

5 The Great War for New Zealand (Bridget Williams Books, $80) by Vincent O’Malley

The NZ Herald’s pick as best book of the year.

6 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Vintage, $28) by Yuval Noah Harari

Popular science.

7 The Wish Child (Victoria University Press, $30) by Catherine Chidgey

8 Fuck It: Do What You Love (Hay House, $26) by John Parkin

A collection of meaningless slogans on the same theme, eg “Fuck it, I can’t waste any more of my life”, “Fuck it, I will find a way to make this work”, “Fuck it all to hell, you’re all cunts”, etc.

9 Hand-Coloured New Zealand (Potton & Burton, $80) by Peter Alsop

New Zealand’s first published collection of hand-coloured photography! Remarkable, beautiful, an excellent gift.

10 A Life in Parts (Orion, $40) by Bryan Cranston 

Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father cast him in a United Way commercial. The rest is Breaking Bad, and life inbetween.

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
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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