Two photographs of Tayi Tibble flanking her first book, Pōukangatus.
Pōukangatus, Tibble's first book of poems, which won the Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award (Photos: Supplied)

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending August 10

The week’s biggest selling books at the Unity stores in Willis St, Wellington, and Hight St, Auckland.


1 Poūkahangatus by Tayi Tibble (Text Publishing, $37)

Ashleigh Young, speaking at the book launch: “Hinemoana Baker has said that Tayi’s poems have a liquid quality in the way they rush through time and the way their form and language moves. I think Tayi’s influence is going to be similar in the way it travels; already I can see it flowing through the work of other writers.”

2 Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Little Brown, $25)

“Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Less is a hilarious satire about a moderately successful novelist travelling abroad to make his problems vanish”: The Times of India.

3 People from the Pit Stand Up by Sam Duckor-Jones (Victoria University Press, $30)

Ashleigh Young, speaking at the book launch: “There are lots of people having yarns in Sam’s book…I feel like I haven’t heard that particular yarning voice – it’s almost, somehow, Fred Daggish in places – in NZ poetry in ages…It’s one of acute sensitivity to ordinary beauty.”

4 Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape, $35)


5 This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Vintage, $38)

“In her latest novel, Fiona Kidman explores the story of the ‘jukebox killer’, as Albert Black was sensationally described in 1955. Black was a mere 20-years-old when he was convicted of murder and then hanged at Mount Eden prison. He killed a man at Ye Old Barn cafe in Auckland by putting a knife in his neck. But it’s still unclear whether the murder was premeditated or an accident…Kidman sustains narrative tension as the trial moves on inexorably, an appeal hearing takes place, and Black’s girlfriend brings significant news late in the piece. There’s a tragic inevitability to his story“: Tina Shaw, the Spinoff Review of Books.

6 XYZ of Happiness by Mary McCallum (Makaro, $25)

He liked to arrive at her door
ring the bell and wait
to see her face above him at the window
the eyes widen, the mouth an oh!
look through the keyhole
to see the joy of her
running down the stairs in a pink T-shirt
cupping each large unruly breast
not enough hands
to stop the smile on her face.

7 Is It Bedtime Yet? Parenting … the Hilarious, the Hair-Raising, the Heart-breaking by Emily Writes & friends (Random House, $35)


8 Calypso by David Sedaris (Little Brown, $35)


9 Homefire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury, $22) 

Literary fiction.

10 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins, $25)

Popular fiction.


1 Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Little, Brown and Company, $35)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35) 

If you care a fuck of a lot less about shit you don’t actually need to care about, some people might think you’re a bit of a heartless cunt but actually you’ll feel a lot happier than before so they can get fucked.

3  View from the South by Owen Marshall (Vintage, $40)

A poetry coffee-table book: it’s got photos by Grahame Sydney.

4 Warlight: A Novel by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape, $35)

5 Steven Adams My Life, My Fight by Steven Adams with Madeleine Chapman (Penguin Random House, $40)

“A word about the author. Madeleine Chapman had never written a book. She knew Adams through their shared time in Wellington basketball. When he wanted his story written, he asked Chapman and she leaped at the challenge. It proved to be a good partnership because the book captures Adams well – understated in manner and with a strain of humour running through it”: Joseph Romanos, the Spinoff Review of Books.

6 Last Stories by William Trevor (Viking, $35)

Last stories.

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


8 Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon Winchester (William Collins, $37)

Nuts and bolts.

9 How Not to be a Boy by Robert Webb (Canongate Books, $33)

“This is less a manifesto by the actor and comedian than a highly personal story of not fitting in and a crisis in early adulthood. It’s also funny”: Guardian.

10 Orchid & the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes (Oneworld Publications, $38)

Popular fiction.

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