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Photo: Rich Grundy / CC BY 2.0
Photo: Rich Grundy / CC BY 2.0

BooksNovember 10, 2017

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

Photo: Rich Grundy / CC BY 2.0
Photo: Rich Grundy / CC BY 2.0

The best-selling books at the best two bookstores adhering to building codes.


1 Drawn Out: A Seriously Funny Memoir by Tom Scott (Allen & Unwin, $45)

Much is anecdotage, a life well-told, by the great cartoonist who reminds readers that he has also excelled as a playwright, film-maker, and TV script writer.

2 La Belle Sauvage: Book of Dust by Philip Pullman (David Fickling Books, $35)

“Full of wonder…truly thrilling…a stunning achievement”: The New York Times.

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

“Saunders has achieved nothing less than expanded the form of the novel. He’s knitted together history and fiction, and combined profound insights on human suffering with bawdy, rude, and comical narration…A work of art”: Wyoming Paul, the Spinoff Review of Books.

4 Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father by Diana Wichtel (Awa Press, $45)

“Wichtel has told the Hitler story again, beautifully, and it is very ugly….A remarkable memoir”: Adam Dudding, Sunday Star-Times.

5 Dark Forest Deep Sea: Reflections of a Hunter by Richard Hall (Makaro Press, $38)

The author, writing about Abrahams Bay Hunters Hut, on Rakiura/Stewart Island: “Pāua and blue cod sizzled in a pan on the cast iron hob. To walk into the hut was like entering a beating heart – warm, reddened by the embers of the fire and glasses of port, pulsating with stories from the hunters.”

6 Talking to My Daughter About the Economy by Yanis Varoufakis (Bodley Head, $35)

A concise history of capitalism by the former finance minister of Greece.

7 Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Little Brown, $38)

Literary fiction.

8 The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst (Picador, $38)

Literary fiction.

9 Beat of the Pendulum: A Found Novel by Catherine Chidgey (Victoria University Press, $35)

Creative writing exercise.

10 Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre (Penguin, $37)

Spy novel.



1 False River by Paula Morris (Random House, $35)

Bewitching collection of short stories and personal essays by the Auckland writer; includes her 10,000-word masterpiece on the Little House books, abridged at the Spinoff on Wednesday.

2 Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story by Gavin Bishop (Penguin, $40)

Charmingly illustrated story for kids.

3 Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press, $30)

A return to the chart of one of the best books of 2016.

4 My Father’s Island by Adam Dudding (Victoria University Press, $35)

A return to the chart of one of the best books of 2016.

5 The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (Simon & Schuster, $30)

6 The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit (Granta, $28)

“The main essay in the book is about the various ways that women are silenced, and Solnit focusses upon the power of storytelling—the way that who gets to speak, and about what, shapes how a society understands itself and what it expects from its members. It poses the thesis that telling women’s stories to the world will change the way that the world treats women, and it sets out to tell as many of those stories as possible”: The New Yorker.

7 Le Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (David Fickling Books, $35)

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

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

Dystopian sci-fi with a fresh twist: it imagines a world run by women.

10 Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate, $23) 

“Ahbeesee defeegee kelomen opeecue rustyouvee double you”, as Leopold Bloom sounded the alphabet in Ulysses; Irish writer McCormack’s Solar Bones, a Joycean novel told in a single sentence, could be said to be an epic attempt to add the exwhyzed.

The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.

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