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BooksMay 11, 2018

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending May 11


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



1 What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $50)

“This is a very uncool opinion among journalists, but I actually quite enjoyed Clinton’s book. It’s a cautionary tale about how far even the most accomplished women have to go before they can be considered equal with men…I devoured What Happened greedily – not out of enjoyment at Clinton’s loss, but of a successful woman’s articulation of what the early stages of failure felt like, before the spin kicked in and she put a brave face on it”: Charlotte Graham-McLay, who then went on to describe Clinton’s speech in Auckland this week as a total fizzer.

2 It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $29)

Some platitudes.

Poetry Magazine edited by Don Share (Poetry Foundation, $16)

Anthology of New Zealand verse, including poems by Hera Lindsay Bird, who is appearing at the London Review Bookshop in Fitzrovia on Wednesday night. The event is already sold out.

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey (Macmillan, $38)

On Tuesday, on the first anniversary of his firing by Trump, Comey took to Twitter with a violin, and sawed, “Missing the people of the FBI today. Thank you for your commitment to truth and for all the good you do for this country.”

5  12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson (Allen Lane, $40)

Peterson is currently on a sell-out book tour of the US. Two editors from the Washington Post attended a talk this week, and shared their observations on Slack. Editor A: “You can see why people like watching his talks — he’s like the superstar professor in college who has the 250-person lecture class.” Editor B: “They’re all men, though. All young, generally white, men.” Editor A: “As a 30-year-old white male, I had plenty of company in the audience…”

Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Lee Boudreaux Books / Little, Brown and Company $49)

“Convulsed in laughter a few pages into Andrew Sean Greer’s fifth novel, Less, I wondered with regret why I wasn’t familiar with this author. My bad. His admirers have included John Updike, Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers and John Irving. Less is the funniest, smartest and most humane novel I’ve read since Tom Rachman’s 2010 debut, The Imperfectionists“: New York Times.

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

“A love story, a story of adultery, beginning with the narrator asking himself what he thinks of as the only real question: ‘Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less and suffer the less?’…A masterful novel”: Stephanie Johnson, The Spinoff Review of Books.

8  Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, 28.00)

The Bostock’s chicken breast with chilli jam and lemon crème from the menu at Soul, where she dined this week, or the Cloudy Bay clams with something called aqua pazza?

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

Headline, at Marxist site Red Flag: “Who gives a fuck about Mark Manson and Jordan Peterson?”

10 All This by Chance by Vincent O’Sullivan (Victoria University Press, $35)

“Is there anyone else like Vincent O’Sullivan? His new novel traces several generations of a New Zealand family, from 1947 to 2004 with the brief, revealing return to 1938 at the book’s end; it opens as the novel’s over-arching character, Stephen, leaves a country full of good food, beaches and available jobs  to travel to grim, grimy post-war England. It’s the smell that happens first. Image-making is where O’Sullivan is so extraordinarily compelling”: Elizabeth Alley, The Spinoff Review of Books.


1 Song for Rosaleen by Pip Desmond (Massey University Press, $30)

Best-selling memoir of struggling with a mother’s dementia; a bittersweet extract ran at The Spinoff Review of Books.

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

From the Irish Times: “Gail Honeyman spoke at the Mountains to Sea Festival in Dún Laoghaire of the inspiration behind her bestselling book Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: she’d read a newspaper article on loneliness, featuring a young woman who spoke to nobody between leaving work on Friday evening and going back on Monday morning. Thus Eleanor Oliphant was born.”

3 Dear Oliver: Uncovering a Pākehā History by Peter Wells (Massey University Press, $40)

Superb family memoir by the author who picked up a very welcome cheque for $20,000 last week, as recorded in his fifth – and final – instalment of Hello Darkness at The Spinoff Review of Books.

4 Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat (Canongate, $55)

“Before Salt Fat Acid Heat I was of the opinion that given I already have a good stash of the usuals, I didn’t need another cookbook. I wasn’t far into Salt Fat Acid Heat before I knew that I was reading something different. Nosrat is no Nigella, seductively stirring some tasty morsels. She’s an unfalteringly curious concocter; she’s actually a scientist, minus the sandals”: Linda Burgess, The Spinoff Review of Books.

5 Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (Macmillan, $35)

6 Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon (William Heinemann, $35)

Police procedural.

7 All This by Chance by Vincent O’Sullivan (Victoria University Press, $35)

8 Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Hutchinson, $38)

The Spinoff Review of Books looks forward to the forthcoming review by Kim Hill.

9 Slow Art of Fast Running by David McGuiness (David McGuinness, $30)

Fat dad slims down.

10 Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury, $22)

Thor etc.

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

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