Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending April 12

The only published and available best-selling 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 Necessary Secrets by Greg McGee (Upstart Press, $38)

Stand by for a Spinoff review.

2 Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide by John Walsh & Patrick Reynolds (Massey University Press, $20)

Recommended companion reading: Auckland’s Best Benches: An ‘Oh God I’m Knackered’ Guide

3 Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

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4 The Spy & the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre (Viking, $40)

Should tide you over until the final season of The Americans hits Lightbox.

5 Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks (St. Martin’s Press, $54)

“Equal parts advocacy and analysis—a welcome addition to the growing literature around the politics of welfare” – Kirkus Reviews

6 The Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press, $30)

The perfect pick-me-up for anyone headed in for surgery.

7 A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win WWII by Sonia Purnell (Hachette, $35)

Is it Spook Week?

8 Lanny by Max Porter (Faber & Faber, $30)

“Dead Papa Toothwort wakes from his standing nap an acre wide and scrapes off dream dregs of bitumen glistening thick with liquid globs of litter” – opening sentence.

9 Little by Edward Carey (Gallic Books, $31)

“In this gloriously gruesome imagining of the girlhood of Marie Tussaud, mistress of wax, fleas will bite, rats will run and heads will roll and roll and roll. Guts’n’gore galore: I bloody loved it” – The Spectator

10 Don’t Send Flowers by Martin Solares (Atlantic Books, $23)

Mexican drug cartels, machismo, general mayhem: a fitting follow to 2010’s The Black Minutes.


1  Night as Day by Nikki-Lee Birdsey (Victoria University Press, $25)

On the poet’s bedside table, apparently: Hone Tuwhare, Small Holes in the Silence. Raymond Carver, Cathedral. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye. Mutuwhenua, Patricia Grace.

2  A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press, $30)

3  Spring by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton, $34)

We covet it purely for its bucolic, bursting-with-life cover.

4  Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

5  Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber, $33)

Apparently worth the initial hard slog?

6  Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Yuval Harari (Vintage, $30)

Best line: “we did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.”

7  How to Take Off Your Clothes by Hadassah Grace (Dead Bird Books, $25)

More local poetry! “One of her poems, ‘Men who pay to touch me’, is made up of one-line comments from customers such as “You’re too fat to be a stripper”, “Why can’t I touch you”, “Why won’t you kiss me”, “Oh my God, marry me”. She says all the comments were made in a 48-hour period” – Radio NZ

8  Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells (Allen Lane, $35)

Illustrative chapter headings: Heat Death. Hunger. Unbreathable Air.

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9  Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $33)

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

I am far from the first critic to recommend Tara Westover’s astounding memoir… but if its comet tail of glowing reviews has not yet convinced you, let me see what I can do” – the New Yorker

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