BooksOctober 13, 2017

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending October 13


The best-selling books at the two best bookstores in Aotearoa.


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

Number one for the second consecutive week; this family memoir is the book to get right now. “Those familiar with Wichtel’s television reviews and features at the Listener will know her for the quality of her writing, her astute observations, her intelligence, her wit. She’s characteristically funny here too — noting, for instance, that over the years, she has been referred to as Witchell, Wincell, Mitchell, Twitchell, Wotchpell and as a television critic at the Listener, ‘you stupid Bitchtel’ — adding levity to what is a moving and powerful story”: Margo White, The Spinoff Review of Books.

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


3 Munich by Robert Harris (Hutchinson, $38)


4 Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington 1888 – 1903 by Redmer Yska (Otago University Press, $40)

One of the best books of 2017. “Yska spent his formative years in Karori, as Mansfield did, and his book explores the interplay between the imagination and the physical world – the way environment shapes a writer’s mind. Cities are real but they are also cities of the mind; the writer’s ways of seeing and expressing are formed by life in a particular landscape, and perceptions of aesthetics and truth – and even reality – are coloured by experience:” Charlotte Grimshaw, The Spinoff Review of Books.

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


6 Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin Books, $26)

Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker prize, announced on Monday. “Ali Smith’s latest novel is a beautifully written and rather glum vision of the state of the world today”: Louise O’Brien, The Spinoff Review of Books.

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

Egan! Winner of a 2011 Pulitzer, with her dazzling, adored novel A Visit from the Goon Squad; this is her long-awaited return.

8 Out of the Woods: Journey Through Depression & Anxiety by Brent Williams, illustrated by Öztekin Korkut (Educational Resources, $40)

“This is as clear, accurate and sympathetic a description of major depression and how to emerge from it as I have ever seen”: Dr Tim Cantopher, author of Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong.

9 Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, $38)


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




1 The Benefactor by Sebastian Hampson (Text, $37)

One of the minor mysteries of modern New Zealand literature is the curious case of Sebastian Hampson, a young writer and a complete nobody in his home country but who was given a two-book deal by Text, the smartest, most intellectually glamorous publisher in Australia. His debut novel came out a few years ago and appeared to be completely terrible, and yet strangely readable. The Benefactor is the follow-up.

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

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

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate, $23)

Novel told in one motherfucking sentence.

5 The Necessary Angel by CK Stead (Allen & Unwin, $37)

“Clever, rich, and playful”: Jane Westaway, The Spinoff Review of Books.

And: he’s 85 on Tuesday. Happy birthday!

6 Munich by Robert Harris (Hutchinson, $38)

7 Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Puffin, $30)


A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré (Penguin, $37)

9 Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo (Particular Books, $40)

Still selling solidly.

10 Eat Up New Zealand: Recipes and Stories by Al Brown (Allen & Unwin, $65)


The Spinoff review of books is brought to you by Unity Books.

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
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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