(Photo: Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)

The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending May 14

The only published and available best-selling indie 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.

AUCKLAND

1  Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber & Faber, $37)

On Saturday night you can watch Ishiguro on livestream at the Auckland Writers Festival. The event is amusingly (depending on how you feel about puns) called A NOBEL LIFE: KAZUO ISHIGURO. Because, you know, Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he always comes across as… well, you get the idea.

2  First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami (Penguin Random House, $45)

“I hardly ever wear suits. At most, maybe two or three times a year, since there are rarely any situations where I need to get dressed up. I may wear a casual jacket on occasion, but no tie, or leather shoes. That’s the type of life I chose for myself, so that’s how things have worked out.”

3  The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw (Vintage, $38)

The saga continues: Grimshaw’s father C. K. Stead released the third and final volume of his memoirs yesterday, which covers much of the same period as The Mirror Book. Pass the popcorn.

4  Imagining Decolonisation by Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

Our beloved and constant companion.

5  Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press, $25)

‘He tries to think back to Judith, the way she looked as she lay on the blankets, her eyes closed, her skin flushed and yet pale. “She has a fever. She has taken to her bed.”

The woman frowns. “A fever? Has she buboes?”

“Buboes?”

“Lumps. Under the skin. On her neck, under her arms.”

Hamnet stares at her, at the small pleat of skin between her brows, at the rim of her cap, how it has rubbed a raw patch beside her ear, at the wiry coils of hair escaping at the back. He thinks of the word “buboes,” its vaguely vegetal overtones, how its bulg­ing sound mimics the thing it describes. A cold fear rinses down through his chest, encasing his heart in an instant, crackling frost.’

6  One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A Greener Way to Cook for You, Your Family and the Planet by Anna Jones (4th Estate, $55)

Great food that won’t give you pangs of environmental guilt.

7  Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press, $35)

It’s officially a year since Auē won the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the Ockhams, and there isn’t a hint of it slowing down. As there’s little chance of anything stealing Auē’s thunder, a quick CONGRATS to this year’s fiction prizewinner, Airini Beautrais for the short story collection Bug Week.

8  Ottolenghi: Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage (Ebury Press, $60)

Two cookbooks in Auckland’s top 10? We must be readying ourselves to cook away the winter blues.

9  The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King (Penguin, $38)

A cornerstone of New Zealand non-fiction, without which no bookshelf in our fair country is complete. Famous from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.

On an unrelated note, after recently mentioning The Penguin History of New Zealand to an acquaintance, he widened his eyes and said, “There’s a whole book on the history of New Zealand penguins?”

10  Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given (Octopus Publishing, $30)

The title’s as true as ever.

WELLINGTON

1 The Alarmist by Dave Lowe (Victoria University Press, $40)

From an upcoming review by a young glaciologist: “Dave’s story shows me there is light in the bleakest reaches of scientific research, and life. He reminds us that cherished research can be destroyed, that cold hard facts can nullify scientific theories, that new approaches must be taken. Like the measuring equipment at Baring Head that often broke and had to be repaired, Dave had to rebuild himself after years of working long into the nights, after separation from his first wife, after disconnection from friends.”

2  Imagining Decolonisation by Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

3  Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz (Allen & Unwin, $33)

A debut novel about a dead girl that pokes at our “cultural obsession with dead girls”.

4  Aroha: Māori Wisdom for a Contented Life Lived in Harmony with our Planet by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin Random House, $30)

Surely not a day goes by without someone buying a copy of Aroha, sighing contentedly as they start to read, and then an hour later jumping up and yelling “Finally! Finally I have all the answers!”

5  Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press, $25)

6  One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A Greener Way to Cook for You, Your Family and the Planet by Anna Jones (4th Estate, $55)

7  Shuggie Bain by Stuart Douglas (Pan Macmillan, $38)

People ask Google, “Is Shuggie Bain difficult to read?”

Google (wearing Amazon’s face and clothing) replies, “In the same vein as Yanagihara’s A Little Life (also shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Shuggie Bain is brutal to the point of having to put the book down at times. This is not a light or easy read, it is a journey into the lives of people broken by their circumstances and upbringing, yet filled with unfiltered love.”

8  Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press, $35)

9  Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber & Faber, $37)

10  The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw (Vintage, $38)




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