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BooksOctober 14, 2016

The weekly Unity Books best-seller chart: October 14

Stacks of books
Stacks of books

The weekly best-seller chart at Unity stores in Wellington and Auckland, for the week just ended: October 14


1 Broken Decade: Prosperity, Depression & Recovery in NZ 1928-39 (Otago University Press, $50) by Malcolm McKinnon

Meticulous new study.

2 Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25) by Hera Lindsay Bird

“Take me out behind the supermarket parking lot and shoot me.”

3 Constitution for Aotearoa NZ (Victoria University Press, $25) by Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler

The authors set out their barrow in the opening sentences: “We propose a written, codified Constitution for New Zealand. That Constitution aims to set out in an accessible form and a single document the fundamental rules and principles under which New Zealand is to be governed.”

4 Nutshell (Jonathan Cape, $38) by Ian McEwan

“Essentially a 200-page monologue delivered in utero…A preposterously weird little novel”: The Washington Post.

5 Mansfield & Me: A Graphic Memoir (Victoria University Press, $35) by Sarah Laing

She can write, she can draw real good too: remarkable graphic novel, half reverie about Katherine Mansfield, half very intimate confessions from the author.

6 Only Two for Everest: How a First Ascent by Riddiford & Cotter Shaped Climbing History (Otago University Press, $50) by Lyn McKinnon

The untold story of the 1951 New Zealand Garhwal Expedition to Mukut Parbat in NW India with Earle Riddiford (leader), Ed Hillary, George Lowe & Ed Cotter.

7 Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life (Viking,$38) by John Le Carre

Memoir by the spymaster: “I love doing what I’m doing at this moment, scribbling away like a man in hiding at a poky desk on a blackclouded early morning in May, with the mountain rain scuttling down the window and no excuse for tramping down to the railway station under an umbrella because the International New York Times doesn’t arrive until lunchtime.”

8 Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved & Died in The 1940s (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, $40) by Anne Sebba

One of the best books of 2016.

9 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Harville Secker, $40) by Yuval Noah Harari

Rock me Homo Deus.

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

“I want to briefly defend the role of the party in the writing life.”



1 A Constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand (Victoria University Press, $25) by Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler

2 Born to Run (Simon & Schuster, $50) by Bruce Springsteen

One two three FOUR!!! That is, there’s a lot of exclamation marks and capital letters in this actually pretty fucking terrible memoir.

3 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Harvill Secker, $40) by Yuval Noah Secker

4 The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (Viking, $38) by John le Carré

5 Known and Strange Things (Faber & Faber, $33) by Teju Cle

“The American-Nigerian writer floats free of the usual cultural expectations in this eclectic, laser-sharp collection of essays”: The Guardian.

6 The Boy Behind the Curtain (Hamish Hamilton, $50) by Tim Winton

An interview with the author of these brilliant personal essays will appear in the Spinoff next week.

7 Hot Milk (Hamish Hamilton, $37) by Deborah Levy

“Ingrid takes an axe to a snake on her bathroom floor after a post-coital cold shower with Sofia; she gives Sofia a halterneck top embroidered with the word ‘beloved’, only for Sofia to see that it actually reads ‘beheaded’…A feverish coming-of-age novel”: Daily Telegraph.

8 The Sellout (Oneworld Publications, $28) by Paul Beatty

Satirical novel about an African-American fruit farmer who unwittingly becomes a slave-owner.

9 Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25) by Hera Lindsay Bird

10 Eileen (Vintage, $26) by Ottessa Moshfegh

“Eileen is one of the most pitiable and despicable characters I’ve ever read. She’s neurotically self-absorbed and suffering from severe sexual repression She lewdly fixates on a muscular guard who works at the prison where she’s employed, she casually wonders how much time someone would serve to be with a young boy who’s incarcerated, and she is all too eager to succumb to the charms of a beautiful new female counselor. It’s uncomfortable and often disgusting being in Eileen’s head, but it’s absolutely riveting as well”: A person called Wendy Darling on Goodreads.

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