Image: Archi Banal
Image: Archi Banal

BooksSeptember 15, 2023

The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending September 15

Image: Archi Banal
Image: Archi Banal

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.


1  Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear (Random House Business, $40)

The self-help classic. Pairs well with an early morning run, a cleansing green tea, and…

2  The Leading Edge: Dream big, spark change and become the leader the world needs you to be, by Holly Ransom (Viking, $40)

…a copy of The Leading Edge. 

OK, here’s the vibe: If you’re wanting to step up as a leader, improve your career, and make change, Australian founder and CEO Holly Ransom has a thing or two to teach you. Even Richard Branson is impressed: “Holly has thoroughly impressed me with her knowledge, poise and new ideas.” See? Impressed!

Michelle of Goodreads is impressed, too: “This book is a must-read for EVERYONE who wants to level up! It not only gives diverse real-life examples of leadership and clear, actionable steps to follow, it is also chock-full of hope and inspiration for those of us who believe it is possible to create a better future for generations to come.”

3  Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Vintage, $26)

Another week of tomorrows, and surely another week of being a bestseller.

4  The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin (Canongate, $50)

Record producer Rick Rubin, still making his case to the creatives. Here’s a snippet of the review from PopMatters: “Rubin starts by introducing the concept of Source—a lifeforce, a universal well of inspiration/energy/creativity. In music-making terms, Source can be recognized as what the Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson once described as ‘The Big Song’: the providential substance off which all songwriters were dutifully chipping, each hoping to find flecks of gold (or better still, platinum). According to Rubin, the artist’s role is to tune into Source by means that will probably be familiar to most anyone who has engaged with their creativity: get quiet, slow down, make space and time, get outside and into nature, mindfully notice both your surroundings and your innerness.”

5  The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape, $37)

Rejoice! A new novel by the fabulous Anne Enright, Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering, The Green Road, Actress and many more greats. Fellow Irish author Sally Rooney says, “The Wren, The Wren is a magnificent novel. Anne Enright’s stylistic brilliance seems to put the reader directly in touch with her characters and the rich territory of their lives.”

This is also the beginning of a winning Irish trend in the Auckland bestsellers this week…

6  The Seventh Son by Sebastian Faulks (Hutchinson, $37)

The new Sebastian Faulks novel is set in the near future and dripping with rave reviews. Here are but a few:

“A stunning novel: profoundly moving, deeply unsettling, thought-provoking and prescient but also a wonderful and life-affirming love story too” – James Holland

“Once I had started I literally could not stop. It really is his greatest novel yet, and of course beautifully written in that wonderful, understated style” – Antony Beevor

“Faulks is one of the most original and compelling writers in the world. This enthralling novel is right up there among his very finest work” – Peter James

“A completely fascinating and extraordinary novel. A profound and moving examination of our complex human nature” – William Boyd

7  The Wager by David Grann (Simon & Schuster, $40)

A compelling adventure and true story about a naval mutiny in 1741. If the words “shipwreck”, “murder”, “betrayal” and “deceit” perk you up, this one’s for you.

8  The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue (Knopf, $38)

A new novel by the Irish author of Promising Young Women. As evidenced above, we have nothing left to say about Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, but luckily its author Gabrielle Zevin has some words of praise for The Rachel Incident: “If you’ve ever been unsure what to do with your degree in English; if you’ve ever wondered when the rug-buying part of your life will start…if you’ve ever loved the wrong person, or the right person at the wrong time…In short, if you’ve ever been young, you will love The Rachel Incident like I did.”

9  So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan (Faber & Faber, $30)

Another beauty hailing from Ireland! So Late in the Day is a slim new story (at 64 pages, it’s just a bite) by the author of one our very very favourites, Small Things Like These. 

10  Holly by Stephen King (Hachette, $38)

Private detective Holly Gibney (of Mr Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and The Outsider) returns to give some more serial killers a hard time in King’s new crime-horror. 

How many books has Stephen King written at this point, you may be thinking? 

Seventy. Seven-zero. Now, that’s a lot of horror and crime in one brain.


1  The Forgotten Prophet: Tāmati Te Ito and His Kaingārara Movement by Jeffrey Sissons (Bridget Williams Books, $50)

“Tāmati Te Ito Ngāmoke led the prophetic Kaingārara movement in Taranaki from 1856. Te Ito was revered by tribal leaders as a prophetic tohunga matakite; but others, including many settlers and officials, viewed him as an ‘imposter’, a ‘fanatic’. Despite his influence and leadership, Te Ito’s historical importance remains largely unrecognised today.”

2  So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan (Faber, $30)

3  The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman (Viking, $37)

Richard Osman’s loveable octogenarian mystery-solving gang has returned, in the fourth novel from the Thursday Murder Club. 

4  Edmonds Taku Puka Tohutao Tuatahi by Goodman Fielder (Hachette, $28)

A reo Māori version of the famous Edmonds My First Cookbook, illustrated and perfect for children learning to cook. As well as Edmonds classics like Anzac biscuits and banana bread, Taku Puka Tohutao Tuatahi also has seven new recipes: frybread, star biscuits, mussel fritters, boilup, raw fish, sapasui, and bread and butter pudding. 

5  Lioness by Emily Perkins (Bloomsbury, $37)

Want to read a great local review of this great local novel? We can help you with that.

6  Tom Lake by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury, $35)

Ann Patchett, one of the greats.

7  Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Doubleday, $26)

The huge bestseller about a woman chemist in the 1960s who becomes a cooking show sensation. As well as being a well-loved story, Lessons in Chemistry is now small, cute, and just $26! 

8  The Seventh Son by Sebastian Faulks (Hutchinson, $37)

9  Yellowface by R. F. Kuang (Blue Door, $35)

The Guardian sets the scene of this gossipy, un-put-downable novel: “a zeitgeisty thriller set in the world of publishing that tells the tale of two young novelists in Washington DC. There’s Athena Liu, a critical and commercial darling who has just signed a deal with Netflix, and green-eyed frenemy Juniper Hayward, whose debut has already been forgotten, the paperback publication axed owing to poor sales. The novel starts with the pair toasting Athena’s success in her ritzy apartment after a night on the town; Juniper, our narrator, is choking down her resentment when, suddenly, Athena is literally – and fatally – choking on a homemade pancake…”

10  Our Land in Colour: A History of Aotearoa New Zealand 1860 – 1960 by Brendan Graham and Jock Phillips (HarperCollins, $55)

A lovely big coffee table book, full of colour-retouched photography from earlier days in Aotearoa.

Keep going!