Unity Wellington and Auckland’s bestselling books for week ending Nov 15 2019
Unity Wellington and Auckland’s bestselling books for week ending Nov 15 2019

BooksNovember 15, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending November 15

Unity Wellington and Auckland’s bestselling books for week ending Nov 15 2019
Unity Wellington and Auckland’s bestselling books for week ending Nov 15 2019

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  Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Viking Penguin $35)

“Olive struggles to figure herself out, and has an urgent need for a summing up: “But it was almost over, after all, her life. It swelled behind her like a sardine fishing net, all sorts of useless seaweed and broken bits of shells and the tiny, shining fish … the billion streaks of emotion she’d had as she’d looked at sunrises, sunsets … All of it gone, or about to go.”” – Joyce Carol Oates, for The Oprah Magazine.

2  Women Mean Business: Colonial Businesswomen in New Zealand by Catherine Bishop (Otago University Press, $45)

Notable recurring theme: women having to go it alone because their husbands hit them or drank themselves to death.

3  We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall & Tim Denee (Massey University Press, $70)

Notable recurring theme: solid data butterflying into beautiful, meaningful images.

4  Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

Eye twitch.

5  The Anarchy: the relentless rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury, $33)

“The East India Company starts off really as a sort of pirate operation run by a bunch of ex-pirates in a ship that was originally called the Scourge of Malice. And it on its first expedition to the East Indies to go and get spices, it doesn’t even have to trade; it just spots a Portuguese galleon going the opposite direction, so they board it, move all the spices, and head home.” – the author, interviewed on RNZ.

6  The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (Doubleday, $55)

Bryson to Jesse Mulligan: “The one thing I have is this sort of infinite capacity to be amazed by what I’ve learned.”

Every author listening:  “Also the infinite cash.”

7  Find Me by Andre Aciman (Faber & Faber, $33)

Twelve years later, a sequel to Call Me By Your Name.

8  Acid for the Children by Flea (Headline Books, $38)

“The way I bonded with my friends had always been intense, but with Anthony [Kiedis] it was next-level shit — the spirit of adventure, the street hustle, the getting high, the art, the philosophy, the burning desire to make something happen. Nothing I did freaked him out, and I’d freaked out every friend I ever had.”

9  The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, $48)

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.

10 Blue Moon by Lee Child (Bantam Press, $38)

“With more than 100 million books sold, the series has commanded over a billion dollars in global sales. In addition to books and movies, there is a Jack Reacher custom coffee blend … ” – Forbes.


1  All Of This Is For You: A Little Book of Kindness by Ruby Jones (Penguin Books, $24)

From Time cover to stocking stuffer.

2  How To Walk A Dog by Mike White (Allen & Unwin, $35)

“I read a story in The Guardian a couple of years ago which contained the direst of warnings from the British Veterinary Association about sticks. The spokesperson mentioned occasions when dogs had been impaled, when spinal cords had been pierced, when blood vessels had been punctured causing fatal blood loss … Someone suggested throwing dogs a rolled-up Guardian instead. Someone else then suggested throwing sticks at Guardian journalists. ‘They would consider it appropriation of canine culture and write a po-faced article about it,’ [someone] replied.”

3  We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall & Tim Denee (Massey University Press, $70)

4  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton, $40)

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.

5  Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence & Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams & Puawai Cairns (Te Papa Press, $70)

“At each of these marches, I thought of the people who have marched before me, who have occupied spaces before me: their feet taking steps for change, their bodies on the line, their voices hoarse with conviction. Holding them in my mind as I step, they are the iceberg below the surface.” – Matariki Williams, writing for E-tangata.

6  Acid for the Children by Flea (Headline Books, $38)

7  Wildlife of Aotearoa by Gavin Bishop (Puffin, $40)

If you can only take one book on holiday and it’s got to last the kids all weekend, choose this one.

The Dark Island: Leprosy in New Zealand and the Quail Island Colony by Benjamin Kingsbury (Bridget Williams Books, $40)

Extract here … people really are impossibly cruel.

9  Verb Journal 2019 by various authors (Food Court University Press, $12)

Memento of the best four days of the year.

10 Blue Moon by Lee Child (Bantam Press, $38)

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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