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BooksFebruary 16, 2018

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending February 16

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The week’s best-selling titles at Unity Books in Auckland and Wellington.


1 Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

“Here it is, the encyclopedia of Trump the Idiot all in one compendium”: Forbes.

2 Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (Hachette, $22)

Sci-fi. 400 years from now mankind is strung out across a region of interstellar space inherited from an ancient civilisation discovered on Mars.

3 Enigma Variations by André Aciman (Picador, $28)

Fiction. “The five stories that make up Enigma Variations are the first-person memoirs of Paul who is neither gay nor straight — but not bisexual either. He is at once gay, and at once straight, depending on a time of his life, but his sexual proclivities are less about sexual preference at any one time than about deep and passionate love…If you like long sentences, you’ll love Aciman”: Los Angeles Review of Books.

4 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage, $30)

A brief history of humankind.

5 Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece by Stephen Fry (Michael Joseph, $37)


6 The Nobel Lecture by Bob Dylan (Simon & Schuster, $23)

We look forward to the forthcoming Dylanology essay by Philip Matthews.

Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin, $26)

Fiction. “A beautifully written and rather glum vision of the state of the world today”: Louise O’Brien, the Spinoff Review of Books.

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda (New Directions, $27)

So I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.

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

Fiction. Guy Somerset, writing in the Spinoff Review of Books, thought it stank out the room.

10 The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992 by Tina Brown (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, $38)

“We must become the men we wanted to marry”, and other pearls.


1 The Cage by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Books NZ, $38)

Fiction. “Two innocent, desperate men are shut in a cage in all weathers and fed through a hole in the wires…The unwilling prisoners resist their incarceration, and make the best of it as far as they are able…We all witness the suffering of others, more now than ever in the digital age, but we can’t ever really empathise or make a true difference. To do so would mean relinquishing our own comfort and privilege. Very few people are willing to even consider the possibility. The moral dilemma posed in The Cage will linger long in my mind“: Stephanie Johnson, the Spinoff Review of Books.

2 Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

3 A History of Bees by Maja Lunde (Simon & Schuster, $38)

Fiction. Norwegian novelist Lunde is a guest star at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington in March.

4 The Only Story by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape, $35)

Fiction. Brilliant young writer Joseph Barbon offered to review it, and we said, nah bro who cares about old Barnes? Then the insightful former broadcaster Elizabeth Alley offered to review it, and we said no thank you Eliza. But then we started noticing it was winning spectacularly good reviews in Britain and was selling pretty well in New Zealand so by the time the distinguished novelist Stephanie Johnson offered to review it, we said yes please; and we look forward to her forthcoming review.

5 Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (Profile Books, $23)

“As Mary Beard acknowledges, promoting gender equality is an agonisingly slow process. We will all be dead before we get to where we ought to be. Nonetheless, I applaud her for being our heroine”: Los Angeles Review of Books.

6 Maui & Other Legends: 8 Classic Tales of Aotearoa by Peter Gossage (Penguin, $40)

“Peter was a true household name in New Zealand, because almost every family read and loved his picture books. He wrote and illustrated more than 20, rendering Māori myth vivid and dynamic”: from a beautiful tribute to the late artist, by Paula Morris, at the Spinoff Review of Books.

7 All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Titan, $22)

Fiction. Anders is a guest star at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington in March; we look forward to the forthcoming interview by Auckland writer Steffi Green.

8 Bird Words: NZ Writers on Birds edited by Elizabeth Easther (Vintage, $35)

Nice little anthology.

9 Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood (Allen lane, $45)

Memoirist and Twitter sensation Lockwood is a guest star at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington in March.

10 Democracy & Its Crisis by A C Grayling (Oneworld, $37)

Philosopher and Oxford don Grayling is a guest star at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington in March.

The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.

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