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BooksJune 16, 2017

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


The best-selling books at the two best bookstores in the Commonwealth.


1 Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, $38)

We look forward to the forthcoming review by Marion McLeod.

2 Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo (Particular Books, $40)

Portraits of 100 inspirational women through history, including the great New Zealand wartime spy Nancy Wake! Her quote: “For goodness sake, did the Allies parachute me into France to make eggs and bacon for the men?”

3 The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey (Victoria University Press $30)

Literary fiction.

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

Literary non-fiction.

5 The Whole Intimate Mess by Holly Walker (Bridget Williams Texts, $15)

“A courageous and truthful book”: Deborah Coddington, on the candid, sometimes shocking memoir by former Green MP Holly Walker.

6 The New Zealand Project by Max Harris (Bridget Williams Books, $40)


7 Heloise by Mandy Hager (Penguin, $38)

“I am now minded to write of the sufferings which have sprung from my misfortunes,” wrote Peter Abelard (1079-1142) in the foreword to his classic memoir, Historia Calamitatum: The Story of My Misfortunes. Hager’s historical novel, a thousand or so years later, is the kind of sequel.

8 The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin, $26)

“What would the world look like if men were afraid of women rather than women being afraid of men? Science fiction has long questioned the conventional exercise of power between the sexes…But I don’t think I’ve ever seen the status quo inverted to such devastating effect as in Naomi Alderman’s fourth novel”: rave review, The Guardian.

9 Balancing Acts: Reflections of a NZ Diplomat by Gerald McGhie (Dunmore Press, $35)

We have received Tony Simpson’s review and it is safe to say Gerald McGhie ought not look forward to it.

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

“From a distance, the impression is that Bird and her followers are generating something of a cult-like atmosphere, with a designated in-group and out-group. In this context, the persona of the poet easily becomes of more interest than the poems. With regards to the poems themselves, while some have strengths, her collection seems to be receiving attention and praise beyond its inherent value”: commentary by Peter Schimmel in the latest, must-read issue of New Zealand Books.



1 The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey (Victoria University Press, $30)

2 Ministry of Uptmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Penguin, $38)

3 A History of New Zealand Women by Barbara Brookes (Bridget Williams Books, $70)

But not all New Zealand women.

4 Serious Sweet by AL Kennedy (Vintage, $26)

The unlikely romance between a London civil servant and a former accountant who works in an animal shelter ZZZZZ.

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

6 Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (HarperCollins, $35)

BuzzFeed was recently reporting that Ohio Republicans were trying to recruit superstar author JD Vance to represent the GOP in the senate race. #fakenews, probably.

7 Art Sex Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti (Faber Social, $40)

“I strode on stage, dominatrix-style, in high heels but otherwise naked save for a strap costume that didn’t cover much. I’d made it from strips of black PVC and gold buckles I’d found in a bin. I stood watching a naked Gen [Genesis P Orridge, of Throbbing Gristle] being chained to a cross. I daubed him in flour paste and chicken’s feet and whipped him hard. Gen had told me to whip him properly – it had to be real. I don’t think he’d really thought about what being whipped meant in terms of pain, or that I’d actually do it, but I really got into it…”: Extract from the most incredible music bio of the year.

8 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage, $30)

At the end of the day and beyond.

9 Theft By Finding: Diaries by David Sedaris (Little Brown, $38)

Small doses of amusement.

10 The Moth Presents: All These Wonders Edited by Catherine Burns (Serpent’s Tail, $33) 

45 true stories told out loud sort of thing, including one by Louis CK.

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

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