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Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending August 16

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

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2  An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Vintage, $37)

Winner of the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

3  Te Tiriti o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Piripi Walker (Lift Education, $20)

Toby rulz! 

4  The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35)

Why do we suddenly give a f*ck about this guy, again? 

5  Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi (Sandstone, $27)

Winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize; stand by for a review.

6  Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

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7 Little by Edward Carey (Gallic Books, $32)

“The greatest waxwork in Madame Tussauds is of Tussaud herself. A very small old woman, with a large nose and chin, dressed in suitably chilling Victorian bombazine, stands guard over the rest of the wax populace. There’s something mythical about her, as if she were a character from folklore or fairytale. There’s something a little cockroachy about her, too. She feels made up, she seems like a story. But she was a real person” – the author, writing about his book, in the Guardian.

8  Ordinary People by Diana Evans (Random House, $26)

“The four thirtysomethings have reached an aporia: ‘Adult life has fully revealed itself, wearing a limp, grey dressing gown’” – the New Yorker 

9  Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Windmill Books, $28)

“I had no idea how to write a story or a narrative when I started. And I was pretty bad at it. I have a writing group in London, and they were brutal. They would say to me, ‘This is really shitty. It’s really bad.’” – the author, interviewed by Vanity Fair

10  Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $35)

“Plenty of people had stories about sex they didn’t mind sharing. But I was looking for this underlying, more terrifying thing…” – the author, interviewed by Time



1  AUP New Poets 5: Carolyn DeCarlo, Sophie van Waardenberg & Rebecca Hawkes edited by Anna Jackson (Auckland University Press, $30)

“The cat bodies are pink and black/ as pigs below the fur,” DeCarlo, ‘Tetrachromacy’

2  How to Live by Helen Rickerby (Auckland University Press, $25)

“If Helen Rickerby is New Zealand’s most intellectually exciting writer (and I think she is), it is not although but because she writes always as a poet, with a poet’s interest always in form… And she’s funny” – Anna Jackson, in her launch speech

3  The Boyfriend by Laura Southgate (Victoria University Press, $30)

Donny, said boyfriend, is viciously awful: pathetic and bombastic and violent and gaslighty; Southgate deserves a prize just for sticking with him long enough to write the darned thing. Here’s an extract

4  Brain Connections: How To Sleep Better, Worry Less & Feel Happier by Giresh Kanji (Pain Publications, $36)

Spoiler: I did a minimal amount of research and the answer is exercise. 

5  The New Zealand Wars: Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa by Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books, $40)

Ends: “Further north, in the South Auckland region, young people are prominent in efforts to protect the historic Ōtuataua Stonefields from a proposed housing development. The stonefields lie in an area where local Māori were forcibly evicted in 1863, before having their lands confiscated.”

6  Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $35)

7  Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

A sixth Jackson Brodie novel is underway, Atkinson says, this time an homage to Agatha Christie. “They’re stranded in a snow storm in a country house hotel during a murder mystery weekend. What more could you want?”

8  Te Tiriti o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Piripi Walker (Lift Education, $20)

9  Out of Our Minds: A History of What We Think and How We Think It by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Oneworld, $35)

“He’s unimpressed by the results of the eight or nine millennia after the evolution of agriculture; he observes disapprovingly, ‘the turnover seems relatively torpid and timid’” – the Evening Standard

10  Nailing Down the Saint by Craig Cliff (Penguin Random House, $38)

Near the start there’s an excellent scene where the guy’s watching porn in the loo and it streams to the TV in the lounge – where his son and in-laws are watching Aladdin

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