One Question Quiz

BooksMarch 17, 2017

The Unity Books best-seller list for the week ending March 17


The week’s best-sellers at the two best bookstores in the Western World.


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

Tweet on Monday from Fergus Barrowman, publisher at Victoria University Press: “I’m told the next thousand Can You Tolerate This? have just hit the warehouse and are more than half gone.”

2 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury, $33)

Fact 1: Saunders will appear at the Auckland Writers Festival in May. Fact 2: Lincoln in the Bardo is the best novel of 2017.

3 Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture by JD Vance (William Collins, $35)

“A raw and visceral account of the life of a self-proclaimed hillbilly”: Josh Hetherington, Spinoff Review of Books.

4 Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury, $30)

Heimdall is the guardian of the gods. His senses are so good that he can hear the grass grow and he can see to the end of the world. Heimdall could hear a leaf fall. He does not need any sleep at all.

5 The North Water by Ian McGuire (Scribner, $23)

“This remarkable novel conveys the visceral despair of life aboard a 19th-century Arctic whaling boat”: The Guardian.

6 Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin (Black Inc, $30)

Tweet one of four from Ashleigh Young, reporting live from Crispin’s recent appearance in Wellington: “Jessa Crispin’s favourite word is ‘asshole’.” Tweet two, a quote: “’Oh, you’re in your thirties and you’re single? I know some nice men, who are single and have penises.” Tweet three, another quote: “Touching each others’ bodies is important, and should be subsidised by the government.” Tweet four: “I am both enjoying and loathing this talk.”

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

Widely tipped to win the novel of the year at the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

8 Nowhere Man #2 Orphan X by Greg Hurwitz (Michael Joseph, $37)

Hurwitz told the Otago Daily Times during his recent New Zealand tour, “I have some friends who are Green Berets and Navy Seals and they talked about these black-book operations. So it got me thinking about a kid that nobody wants, who is taken from a foster home and trained to become a world-class assassin.”

9 Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek (Portfolio, $26)

“As you become more successful, as you do well in life, you will be afforded many advantages. People will call you sir and madam, carry your luggage,  people will hold doors open for you, they’ll bring you a cup of tea without you even asking but it’s not meant for you. It’s meant for the position you hold. When you move on they will give them to the person who replaces you. Never ever forget that you only ever deserve a Styrofoam cup.

10 The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 by Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books, $80)

Exhibit A in the case for #Ockhamsowhite. How did the national book award judges manage to overlook this major study of the impact that the New Zealand Wars had on Waikato Māori? Bunch of fucken bums.


1 Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury, $30)

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

3 Why I Am Not A Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin (Black Inc, $30)

4 Lines in the Sand: Collected Journalism by AA Gill (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, $38)

So many beautifully formed loose-limbed sentences by the late master.

5 Rants in the Dark: From One Tired Mama to Another by Emily Writes (Penguin, $35)

A modern classic of parenting literature.

6 Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, $38)


7 The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir: A Novel by Jennifer Ryan (HarperCollins, $35)

“In 1940, at a time when women’s roles were still firmly rooted in home and hearth, the ladies of Chilbury, England, find themselves at the bleeding edge of progress as the ramifications of World War II begin to infiltrate their little town…Told in the form of diaries and letters in the voices of the female characters, Ryan’s novel, reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, captures the experience of the war from a woman’s perspective”: Publisher’s Weekly.

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

9 The North Water by Ian McGuire (Scribner, $23)

10 Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jorg Muhle (Gecko Press, $15)

By the best-selling author of Tickle My Ears.

Keep going!