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Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending August 17

The week’s bestselling books at the Unity stores in High St, Auckland, and Willis St, Wellington. Throughout are images from Tatau: A Cultural History of Samoan Tattooing, reproduced with permission.


1 Warlight: A Novel by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape, $35)

The blockbuster novel of 2018.

Coming To It: Selected Poems by Sam Hunt (Potton & Burton, $30)

New verse by the poet who was brilliantly profiled by Philip Matthews for Stuff last weekend.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35)

All hail the popular uprising throughout New Zealand where readers of Mark Manson’s advice manual are saying as one, “I don’t give a fuck!”

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (Granta, $33)

“A love affair between Alice, a young publishing assistant, and Ezra Blazer, a famous Pulitzer Prize-winning author many years her senior…Halliday is the real deal, a truly unique, intelligent voice for our times”: Stephanie Johnson, the Spinoff Review of Books.

The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios (HarperCollins, $45)

In the wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill.

17.9.2005. Avondale Road, Avondale, Auckland. From left: Lui Betham, Pasina Betham, Su‘a Tavui Pasina Iosefo Ah Ken, Fune Betham, [unidentified] and Gus Betham. Tufuga tātatau: Su‘a Tavui Pasina Iosefo Ah Ken. © Mark Adams. From Tatau: A Cultural History of Samoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon & Sebastien Galliot (see Wellington Unity chart)

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





Monica Geller off popular sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Is one of the worst characters in the history of television

She makes me want to wash my hands with hand sanitizer

She makes me want to stand in an abandoned Ukrainian parking lot

And scream her name at a bunch of dead crows…

7  A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Windmill Books, $26)


Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Little, Brown and Company, $35)


Silencing Science by Shaun Hendy (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

The author feels too many scientists feel constrained in speaking publicly.

10 The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (Jonathan Cape, $37)

“A cool, Joan Didion-esque breeze of seeming indifference blows through the writing of US novelist Rachel Kushner. The Mars Room, her third novel, is named after a San Francisco stripclub where her character Romy Hall works. She’s a former junkie who …tries to sidle through life unnoticed, not getting into too much trouble. However, even so small a demand can be too much to ask, and a client becomes obsessed with her. He stalks her; she flees San Francisco; he follows her; she kills him”: Louisa Kasza, the Spinoff Review of Books.


1 Tatau: A Cultural History of Samoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon & Sebastien Galliot (Te Papa Press, $75)

“With stretching, you have two stretchers but they don’t do the same job. The stretcher next to the tufuga would be the less experienced stretcher, and the more experienced stretcher would be opposite the tufuga …”

3.4.1979. Grotto Road, Onehunga, Auckland.Tattooing Tony Fomison. Tufuga tātatau: Su‘a Sulu‘ape Paulo II. © Mark Adams. From Tatau: A Cultural History of Samoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon & Sebastien Galliot

2 Matter of Fact: Talking Truth in a Post-Truth World by Jess Berentson-Shaw (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

A call for evidence-based ideas.

3 Coming To It: Selected Poems by Sam Hunt (Potton Burton, $30)

4 Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Little Brown, $25)

5 Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape, $35)

6 Steven Adams: My Life, My Fight by Steven Adams (Penguin, $40)

Cara Hurihanganui, Adams’s former teacher at Owhata Primary in Rotorua, recently told the Herald that she last saw him in person when he was a pupil at Mokoia Intermediate. “He was shooting hoops on the basketball court. My first thought was ‘he is very incredibly tall’ and my second thought was ‘he is actually quite good at shooting hoops’.”

Walking the Wall (2014), Angela Tiatia; digital video (still). © Angela Tiatia, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2017-0019-1/1-8 to 8-8. From Tatau: A Cultural History of Samoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon & Sebastien Galliot

7 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (Macmillan, $35)

8 Burger Wellington: The Best Burgers from NZ’s Culinary Capital by Lucy Corry (Mary Egan, $35)

Burger recipes, including pork and ginger baby bao burgers, fried egg and garlic mushroom burgers, and the moolander burger with onion jam and parmesan crisp.

9 Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (Profile, $25)

Bythell will hold a workshop on the art of collecting books when he appears at the Christchurch WORD literary festival on Friday, August 31, and is interviewed onstage the following day.

10 Homefire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury, $22) 

Literary fiction.

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