BooksAugust 18, 2017

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending August 18


The best-selling books at the two best bookstores known to God.


1 Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington 1888-1903 by Redmer Yska (Otago University Press, $40)

Brilliant retracing of KM’s footsteps when she lived in Wellington. Charlotte Grimshaw’s review is due to run in The Spinoff Review of Books any day now.

2 A Moral Truth: 150 Years of Investigative Journalism in NZ edited by James Hollings (Massey University Press, $45)

“An outstanding collection: moving, enraging, illuminating, dispiriting, provocative”: John Campbell, loving it in The Spinoff Review of Books.

3 Susan Effect by Peter Hoeg (Harvill Secker, $37)

Nordic noir by the author of Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow.

4 91-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (Pan Macmillan, $18)

Kids book.

5 Nurse on the Edge of the Desert: From Birdsville to Kandahar: The Art of Extreme Nursing by Andrew Cameron (Massey University Press, $40)

Extreme nursing! The author most certainly has an extreme moustache, and recounts his medical work in some of the world’s most dangerous and challenging locations, including South Sudan, Yemen, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Extreme.

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

“Too many shifts of focus, too many sub-plots and digressions, too much chopping from one time to another, too many characters…It’s just too hard to keep track”: Marion McLeod, bored to sobs by it in The Spinoff Review of Books.

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

“Naomi Alderman’s The Power is speculative fiction set in a future and based on the fascinating premise that women are suddenly able to inflict pain and death at will”: from a rave review at the Spinoff Review of Books by Andra Jenkin, co-author with Simonne Butler of Double-Edged Sword, named this week as a finalist at the 2017 Ngaio Marsh awards for New Zealand crime writing.

8 House of Spies by Daniel Silva (HarperCollins, $37)

The latest he-man spy novel starring hero Gabriel Allon.

9 Black Marks on a White Page edited by Witi Ihimaera & Tina Makereti (Vintage, $40)

“Maybe it’s the beginning of a new way of framing and reading Māori writers”: Paula Morris, responding to this important anthology of Māori and Pacific Island writing, in an essay at The Spinoff Review of Books.

10 Fuse Box: Essays on Creative Writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters edited by Emily Perkins and Chris Price (Victoria University Press, $35)

The IIML on the IIML.



1 A Moral Truth: 150 Years of Investigative Journalism in New Zealand edited by James Hollings (Massey University Press, $40)

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


3 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Vintage, $26)


4 Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Penguin, $26)


5 The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, $38)

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

7 The 91-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (Pan Macmillan, $18)

8 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil de Grasse Tyson (W. W. Norton, $31)


9 Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate, $23)


10 Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (Penguin, $28)


All of these books are of course available at Unity Books.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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