BooksMay 19, 2017

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending May 19


The best-selling books in the two best bookstores in the Western world.


1 Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (Chatto & Windus, $37)

We have received Kim Hill’s review of this remarkable, shocking US novel of family life, and will publish it as Book of the Week on Thursday.

2 The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld, $28)

He’s at the AWF this weekend.

3 Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole (Faber, $33)

So’s he.

4 Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout (Viking, $35)

Lucy Barton rides again! The Guardian: “A series of interconnected stories, each featuring a tale of small-town life that illuminates a more profound truth…A shimmering masterpiece.”

5 Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $30)

Poems by the Instagram sensation.

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

Popular non-fiction.

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

Winner of the best book of illustrated non-fiction at Tuesday night’s 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

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

Winner of the best book of general non-fiction at Tuesday night’s 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

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

“Book of the week”: Josh Hetherington, the Spinoff Review of Books.

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

Winner of the best first book of poetry at Tuesday night’s 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.



1 Heloise by Mandy Hager (Penguin, $38)

Historical novel based on the 12th century love affair between Eloise and Abelard that went horribly, spectacularly wrong.

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

3 Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $45)

New short stories by one of the world’s most over-rated writers.

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

The fourth great Max (after Merritt, Cryer and Key) in New Zealand public life.

5 Five Forget Mother’s Day by Bruno Vincent (Hachette, $20)


6 House of Names by Colm Toibin (Picador, $35)

Historical novel based on the Greek tale of Clytemnestra, who kills her husband Agamemnon to avenge the death of their daughter Iphigenia, and her son Orestes, who kills her in turn to avenge his father’s death. Not funny.

7 Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, $38)

“Rather than wanting to parade his professional success, including his pioneering of craniotomy (a specialised technique that involves operating on a patient’s exposed brain while they are awake), Marsh seems eager to come clean on his bad decisions, medical mistakes, failures of nerve, temper and luck, inadequacy as a son, cruelty to a childhood pet, and the patients who have died under his knife”: Literary Review.

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

Popular non-fiction for children.

9 American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Hachette, $22)

Published in 2001, revived by a new TV series.

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

Winner of the best novel at Tuesday night’s 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.


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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