BooksJuly 19, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending July 19


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  Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $35)

Fucking nailed it.

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

Winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.

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

*50 Cent voice* Go Toby, go Toby, go Toby, go go…

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

*Disillusioned voice* Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney

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

“There will, eventually, be blood. But the richness of this novel comes in spending time with the kaleidoscope of characters who spin together in the whirlwind ending” – the Washington Post

6  Gun Love by Jennifer Clement (Vintage, $26)

“This is a world of Native American ghosts and 12-legged lizards, where a lovesick girl buries her vast collection of Barbies waist-deep in her yard to express despair, and cached guns speak to Pearl in her sleep, telling the stories of their crimes. All sad women are psychic here. All love is at first sight.” – the Guardian

7  Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage, $30)

Your brother’s birthday present, sorted.

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

“Evans buys herself a chair after each book, ‘a reminder that aimless contemplation is as important as achieving’. A large swinging chair, still finding its place in the front room, is her reward for this latest novel.” – the Guardian

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

How a Swiss orphan became Madame Tussaud. Fiction.

10 Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (Fourth Estate, $25)

“Darra is a dream, a stench, a spilt garbage bin, a cracked mirror, a paradise, a bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup filled with prawns, domes of plastic crab meat, pig ears and pig knuckles and pig belly. Darra is a girl washed down a drainpipe, a boy with snot slipping from his nose so ripe it glows on Easter night, a teenage girl stretched across a train track waiting for the express…”

(Darra is a suburb of Brisbane)


1  How to Escape From Prison by Paul Wood (HarperCollins, $38)

“Some of the staff in unit 6 were good about letting people have one-off fights to sort out their issues. They didn’t encourage such behaviour, but if people were going to fight anyway, they often supervised to make sure no one else jumped in.”

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

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

A $40 paperback makes the charts eight weeks running. Unity readers, you rule.

4  An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (One World, $26)

Winner of the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

5  Knife by Jo Nesbo (Harvill Secker, $38)

“The darkest hour yet for a detective who pleads, “The only thing I can do is investigate murders. And drink”—and a remarkable example of how to grow a franchise over the hero’s most vociferous objections” – Kirkus Reviews

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

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

8  The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un, Sun of the 21st Century by Anna Fifield (John Murray, $38)

“Smart, incisive and chock-full of scoops, Fifield’s book was published last month to a chorus of praise from critics” – Toby Manhire, interviewing Fifield for us last week.

9  Winter of Fire 25th Anniversary Edition by Sherryl Jordan (Scholastic, $19)

There is good in this mad old world. 

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

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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