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BooksOctober 19, 2018

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


Only 67 shopping days till Xmas! Get in early and peruse the week’s biggest-selling books at the Unity stores in Willis St, Wellington, and High St, Auckland.


1 Karori Confidential by Leah McFall (Luncheon Sausage Books, $25)

Witty, luminous collection by the Sunday magazine columnist. So many zingers! Karori is like Gloriavale without the aprons.” And: “I was about to have a baby but what I deep-down probably wanted was a dog.” Also: “Your married self will be a lot like your unmarried self, except now you have cake forks.”

2 Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $45)

Return of the world’s most over-rated novelist, chuntering on at length, going nowhere, importantly.

3 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber, $33)

The novel that should have won the 2018 Man Booker Prize: a love story, beautifully told, a pleasure to read.

4 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury, $60)


5 Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

A ripping good yarn…Atkinson’s 11th novel jumps between 1940, when a newly orphaned, 18-year-old Juliet Armstrong is recruited as a typist into MI5, and a decade later when she’s working as a producer of children’s radio programmes for the BBC. In the later period she finds people long thought dead, abroad, in prison, or simply gone from her life, returning to haunt her. Is this her imagination running away with her — the thing Perry, her boss at MI5 repeatedly warned against? Or should the threatening notes she’s been receiving be taken seriously?”: Washington Post.

6 Memory Pieces by Maurice Gee (Victoria University Press, $35)

“Ernie was indefinably creepy. There was something wrong in his head; his understanding of what was going on was always skewed…A shadow falls on my childhood when I remember Ernie”: on Monday we ran a terrifying excerpt from Gee’s new, extraordinary memoir.

7 Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber, $33)

The novel that did win the 2018 Man Booker Prize. “It’s not a simple read. The prose is jumbled and the sentences are drawn out. It’s funny and complicated and sometimes wilfully confusing. Though some segments seem over-long, the blending of dystopian tropes with historical accuracy and a heavy dose of Catch-22-esque humour makes Milkman both exciting and unusual”: Scarlet Cayford, the Spinoff Review of Books.

8 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (Jonathan Cape, $38)

“A banal and risible self-help book”: New Statesman.

9 Munro: A Cat, a Mouse, a Crossword Clue by Sharon Murdoch (Potton & Burton, $45)

The best drawer in New Zealand draws more adventures of the ginger cat and his friend the mouse.

10 Ko Taranaki Te Maunga by Rachel Buchanan (BWB Texts, $15)

Parihaka, revisited.


1 Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber, $33)

2 Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $45)

3 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $65)

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

The book that will never stop selling until everyone doesn’t give a fuck.

5 The Good Son by Greg Fleet (Viking, $37)

A novel by the Australian comedian.

6 Ko Taranaki Te Maunga by Rachel Buchanan (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (Hamish Hamilton, $37)

A retelling of Homer’s The Iliad.

8 The Spy and the Traitor: The greatest espionage story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre (Viking, $40)

The double life of a KGB insider recruited by MI6.

9 Memory Pieces by Maurice Gee (Victoria University Press, $35)

10 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber $33)

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books.

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