Now begins the reign of The Testaments. Photo: Tolga Akmen/Getty

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending September 20

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  The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, $48)

Obvs. (Read our review by Pip Adam here)

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

“I’ve told him – and here she starts to cry – I’ve told him that all I want is to be kissed. I want it more than anything!

The women look down at their plastic tumblers. They sip nervously. The wine tastes like cool sneezes. They begin to offer wan recommendations.”

3  Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino (Fourth Estate, $33)

Do you like the New Yorker

4  The Brilliance of Birds by Skye Wishart & Edin Whitehead (Godwit, $55)

Theory, based solely on their names and thesis: both authors and the publisher are in fact birds.

5  Perform Under Pressure by Ceri Evans (HarperCollins, $40)

Do you like books recommended by former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw?

6  Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape, $37)

“The mental state of everyone is questionable — but that would depend on the question.

The America of the novel is sick too. Addicted, diseased, delusional, chronically unstable.” – Jeanette Winterson, for The New York Times.

7  The Truants by Kate Weinberg (Bloomsbury, $33)

Do you like Donna Tartt? Agatha Christie? (Here’s our review)

8  Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica by Rebecca Priestley (Victoria University Press, $40)

Note from the author: if anyone has a painting from Ruth Priestley’s Antarctic Dream series, Rebecca would love to hear from you. (More on Ruth, and art, and Rebecca’s childhood, in this extract.)

9  Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann (Text Publishing, $40)

“ … Native Americans had martin houses from way back, made from hollow gourds, the fact that they must’ve wanted the feathers, the fact that maybe they’re a help in some way around plants too, martins I mean, not Indians, although Indians helped the settlers grow all kinds of stuff, the fact that the Amish helped Aunt Sophia with her garden, the fact that they eat dragonflies and ward off crows, martins not the Amish … ”

10  Chances Are… by Richard Russo (Allen & Unwin, $33)

“Russo, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2001 novel, Empire Falls, has become our senior correspondent on masculinity. No one captures so well the gruff affection of men or the friction between guys from different classes.” – the Washington Post.



1  The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, $48)

2   The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press, $35)

“We watch the journey of her salvation not through inner turmoil or epiphanies but through tussock and hot pools, communal fires and nettle tea … Taryn’s inner transformation takes up space and time. It has a smell.” – Maria McMillan, in her review for us. 

3  Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica by Rebecca Priestley (Victoria University Press, $40)

4  Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape, $37)

5  Anarchy: The Rise & Fall of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury, $33)

“…the award-winning Scottish historian states plainly the thesis of his latest work: that the Company’s “military conquest, subjugation and plunder of vast tracts of southern Asia… almost certainly remains the supreme act of corporate violence in world history.” – the Daily Beast.

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

Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney

7  Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell (Allen Lane, $40)

“Malcolm Gladwell at his best” – headline in the Irish Times.

8   Someone’s Wife by Linda Burgess (Allen & Unwin, $37)

We love you, Linda.

9  The Broken Estate: Journalism and Democracy in a Post-Truth World by Mel Bunce (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

“I don’t think we’re too late by any stretch. I think we just need people to realise how important it is.” – the author, to Newshub.

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

Toby rulz!

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