Unity Books best-seller chart for Labour Weekend

The best-selling books at the best two bookstores beneath the Sun.


1 Goodbye Māoriland: Songs & Sounds of NZ’s Great War by Chris Bourke (Auckland University Press, $60)

Fabulous new social and cultural history by the author of Blue Smoke. “An impeccably researched account of the influence of music in World War One – from military bands and concert parties to Māori music and patriotic song writing”: military historian Chris Puglsey.

Constitution for Aotearoa by Geoffrey Palmer (Victoria University Press, $25)

Bound to have played a crucial role in this week’s coalition talks.

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Cannongate, $23)

This is that novel written in a single motherfucking sentence; and yet people are buying it.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (Simon & Schuster, $30)

Exquisite sensitivities for millennials.

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


Driving to Treblinka by Diana Wichtel (Awa Press, $45)

“’This book is my personal account of my father’s story,’ she writes in the author’s note. That is, the story of Benjamin Wichtel, known as Ben, one of the few survivors of a clan of Polish Jews murdered by the Nazis. I say ‘murdered’ deliberately, as that’s the word Wichtel uses throughout this memoir. Almost all of four generations of her father’s family were murdered by the Nazis”: Margo White, The Spinoff Review of Books.

Sapiens: Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage UK, $30)

Popular science.

Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads With An Indian Elder  by Kent Nerbern (Cannongate, $25)

Native American fortune-cookie advice. “Live close to the earth. Get rid of some of your things. Help each other. Talk to the Creator. Be quiet more. Listen to the earth instead of building things on it all the time. Don’t blame other people for your troubles and don’t try to make people into something they’re not”, etc.

Necessary Angel by CK Stead (Allen & Unwin, $37)

Like one of those gentle, beautifully observed French movies about educated middle-class people who read books and own nice paintings and have affairs and nothing is too entirely terrible or tragic; it’s just life.

10 Horse Walks Into A Bar by David Grossman (Vintage UK, $26)

Black comedy.


1 Munich by Robert Harris (Hutchinson, $38)

Spy novel.

2 Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Penguin, $30)


3 Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father by Diana Wichtel (Awa Press, $45)

4 The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (Simon & Schuster, $30)

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

The smash-hit kids’ book of the year.

6 Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin Books, $26)

Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker prize. “Set in the immediate aftermath of Brexit, referencing the murder of British MP Jo Cox and the British government’s responses to asylum seekers and refugees, it reflects ourselves directly and immediately back to us. It’s a world of increasing isolation and isolationism, of cold and petty bureaucracy, pervaded by a miasma of selfishness and unkindness, all set against a background of xenophobia and racism both effortlessly casual and deeply, nastily malicious”: Louise O’Brien, The Spinoff Review of Books

7 Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Little Brown, $38)

We look forward to the forthcoming review by Guy Somerset.

8 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury, $33)

Winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize.”Saunders constructs the book from voices, some real and some invented. It could be the world’s most unlikely radio play or film script. He has consulted genuine historical sources about the toll of the Civil War and the sorrow of the Lincolns, and seemingly made up other sources, while also creating an entire community of noisy, squabbling ghosts who inhabit the cemetery….At times I was actively bored and I wondered whether the acclaim it has attracted is to do with timing – whether there is something appealing or cathartic about returning to an earlier moral and political crisis in the United States”: Philip Matthews, The Spinoff Review of Books.

9 Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre (Penguin, $37)

Spy novel.

10 Out of the Woods: Journey Through Depression & Anxiety by Brent Williams, illustrated by Öztekin Korkut (Educational Resources, $40)

Depression, illustrated.

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