BooksMarch 22, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 22


The only published and available best-selling 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 John Scott Works by David Straight (Massey University Press, $70)

Gorgeous tome celebrating the career of one of our most influential architects.

2 Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide by John Walsh & Patrick Reynolds (Massey University Press, $20)

Architects get out of their Renaults and go walking – plus tourists love it!

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

We can’t seem to quit Rooney.

4 Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks (St. Martin’s Press, $54)

A fascinating insight into American’s policing and also our fellow citizen Peter Thiel’s handiwork.

5 Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

Rooney’s two novels vie for top billing, again.

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

“It’s about being able to stop at my greengrocer on the way home, pick up a couple of things which look good, and make something within 20 or 30 minutes of getting home” – Ottolenghi. It’s that simple.

7 Becoming by Michelle Obama (Penguin Random House, $55)

A memoir infused with wisdom – “One of the reasons why I chose to share so much about our marriage is because I think about young couples and how little we know when we get married about what marriage is.”

8 Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Windmill Books, $28)

Returning to the top 10 once more – this has been described as ‘one of the wisest accounts of family love and betrayal that I’ve read’ – Mail on Sunday

9 The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells (Allen Lane, $35)

‘…the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament’ – The New York Times

10 Barbarian Days: a Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Little, Brown and Company, $28)

A breath taking book on surfing that won not only the William Hill Sports Book of the year in 2016, but also the Pulitzer Prize for Bio in 2016. Literary sport!


1 Samoan Queer Lives by Yuki Kihara & Dan Taulapapa McMullin (Little Island Press, Hardback $55/ Paperback $35)

‘Provides a glimpse into the unique lives of Samoan people who are fa’afafine – broadly understood in the Western interpretation as persons who are of transgender, intersexed and third sex, or gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual origin.’

2 Because a Woman’s Heart is Like a Needle at the Bottom of the Ocean by Sugar Magnolia Wilson (Auckland University Press, $25)

Complex and beautiful debut poetry collection from a Wellington poet.

3 The Black & the White by Geoff Cochrane (Victoria University Press, $25)

New work from one of the most distinctive voices in NZ poetry.

4 Damson: From Hedgerow to Harvest by Lynda Hallinan (Foggydale Farm, $55)

‘NZ gardening guru Lynda Hallinan’s fifth book pays homage to the heirloom damson plum, with practical growing advice and more than 75 recipes.’

5 Sodden Downstream by Brannavan Gnanalingam (Lawrence & Gibson, $29)

“It’s a love letter to Lower Hutt, it’s an account of people who have been forgotten in New Zealand, and it’s about a refugee persisting,” says Gnanalingam. (All sales of Sodden Downstream from the Wellington shop or the online shop are being donated to the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre.)

6 A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press, $30)

Tense and compelling novel centred around a female surgeon at Wellington Regional Hospital.

7 Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Windmill Books, $28)

Popular memoir stays popular.

8 Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Penguin Books, $26)

‘A searing look at what it takes to keep love and hope alive in a parched and brutal world.’ (Now in paperback.)

9 Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney (Faber, $23)

‘A sharply intelligent novel about friendship, lust, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century’.

10 Health of the People by David Skegg (BWB, $15)

‘In August 2016, 40 per cent of the residents of Havelock North were struck down by a serious bacterial infection. Eminent medical researcher David Skegg argues that the outbreak highlights weaknesses in our country’s health infrastructure – weaknesses already evident in problems ranging from child nutrition to cancer.’

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
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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