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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.’

Keep going!