BooksSeptember 22, 2017

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending September 22


The best-selling books at the two best bookstores for people who like reading books.


1 What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $50)

The record of a woman who lost a political election to a lying sack of shit.

2 Choice by Edith Eger (Rider Books, $35)

Eger was 16 when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an interment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. Hours later Mengele demanded that Edie dance a waltz to “The Blue Danube” and rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners. These women later helped save Edie’s life…A survivor’s story.

3 Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré (Penguin, $37)

Spy thriller by the old master.

4 Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (MacLehose Press, $38)

Lisbeth Salander rides again.

5 House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture by Kate Somerville (Thames & Hudson $55)


6 Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds by Anne Salmond (Auckland University Press, $65)

The great historian wrote in the Herald this week, “Jacindamania isn’t about personality at all – it’s a collective sigh of relief that we might finally have a kind of leadership that reflects our core values as New Zealanders….National have run a classically neo-liberal campaign, based on cynical self-interest. It was sad watching Bill English in the last leader’s debate – a fundamentally decent man lying through his teeth to try and win the election.”

7 Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate, $23)

“An extraordinary novel by a writer not yet famous but surely destined to be acclaimed by anyone who believes that the novel is not dead and that novelists are not merely lit-fest fodder for the metropolitan middle classes:” OTT review, The Guardian.

8 The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin, $26)

Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker prize but passed over in favour of a piece of shit by Paul Auster and a piece of shit by Ali Smith. Pay it no mind; this is a dynamic, ingenious sci-fi allegory about feminism, and one of the three or four best novels of the year.

9 Baby by Annaleese Jochems (Victoria University Press, $30)

“Baby, the debut novel from the rudely 23-year-old Annaleese Jochems, signals the arrival of a terrifying talent. It exists in the world of modern Auckland, with its cults of fitness instructors and its inhabitants’ way of seeing the rest of the country as a kind of scenic backdrop to the city:” review by Louisa Kasza, The Spinoff Review of Books.

10 Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $65)




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

A survivor’s story. Williams takes the graphic novel format and uses it to craft a raw and powerful memoir of a violent family upbringing – his father, Wellington philanthropist Sir Arthur Williams, was a yelling, abusive tyrant – and his later descent into depression, and, ultimately, recovery.

2 Unity Books at 50: excerpts by author-booksellers over half a century of trading edited by Jane Parkin (Unity Books Wellington, $8)

The story of the best bookstore in the universe.

3 Strange Beautiful Excitement:Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington 1888-1903 by Redmer Yska (Otago University Press, $40)

“Mansfield’s childhood environment was one of striking contrasts: the harsh beauty of the landscape and weather, the squalor in the urban streets. Yska describes a town filled with hazards, most especially the threat of disease from primitive (or non-existent) sewerage systems and open drains. His research has uncovered the unsavoury fact that by the turn of the century, hundreds of Wellington’s citizens were dying from diseases caused by poor sanitation, among them cholera”: review by Charlotte Grimshaw, The Spinoff Review of Books.

4 Moral Truth: 150 Years of Investigative Journalism in NZ edited by James Hollings (Massey University Press, $45)

“Good journalism defines its time. The best journalism also asserts a truth that transcends contemporaneity and remains vital”: review by John Campbell, The Spinoff Review of Books.

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

“Honestly i am a doe-eyed idealist sap but every time I see the phrase ‘the politics of love’ I let out a groan like a dying blue whale”: Tess McClure, Vice writer, on Twitter this week.

6 Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds by Anne Salmond (Auckland University Press, $65)

7 Māori at Home: An Everyday Guide to Learning the Māori Language by Scotty & Stacey Morrison (Raupo, $35)

Māori language week is every week.

8 Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press, $30)

We mightily look forward to Gemma Gracewood’s report of Ashleigh Young’s New York author tour, exclusively in the Spinoff Review of Books next week.

9 Mauri Ora: Wisdom from the Māori World by Peter Alsop & Te Raumawhitu Kupenga (Potton Burton $40)

“Pearls of wisdom contained in proverbs – whakatauki – have been gifted from generation to generation as an intrinsic part of the Māori world. Mauri Ora links whakatauki to key personal virtues idealised across cultures and generations. The virtues – wisdom, courage, compassion, integrity, self-mastery and belief – stem from the science of positive psychology; the study of how to live a better life. Illustrated throughout with wonderful photographs from an old world, this book draws on traditional wisdom to provide a recipe for personal effectiveness and leadership, and a rewarding connection of Māori knowledge to contemporary thinking about personal happiness and fulfilment:” review from Muir’s Bookshop in Gisborne.

10 The 9th Floor: Conversations with Five NZ Prime Ministers by Guyon Espiner & Tim Watkin (Bridget Williams Books, $40)

Yes but who will be the Prime Minister that Espiner interviews on Morning Report on Monday?

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

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