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 #NoFly by Shaun Hendy (Bridget Williams Books, $15)
“I was flying as if I didn’t believe in climate change. Even though I am not a climate scientist this was not a good look, so I committed to not getting on a plane at all in 2018.” – the author, writing for the Guardian.
2 A Ladybird Book about Donald Trump by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris (Michael Joseph UK, $24)
Deliciously passive-aggressive gift for the MAGA in your life.
3 Women Mean Business: Colonial Businesswomen in New Zealand by Catherine Bishop (Otago University Press, $45)
Some brilliant, some battleaxes, some simply very bloody-minded.
4 Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton, $40)
Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.
5 Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Viking, $35)
“Olive Kitteridge sold more than a million copies and won the 2009 Pulitzer prize, but to the book’s fans, its greater achievement was to take a certain ornery type, eccentric and ungainly, and make her seem noble.” – the Guardian.
6 We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall & Tim Denee (Massey University Press, $70)
“… this is an example of the magic that can happen when data is open and free for good people to use.” – Aaron Schiff in his rave Spinoff review.
7 The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (Penguin Random House, $35)
“This is a savvy, multi-layered fantasy and perhaps most importantly Pullman’s characters remain complex and likable, even when his ontology is looking a little glass-eyed.” – Dr Susan Wardell in her rather more measured Spinoff review.
8 Find Me by Andre Aciman (Faber & Faber, $33)
Typed “Find Me” into google just now and it came up with “a Māori bride”. WTAF
9 Mophead: How Your Difference makes a Difference by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland Uni Press, $25)
One of the coolest covers of the year.
10 McCahon Country by Justin Paton (Penguin, $75)
“He begins in the shadowed greenness of the Otago hills, seemingly carved out of the landscape by the artist’s brush. From there, he heads to the light-filled valleys of Nelson and Golden Bay, where we meet McCahon the “visual lay preacher”, staging Christian stories down on the farm. South again, to the mosaic geometry of Canterbury’s flatlands, then north to the edge of the Waitākeres and the luminous profusion of kauri and nīkau, where light shatters “into thousands of pieces on its way down through the forest canopy” …” – Sally Blundell, writing in the Listener.
1 All Who Live on Islands by Rose Lu (Victoria University Press, $30)
“I can name all of the other Chinese New Zealand authors, which is great, but there should be so many that I can’t do that.” – Lu to the Spinoff Books.
2 We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall & Tim Denee (Massey University Press, $70)
3 Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton, $40)
4 No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, $8)
A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.
5 All Of This Is For You: A Little Book of Kindness by Ruby Jones (Penguin, $24)
Deliciously passive-aggressive gift for the mean girl in your life.
6 The Anarchy: the relentless rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury, $33)
“It was not the British government that began seizing great chunks of India in the mid-eighteenth century, but a dangerously unregulated private company headquartered in one small office, five windows wide, in London, and managed in India by a violent, utterly ruthless and intermittently mentally unstable corporate predator …”
7 Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (Viking, $35)
8 Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $35)
“She feels her head bobbing. She’s afraid of not saying yes. She doesn’t think it’s a date but she does like the idea that someone else finds her attractive. It’s like being a display lamp in a lighting store that wasn’t plugged in but now is: suddenly consumers are slowing down and going, Hey honey, how about this one.”
9 How to Walk a Dog by Mike White (Allen & Unwin, $35)
“Despite being the most popular dogs in New Zealand, we only have a couple of Labradors among the Tanera dog park regulars. Both are giants, but Louis is marginally huger, a lumbering black cloud of flat fur, an approaching southerly storm of a dog, 40 kilograms of ambling amiability … In Louis’s world, most things are definable as food… “
10 Acid for the Children by Flea (Headline Books, $38)
Everything that happened before the band.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.