(Photo: oneclearvision via iStock / Getty)
(Photo: oneclearvision via iStock / Getty)

BooksDecember 22, 2020

The Unity Books bestseller chart for the year ending now

(Photo: oneclearvision via iStock / Getty)
(Photo: oneclearvision via iStock / Getty)

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. Today’s charts cover the whole of 2020, up until the end of Sunday, December 20. 

A note on Auē – we’re pretty sure this is the first time any book has topped both stores’ annual charts. For the last two years, for example, Auckland has been all about Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, while Wellington went for We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa in 2019, and Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer winner, Less, in 2018. Hera Lindsay Bird, Ashleigh Young and Nicky Hager have also been huge, but only in one city each.

Auē cleaned out this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, winning Becky Manawatu best first book and the biggie, the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction. Then it went to the Ngaio Marsh Awards, bypassing the best first book award to take out Best Novel.

Yesterday, Mary McCallum of Mākaro Press emailed with updated stats:

We have printed 13,500 copies – 10,000 of those (in six different print runs) since Auē won the big prize. We print locally, thank goodness, with Ligare in Auckland, who can turn a thousand books around for us within a week. We are so grateful to them for their efficiency and commitment, and to our distributors David Bateman, for all they’ve done to get Auē out into the bookshops, and the booksellers for selling it and New Zealand readers for buying it. It’s been a team effort.

Unity especially was an early adopter of Auē – it was Unity Auckland’s Jo McColl who rang me after the awards and told me to print 5000 books. She said she had only ever seen two other books like Auē that appeal to everyone – old, young, men and women – and the 5000 would sell out, and they have and we’ve reprinted twice since. Sales are still going gangbusters and I don’t think they’re going to ease off next year. We feel so lucky. 

Meri Kirihimete to Becky Manawatu, and to everyone with a copy of Auē under the tree. Your Boxing Day is going to be rad.

AUCKLAND

1  Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press, $35)

2  Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Picador, $20)

3  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Penguin, $24)

4  Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman (Bloomsbury, $35)

5  The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate, $50)

6  Ottolenghi: Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage (Ebury, $60)

7  Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage, $30)

8  Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Corsair, $25)

9  Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Picador, $38)

10 Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press, $38)

WELLINGTON

1  Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press, $35)

2  Imagining Decolonisation by Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

3  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo (Penguin, $24)

4  The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press, $35)

5  The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate, $50)

6  Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine by Monique Fiso (Godwit, $65)

7  We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowell & Tim Denee (Massey University Press, $70)

8  Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Little, Brown, $25)

9  Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (Fourth Estate, $25)

10 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber, $23)

CHILDREN’S (AUCKLAND)

1  Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary by Kat Quin & Pānia Papa (Illustrated Publishing, $35, all ages)

2  Māui & Other Legends: 8 Classic Tales of Aotearoa by Peter Gossage (Puffin NZ, $40, all ages)

3  Lizard’s Tale by Weng Wai Chan (Text Publishing, $21, 9-13)

4  Mophead: How Your Difference Makes a Difference by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press, $25, 5+)

5  Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris, Ross Calman, Mark Derby & Piripi Walker (Lift Education, $20, 8+)

6  Big Ideas for Curious Minds by Alain de Botton & Anna Doherty (Affirm Press, $40, 8+)

7  I Am the Universe by Vasanti Unka (Puffin NZ, $25, all ages)

8  Neands by Dan Salmon (OneTree House, $24, 12+)

9  Kid-Friendly Auckland by Ceana Priest (Outdoor Kid, $20, all ages)

10 All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell & Allison Colpoys (Scribble, $30, 4+)

CHILDREN’S (WELLINGTON)

1  The Boy, the Mole, the Fox & the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (Ebury Press, $40, all ages)

2  The Inkberg Enigma by Jonathan King (Gecko Press, $30, 9+)

3  Mophead: How Your Difference Makes a Difference by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press, $25, 3+)

4  Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary by Kat Quin & Pānia Papa (Illustrated Publishing, $35, all ages)

5  No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, $10, 8+)

6  A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, $30, 13+)

7  Taking the Lead: How Jacinda Ardern Wowed the World by David Hill & Phoebe Morris (Puffin, $25, 6+)

8  Lizard’s Tale by Weng Wai Chen (Text Publishing, $21, 9-13)

9  Aspiring by Damien Wilkins (Massey University Press, $22, 12+)

10 The Bomb by Sacha Cotter & Josh Morgan (Huia Publishers, $23, 4+)

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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