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Poetry for the soul
Poetry for the soul

BooksFebruary 23, 2018

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending February 23

Poetry for the soul
Poetry for the soul

This week’s best-selling books at Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland.


1 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson (Allen Lane, $40)

Danyl Mclauchlan explains Peterson’s theory of everything, in a review at the Spinoff Review of Books: “Life is an endless series of ruthless dominance contests in which the strong triumph and obtain access to fertile, desirable females and the weak submit, and don’t. You can prevail in these evolutionary struggles, keep chaos at bay and bring order to your life by following the insights found in great literature and The Bible. Especially The Bible, which is the foundation of western civilisation  containing the encoded wisdom of countless generations. Its stories are cryptic though, and must be carefully unravelled: happily Peterson’s biblical deconstructions always align perfectly with his unique Nietzsche-Taoist-Darwin tinged view of the world, almost as if a trove of redacted, repeatedly mistranslated bronze-age folk-tales could be interpreted to mean literally anything.”

2 The Only Story by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape, $35)

The best novel of 2018 (so far) by a county mile.

3 Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard (Profile Books, $23)

Oxfam & sex: a tweet.

4 The Cage by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Books NZ, $38)

Fiction. “Two strangers arrive at a country town from far away, draggled and traumatised from a catastrophe they’re unable to describe…It will linger long in my mind”: Stephanie Johnson, the Spinoff Review of Books.

5 History of Bees by Maja Lunde (Simon & Schuster, $38)

Fiction. Lunde will appear at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington next month.

6 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins, $27)

Fiction. “From pop-star crushes to meals for one, the life of an outsider is vividly captured in this joyful debut, discovered through a writing competition and sold for huge sums worldwide”: The Guardian.

7 Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

As enjoyed by Sam and his pig.

8 Tinkering: The Complete Book of John Clarke by John Clarke (Text, $40)

“A broad-ranging selection which reveals his range of interests and different sides…John was a master satirist”: Roger Hall, the Spinoff Review of Books.

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

Fascinating, startlingly original biography of Katherine Mansfield in her Wellington years.

10 Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood (Allen Lane, $45)

Lockwood will appear at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington next month. “In 2016, Lockwood wrote a Hunter S Thompson-like dispatch from the New Hampshire primaries for the New Republic, one of the pieces of election journalism that came closest to capturing the lunatic energy powering Trump’s campaign. She then tweeted ‘fuck me, daddy’ at Trump using the magazine’s account”: London Review of Books.


1 Fire and Fury: Inside Trump’s White House by Michael Wolff (Little Brown, $38)

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

A brief history of humankind.

Autumn by Ali Smith (Penguin, $26)

Fiction, shortlisted for last year’s Man Booker prize. “At the centre  is a strange and unrequited love story…Yet Autumn is primarily a work of social commentary, the first in a planned seasonal quartet of novels”: Louise O’Brien, the Spinoff Review of Books.

4 Call Me By Your Name (Movie Tie-In) by André Aciman (Picador, $35)

Movie tie-in.

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young (Faber, $23)

Moo tie-in.

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan (Hachette,$22)

Sci-fi. Set in a future when interstellar travel is achieved by transferring consciousnesses between bodies.

Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece by Stephen Fry (Micael Joseph, $37)


Enigma Variations by André Aciman (Picador, $28)

Fiction. “A breathless, sketched rendering of one man’s life in love”: Publishers Weekly.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton, $26)

Fiction, shortlisted for last year’s Man Booker prize. “A couple fall tentatively, gently in love amidst a backdrop of bombs, militants, soldiers, harsh new laws, curfews, gunfire and public executions….Movingly compassionate”: Louise O’Brien, the Spinoff Review of Books.

10  The Cage by Lloyd Jones (Penguin, $38)

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

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