BooksMarch 23, 2018

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 23


The week’s best-selling books at the Unity stores on Willis St, Wellington, and High St, Auckland.


1 Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain (Victoria University Press, $40)

Essays edited by two lecturers in religious studies at Victoria University. Chapters include “Remembering Jesus on Anzac Day” and “African Pentecostals in New Zealand”.

2 So Many Islands: Stories from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian and Pacific Oceans edited by Nicholas Lauchlin & Nailah Folami Imoja (Little Islands Press, $30)

New writing from so many islands, including Pasifika authors Fetuolemoana Elisara (Samoa), Marita Davies (Kiribati), and Mikoyan Vekula (Niue), who featured in a fascinating portrait of Niue by Vaughan Yarwood in New Zealand Geographic.

3 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson (Allen Lane, $40)

“Packaged for people brought up on BuzzFeed listicles…It is imperative to ask why and how this obscure Canadian academic, who insists that gender and class hierarchies are ordained by nature and validated by science, has suddenly come to be hailed as the West’s most influential public intellectual. For his apotheosis speaks of a crisis that is at least as deep as the one signified by Donald Trump’s unexpected leadership of the free world”: New York Review of Books, in an essay headlined, “Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism”.

4 Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat (Canongate, $55)

“This is how Nosrat scrambles an egg: ‘Crack four eggs into a bowl and season them with salt and a few drops of lemon juice, whisking thoroughly to break them up. Gently melt a little butter in a saucepan over the lowest possible heat and pour in the eggs. Continue to stir with a whisk or a fork while adding 4 or more tablespoons of butter in thumb-sized pieces, letting each be absorbed before you add the next. Never stop stirring, and be patient. It’ll take several minutes for the eggs to come together. When they do, pull them from the stove in anticipation of the cooking that will continue due to residual heat. Serve with – what else? – buttered toast.’ Lemon? No milk? I made these last night. Rich…but yum”: Linda Burgess, The Spinoff Review of Books.

5 Dear Oliver: Uncovering a Pakeha History by Peter Wells (Massey University Press, $40)

“Michael King wrote Being Pākehā partly after he was eviscerated for ‘writing Māori history’, ie muscling in on territory that was not his by cultural right. He was trying to find ‘a ground to stand on’ with Being Pākehā…I don’t think I could have written Dear Oliver without his book. If you boil my book down it is an attempt to tell stories which give some colour to a Pākehā colonial family and how they got here and survived. It is asserting a right to stand here. That is correct. But my view is we need more storytelling to understand the complexity of our joint history. I wanted to provide insights into the migrant experience – which was harrowing at times, dislocating and painful. I wanted to bring the big issues down to a personal  level. This is how these people lived. That is what ‘history’ feels like. An inner view of a colonial experience”: Peter Wells, in a revolutionary live email interview at the Spinoff Review of Books.

6 Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Hamish Hamilton, $45)

“The narrator of Winton’s latest novel, fifteen-year-old Jaxie Clackton, prime suspect for killing his abusive father, is on the run from the police. His scanty food supplies have dwindled almost to nothing and he is desperate for water. He has no gun and his only knife is no use for hunting…A powerful experience”: Australian Book Review.

7 Look, a Butterfly! by Yasunari Murakami (Gecko Press, $15)

Gorgeous pre-school picture book. You can look inside at the Gecko website.

8 Cuba Street: A Cookbook by Liane McGee, Niki Chu & Anna Vibrandt (Fortyfive Design, $50)

A cookbook.

9 Driving to Treblinka: A Long Search for a Lost Father by Diana Wichtel (Awa Press, $45)

Family memoir by the Listener genius; the hot favourite to win the 2018 Ockham New Zealand national book award for best book of non-fiction.

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

“The novel has moments of bitter humour. Attempting to dig their way to the world outside, Doctor and Mole are thwarted because the cage has been built on an old septic tank…A bold and compassionate book”: Sydney Morning Herald.



Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Hamish Hamilton, $45)

Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (Profile Books, $33)

The author, Youtubed.

Salt Fat Acid Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat (Canongate, $55)

4 Call Me By Your Name (Movie tie-in) by Andre Aciman (Picador UK, $34)

Movie tie-in.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli  & Francesca Cavallo (Particular Books, $40) 

Still going strong.

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

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

Brilliant debut novel, shortlisted for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand national book awards; the author, with her mother, is about to open a second-hand bookstore in Newtown, Wellington.

Rather His Own Man by Geoffrey Robertson (Knopf, $50)

Publisher’s blurbology: “In this witty, engrossing and sometimes poignant memoir, a sequel to his best-selling The Justice Game, Australia’s inimitable Geoffrey Robertson charts his progress from pimply state schoolboy to top Old Bailey barrister.”

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (Simon & Schuster, $30)

If I ordered continental breakfast

Would you want sausages?

Can we ever truly be satisfied

Do you find my love wanting

O dear diner

Pull up a spoon.

Dig into my cereal heart.

10 Too Much & Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose (Farrar Straus Giroux, $31)

Lorde will chair a session with the acclaimed Canadian essayist at the Auckland Writers Festival in May.

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

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
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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