The judging panel at work (image: istock)
The judging panel at work (image: istock)

BooksSeptember 23, 2016

The weekly Unity Books best-seller list: September 23

The judging panel at work (image: istock)
The judging panel at work (image: istock)

The best-seller chart at Unity Books for the week just ended: September 23


1 Through the Eyes of a Miner: The Photography of Joseph Divis (Friends of Waiuta, $40) by Simon Nathan

Fantastic black and white photographs of the West Coast coalmining town that died. A feature will appear at the Spinoff Review of Books next week.

2 New Zealand’s Western Front Campaign (David Bateman Ltd, $80) by Ian McGibbon

New Zealand’s Western Front campaign.

3 Don’t Dream It’s Over: Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa NZ (Freerange Press $40) edited by Sarah Illingworth, Emma Johnson, Giovanni Tiso and Barnaby Bennett


4 Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25) by Hera Lindsay Bird


5 Nutshell (Jonathan Cape, $38) by Ian McEwan

The old master returns with a tale about a talking foetus.

6 Three Cities: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene (Bridget Williams Books, $15) by Rod Oram

Light-hearted survey which examines what fundamental changes need to be made – and how – if “ten billion people are going to live well on this planet in 2050.”

7 Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life (Viking, $38) by John Le Carre


8 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Harville Secker, $40) by Yuval Noah Harari

Short version: it’s another day LOL.

9 Eileen: A novel (Vintage, $23) by Ottessa Moshfegh

“Eileen lives alone with her retired-cop alcoholic father, and her relationship with him seems limited to buying him bottles of alcohol and avoiding him altogether…. Her job at a boys’ juvenile detention center seems unbearable, until a new hire arrives: Rebecca Saint John, a social worker whose unattainable, effortless glamour and even more unattainable casual iconoclasm instantly appeal to Eileen. She falls in love with her — though Eileen is careful to emphasise she is not a lesbian. The two become unlikely friends and then the story, three-fourths of the way in, takes its sharp, unforgettable turn”: Los Angeles Times.

10 Constitution for Aotearoa NZ (Victoria University Press, $25) by Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler

Most interesting.


1 The Sympathizer (Corsair, $28) by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Someone oughtta just come out and officially pronounce this is the smash hit book of literary fiction of the year.

2 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Harvill Secker, $40) by Yuval Noah Harari

3 Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25) by Hera Lindsay Bird

4 The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (Viking, $38) by John le Carré

5 A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, $40) by Adam Rutherford

“There is no one alive who is youer than you”: Dr Seuss’s wise epigram underpins these thoughts on DNA and that genetic selfie, the genome.

6 Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta, $33) by Madeleine Thien

“History is deftly woven into a moving story of the musicians who suffered during the Cultural Revolution in China”: The Guardian.

7 Razor Girl (Sphere, $38) by Carl Hiassen

Bikini waxing, scams, fake tans and raucousness in Florida by the smartass crime fiction maestro.

8 To the Ice and Beyond: Sailing Solo Across 32 Oceans and Seaways (Mary Egan Publishing, $45) by Graeme Kendall

Sailing solo across 32 oceans.

9 This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art (Auckland University Press, $45) by Anthony Byrt

This is really good. And: a spectacular and epic conversation about art practise and art criticism between the author and Andrew Paul Wood is posted in next week’s Spinoff Review of Books. Yowsa!

10 White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World (Text, $37) by Geoff Dyer


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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