Rose Lu, shot by Ebony Lamb. Her debut book All Who Live on Islands is the top-selling NZ book at both Unity stores this week.

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending January 24

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  This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay (Picador, $23)

Legit funny.

2  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton, $40)

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.

3  Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins, $25)

“If you don’t cry the first time Eleanor goes to a hair salon and thanks the blowsy Laura for “making her shiny”, you haven’t a heart. This is a narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness. It makes you want to throw a party and invite everyone you know and give them a hug, even that person at work everyone thinks is a bit weird.” – the Guardian.

4  The Overstory by Richard Powers (Vintage, $26)

Legit life changing.

5  The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35)

Every week we google whether this has an asterisk or not and this week we just thought, fuck it.

6  All Who Live On Islands by Rose Lu (Victoria University Press, $30)

“Goodbyes used to have much more gravity when I was younger. We would send messages like “afk” or “brb”. Now there was a continuous stream of conversation that spanned various platforms. Viv and I were saying goodbye, but in some ways it was just a shift in our primary medium of communication.”

7  Ottolenghi: Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $60)

Might we also recommend Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley, especially the Chilli Herb Chutney and the Get-Your-Greens-In Risotto.

8  The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (Doubleday UK, $55)

“Perhaps what’s missing most is Bryson’s characteristic wit and ingenious ways of analysis. There is a little of both.” – this well-argued review on NPR

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

“The writing ruined the reading for me.” – Claudia, Goodreads.

10 Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Little, Brown Book, $25)

“In the summer of 2018, Putnam published an unusual debut novel by a retired wildlife biologist named Delia Owens. The book, which had an odd title and didn’t fit neatly into any genre, hardly seemed destined to be a blockbuster, so Putnam printed about 28,000 copies.

It wasn’t nearly enough.” – the New York Times.


1  All Who Live on Islands by Rose Lu (Victoria University Press, $30)

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

Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney

3  Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $35)

An email from Taddeo the other day: “I don’t think I’ve ever felt so honored by someone’s words. Your piece from back in July (that I have only just seen now, I’m not sure why) made my whole month.”

Probably she says that to all the reviewers but whatever, we’re chuffed. Here’s the piece, again.

4  Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo (Penguin Books, $40)

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

Alert: on Sunday 1 March McDowall will be talking about this magnificent book at the NZ Festival, alongside Meng Foon, Nadine Anne Hura and Veronika Meduna.

6  Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (Bloomsbury, $37)

“In spite of being as frail as a partridge, the young girl recovered rapidly, because she turned out to be stronger than she looked. She allowed them to shave her head to get rid of the lice, and didn’t resist the sulfur treatment they used for the scabies. She ate voraciously and showed signs of having a placid temperament that was at odds with her sad situation … In the weeks she spent in the mansion, everyone, from the delirious mistress to all the servants, became deeply attached to her. They had never had a little girl in that stone house haunted by semi-feral cats and ghosts from past ages.”

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

8  The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, $48)

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.

9  The Meaning of Trees by Robert Vennell (HarperCollins, $55)

We’re making a hut in the gully this weekend, with this as reference.

10 Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold by Māori Writers edited by Witi Ihimarea & Whiti Hereaka (Penguin, $38)

“The updates can be startling. In Māui Goes to Hollywood, David Geary takes the archetypal trickster, and couples him with Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, Santa Monica beach, ATMs, the Warriors, cocaine, and the Manly Sea Eagles. It is an audacious revision, which captures perfectly the mythic hero’s personality and energy in a bright pop-art, post-modern explosion.” – David Herkt, reviewing for Your Weekend.

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