It has been a week. (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
It has been a week. (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

BooksJuly 24, 2020

The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending July 24

It has been a week. (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
It has been a week. (Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

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  How Do We Know We’re Doing it Right? Essays on Modern Life by Pandora Sykes (Penguin Random House, $40)

I’m sure it’s funny and cool and all but I do not trust anyone whose house looks like this.

2  Pull No Punches: Memoir of a Political Survivor by Judith Collins (Allen & Unwin, $37)

July 2020: A Sequel

3  Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump (Simon & Schuster, $38)

“Who’s more awful than Trump? His father.” – headline in the Times

4  White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (Penguin Random House, $28)

“DiAngelo attempts to explicate the phenomenon of white people’s paper-thin skin. She argues that our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces at the first application of stress – such as, for instance, when someone suggests that ‘flesh-toned’ may not be an appropriate name for a beige crayon.” – the New Yorker

5  Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell (Hodder & Stoughton, $38)

Hugely anticipated novel from the author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks but the reviews are, as they say, “mixed”.

6  Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman (Bloomsbury, $34)

Counterpoint: Andrew Falloon.

7  The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (Ebury Press, $40)

“A collection of loosely linked illustrations about a lonely boy who ambles through the countryside on a spring day, finding companionship: first meeting the mole, then the other animals of the title. As they walk, the new friends talk, wonder, share their hopes and fears and pose some big questions: ‘What do we do when our hearts hurt?’ ‘Home isn’t always a place, is it?’ The fox is generally silent; the mole and the horse offer reassurance and wisdom: ‘Often the hardest person to forgive is yourself,’ says the mole at one point.” – the Washington Post

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

Winner of the 2o19 Booker Prize.

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

Extreme recommend. Wilderness, overcoming of adversity, solitude, science, a gentle love story.

10 I Am Not Your Baby Mother: What it’s like to be a black British mother by Candice Brathwaite (Quercus, $35)

Pandora Sykes: “Remarkable.”


1  Stop Worrying About Money: A simple guide to creating a financially sustainable future for you and your family by Baubre Murray (Baubre Murray, $30)

“Why do some people go through life seemingly with no financial worries and others never seem to have any money and survive pay day to pay day? This is a question I’ve been asking myself throughout my 25 years as an accountant.” –; by the way, it’s pronounced “Barbra”.

2  How to Be Old by Rachel McAlpine (Cuba Press, $25)

The 80-year-old Wellington writer told Kathryn Ryan: “I have never been kind of worried about the impression of my poetry on people, even when it was outrageous … Some of these wonderful new poets, young poets, remind me of me when I was younger and I just ripped into it.”

3  Pull No Punches: Memoir of a Political Survivor by Judith Collins (Allen & Unwin, $37)

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

Winner of this country’s biggest prize for fiction.

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

6  Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell (Sceptre, $38)

7  Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump (Simon & Schuster, $38)

8  Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, $25)

Reviewed, ecstatically, here.

9  Matariki: The Star of the Year by Rangi Matamua (Huia, $35)

“Te Kōkau Himiona Te Pikikotuku of Ruatāhuna began to compile a 400-page manuscript on Maori Astronomy with his son Rāwiri in 1898 which Rāwiri Te Kōkau completed in 1933. On his deathbed, Rāwiri Te Kōkau handed this book to his grandson Timi Rāwiri, and in 1995 this book was then gifted to Timi’s grandson Waikato University lecturer Dr. Rangi Matamua.

After years of studying this manuscript and research into Māori astronomy, Dr Rangi Matamua has brought this manuscript to life in his new book Matariki: The Star of the Year.” – RNZ, plus there’s a full interview here.

10 White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo (Penguin, $28)

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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