BooksAugust 25, 2017

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending August 25


The best-selling books at the two best bookstores in creation.


1 The New Zealand Project by Max Harris (Bridget Williams Books, $40)


2 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Vintage, $26)

“Blessed be the fruit”: Atwood’s sci-fi vision of America as the deeply fucked-up republic of Gilead.

3 Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Penguin, $26)

“I yearned for more storytelling and less moralising,” wrote Spinoff reviewer Elizabeth Heritage.

4 The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, $38)

2017’s biggest fizzer.

5 A History of New Zealand Women by Barbara Brookes (Bridget Williams Books, $70)

Sequel to A History of New Zealand Men.

6 The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin, $26)

Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker.

7 Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance (Virgin, $28)

Bio of the co-founder of PayPal.

8 Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance (Harper, $27)

Vance on Charlottesville: “The alt-right is basically a movement of spoiled rich babies who turned to hate. Don’t blame hillbillies.”

9 Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (Text, $37)

Enjoyable blockbuster trash.

10 Black Marks on the White Page edited by Witi Ihimaera & Tina Makereti (Vintage, $40)

Exciting anthology of new Māori and Pacific Island writing.



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

Charlotte Grimshaw’s review will be published on Thursday.

2 91-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (Pan Macmillan, $18)

Sequel to 90-Storey Treehouse.

3 Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova (Text, $37)

4 Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton, $38)

5 The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin, $26)

6 Moral Truth: 150 Years of Investigative Journalism in NZ edited by James Hollings (Massey University Press, $45)

“One of the many virtues of this collection is that it stands as a kind of trophy board to work that matters, as in an old school hall, wooden panels with the names of alumni to admire painted on in gold. Nicky Hager is here, twice, and there could have been more from him. Martin Van Beynen…Too many names to meaningfully mention here, but all of them worth collecting, all of it work to admire”: John Campbell, Spinoff Review of Books.

7 Behave: the Biology of Humans at Our Best & Worst by Robert Sapolsky (Bodley Head, $40)

By the author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.

8 Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds by Anne Salmond (Auckland University Press, $65)

“For sheer narrative skill, there is no one who comes near Salmond in bringing the past alive”: North & South.

9 That’s Not a Hippopotamus by Juliet MacIvor (Gecko Press, $20)

A hippo goes missing! Great book for kids.

10 Tess by Kirsten McDougall (Victoria University Press, $25)

Novella, by Wellington writer; we look forward to the forthcoming review by Holly Walker.

The Spinoff Review of Books is 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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