Only 60 shopping days till Xmas! Get in early and peruse the week’s bestt-selling books at the Unity stores in High St, Auckland, and Willis St, Wellington.
1 Karori Confidential by Leah McFall (Luncheon Sausage Books, $25)
Witty, luminous collection by the Sunday magazine columnist. So many zingers! “Karori is like Gloriavale without the aprons.” And: “I was about to have a baby but what I deep-down probably wanted was a dog.” Also: “Your married self will be a lot like your unmarried self, except now you have cake forks.”
2 Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber, $33)
It won this year’s Man Booker, ie it’s pretty fucken unreadable so good luck with that.
3 Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking (John Murray, $35)
Will humanity survive? Should we colonise space? What’s for dinner? Does God exist?
4 Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $45)
“A sprawling Gatsby for the Google age…Murakami’s homage to Scott Fitzgerald’s classic is undone by too many narrative threads”: Guardian.
5 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $65)
6 Cook’s Cook: The cook who cooked for Captain Cook by Gavin Bishop (Gecko Press, $30)
Children’s book by the great illustrator about the cook (John Thompson, onboard the Endeavour) who cooked for Captain Cook in 1769.
7 The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (Hamish Hamilton, $37)
“The Iliad meets #Metoo”: The Atlantic.
8 Churchill: Walking with destiny by Andrew Roberts (Allen Lane, $85)
“Is this the best Churchill biography yet?”: New Statesman.
9 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $33)
Claim: the two best, most literary and most readable novels of 2018 are Warlight by Michael Ondaatje and this love story by the Irish writer.
10 The Top Secret Undercover Notes of Buttons McGinty by Rhys Darby (Scholastic, $18)
1 Headlands: New stories of anxiety edited by Naomi Arnold (Victoria University Press, $30)
Essays about anxiety by Paula Harris, Ashleigh Young, Tusiata Avia, Danyl Mclauchlan, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Hinemoa Baker, Kirsten McDougall and the book’s inspired, anxious editor, Naomi Arnold.
2 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber, $33)
3 Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury, $60)
4 Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)
Claim: the third best, most literary and most readable novel of 2018 .
5 Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker, $45)
6 Memory Pieces by Maurice Gee (Victoria University Press, $35)
Gee, in an interview with Philip Matthews at Stuff about his memoir of his Henderson childhood: “Childhood is a barrel I can dip into and bring out whatever I want. There’s no trick. The thing I want is there to put my hand on…My childhood is fixed. I remember it in detail and colour, something I can’t do with my middle years, or yesterday. Maybe it has something to do with the physiology of the brain, neurons firing better in the part that stores in the early memories.”
7 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (Jonathan Cape, $38)
8 Ko Taranaki Te Maunga by Rachel Buchanan (BWB Texts, $15)
9 Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas (Bloomsbury, $22)
Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to assassin to queen reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world, etc.
10 Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Faber, $37)
“A big, gripping, emotionally complex novel on the same scale as The Poisonwood Bible…A family teeters on the brink, steeped in devastating, contemporary American calamity. Somewhere slightly off the page, a Big Bad Wolf is huffing and puffing and blowing these people’s home right into the ground”: New York Times.
The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books.