feature unity

BooksSeptember 27, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending September 27

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

“… part of the engine of The Testaments is a challenging invitation to have compassion, and if not compassion, understanding” – Pip Adam, right here

2  Talking to Strangers: what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcolm Gladwell (Allen Lane, $40)

From the New York Times

“I ended the book thinking that we are all doomed to misunderstand one another forever.

Yeah, Mr. Gladwell said. “It’s a little bit like that.””

3  The Truants by Kate Weinberg (Bloomsbury, $33)

Young aristocrats and pharmaceuticals and Agatha Christie and Sicily and one of those creepy-smart lecturers. 

The Overstory by Richard Powers (Vintage, $26)

A book about trees. It will haunt you; it haunts the author. He said to the Chicago Review of Books: “I just want to walk, look, listen, breathe, and write this same book again and again, from different aspects and elevations, with characters as old and large as I am able to imagine.”

5  Perform Under Pressure by Ceri Evans (HarperCollins, $40)

“Imagine someone is holding a stopwatch next to your shoulder, and as soon as you’ve chosen your task, they press the button. You have five minutes.”

6  Te Tiriti o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Piripi Walker (Lift Education, $20)

Toby rulz!

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

Sally Rooney Sally Rooney Sally Rooney

8  The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press, $35)

“It deals in delight, humour, linguistic ticklishness, eros, profundity, fun. So much fun.” – launch speech by Anna Smaill. 

Wolfe Island by Lucy Treloar (Picador, $35)

A woman and her island home, which is slowly going under. 

10  Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press, $65)

Reviewed here by Linda Burgess, whose memoir is one of our favourite books of the year. 



1 Lost and Somewhere Else by Jenny Bornholdt (Victoria University Press, $25)

A book of poems just pipped Margaret Atwood a fortnight after release. And so did Elizabeth Knox!

2   The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press, $35)

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

4  Always Song in the Water: an oceanic sketchbook by Gregory O’Brien (Auckland University Press, $45)

Read our extract, feat. the actual Marilyn Monroe. 

5  Mountains to Sea: Solving New Zealand’s Freshwater Crisis by Mike Joy (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

“ … we are totally dependent on fossil fuels for our food … the first step to being able to support anything like the population we have without the [fossil-fuel derived] energy coming in is that we are going to have to reduce animals in our diets in a really big way.” – the author, to 95bFM’s The Wire

6 No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, $8)

A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.

7  Talking to Strangers: what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcolm Gladwell (Allen Lane, $40)

8  The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury, $33)

“As always, Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature” – the Guardian

9  Anarchy: The Rise & Fall of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Bloomsbury, $33)

“Told with rigour and great writerly craft” – the Guardian, again. 

10  Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica by Rebecca Priestley (Victoria University Press, $40)

Got a painting from Ruth Priestley’s Antarctic Dream series? Rebecca would love to hear from you, please. 

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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