Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

BooksJune 28, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending June 28

Image: Getty Images
Image: 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 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $23)

Please someone write us an essay about the Roonster and why she continues to reign?? Seriously. Paid.

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

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

3 Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

“The novel enjoys the absurdities of its genre – winks at them, even – yet manages at the same time to do a lot of work with the melancholy and absurdity of ordinary life” – the Guardian.

4 Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi (Sandstone, $27)

Winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.

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

A comic recounts his time practicing medicine in the UK. Via the Guardian: “He deals with a difficult and racist patient undergoing surgery by sewing her up after the operation in such a way as to disfigure her dolphin tattoo. Did that really happen? “I don’t want to talk about that one because that’s one I wasn’t meant to put in the book,” he says, adding, “but that obviously did happen.””

6 Circe by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury, $22)

“My words are not as good as the ones in this book” – Goodreads reviewer.

7 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage, $30)

“Many people believe that truth conveys power. If some leaders, religions or ideologies misrepresent reality, they will eventually lose to more clearsighted rivals. Hence sticking with the truth is the best strategy for gaining power. Unfortunately, this is just a comforting myth” – the author, in a recent essay called Why Fiction Trumps Truth, for the New York Times.

8 Ordinary People by Diana Evans (Random House, $26)

Only to be approached when you’re feeling particularly loved and secure about your life choices, apparently.

9 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (Windmill Books, $26)

A gentleman in Moscow under house arrest in a luxury hotel.

10 The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un by Anna Fifield (Hachette, $38)

Fine journalist; fascinating topic.



1 Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday, $38)

2 Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris, Ross Calman & Mark Derby (Lift Education, $20)

The Spinoff’s Ātea editor Leonie Hayden on the School Journal precursor to this project: “If our kids are armed with the basics, the anger and guilt stripped away, then maybe there’s a chance they’ll grow into adults that understand that our differences make us stronger. Anger is useful, until it isn’t. Excellent resources like this one will help to make it a thing of the past.”

3 The New Zealand Wars: Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa by Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books, $40)

See above.

4 An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (One World, $28)

A Black American marriage, to be precise – one pitted against the heavy machinery of racism and systemic bias.

5 Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos (Victoria University Press, $40)

“She not only practised the law but also she challenged the profession and the legal system to recognise the rights of women and those who lacked access to the law” – the Hon. Margaret Wilson, DCNZM.

6 The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un by Anna Fifield (Hachette, $38)

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

8 Making History: A New Zealand Story by Jock Phillips (Auckland University Press, $45)

One of Aotearoa’s preeminent historians grapples with his own past.

9 How to Escape From Prison by Paul Wood (HarperCollins, $38)

“It’s one of the rich ironies of my life’s journey that I had to go to prison to learn how to break free. Now it’s my privilege to help others break out of their own prisons” – prologue.

10 The Spy & the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre (Viking, $28)

Always with the spies!

Keep going!