A new guide to Te Tiriti hits the charts.
A new guide to Te Tiriti hits the charts.

BooksJune 28, 2024

The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending June 28

A new guide to Te Tiriti hits the charts.
A new guide to Te Tiriti hits the charts.

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.

First, a quick PSA: Unity Books has a flash new website that lets you search and purchase from both Unity Books Auckland and Wellington – and the search function is impeccable!


1 Blue Sisters by Coco Mellors (Fourth Estate, $38)

Three very different sisters come together after a tragic incident. Dramatic and gripping.

2 Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck (Granta, $28)

The international Booker winner 2024.

3 The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin (Canongate, $55)

Rubin’s guide to living a creative life is back in the charts: in dark times, creativity gives you light.

4 Trust by Hernan Diaz (Picador, $28)

A return to the charts for this latest Diaz epic about a Wall Street business man in the 1920s. Dazzling.

5 The Gentleman from Peru by Andre Aciman (Faber & Faber, $30)

From the author of Call Me By Your Name comes another beautiful, sun-soaked love story. Here’s the blurb: “We spend more time than we know trying to go back. We call it fantasising, we call it dreaming. . . but we’re all crawling back, each in his or her own way. A group of college friends find themselves marooned at a luxurious hotel on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. While their boat is being repaired, they can’t help but observe the daily routine of a fellow hotel guest – a mysterious, white-bearded stranger who sits on the veranda each night and smokes one cigarette, sometimes two. When the group decides to invite the elegant traveller to lunch with them, they cannot begin to imagine the miraculous abilities, strange wisdom, and a life-changing story he is about to impart to one of the friends in particular. . . Deeply atmospheric and sensual, The Gentleman From Peru weaves achingly poignant insight into a story of regret, fate and epic love.”

6 Lioness by Emily Perkins (Bloomsbury Circus, $25)

Emily Perkins’ Ockham award-winning deep-dive into the transformations of middle-age.

7 James by Percival Everett (Mantle, $38)

Highly recommend this delightful podcast episode of Private Passions, starring Percival Everett. Perfect listening for a gentle, long weekend. 

8 Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (Mantle, $38)

One of the smashest hits of 2023 returns! Kingsolver’s retelling of David Copperfield is a masterpiece.

9 All Fours by Miranda July (Canongate, $37)

Chris, on Good Reads, sums this one up nicely: “Yes, there’s lots of sex, but what struck me most was how beautiful and moving this novel was about a woman at absolute mid-life and her fears that the second half will be a deep dive into despair and ever lessening pleasures. That doesn’t mean that the novel also isn’t funny as hell: it often is. The tone is wry and gently comic, and some of the smallest asides had me laughing out loud. But there is a depth to the tale that’s easy to miss if you’re focused only the narrator’s exploration of what she craves physically.”

10 What Does Israel Fear from Palestine by Raja Shehadeh (Profile Books, $23)

An award-winning analysis of the destruction of Palestine by Israel. Here’s the blurb:

“A searing reflection on the failures of Israel to treat Palestine and Palestinians as equals, as partners on the road to peace instead of genocide.

Since the formation of the state of Israel in 1948, the Nakba (or ‘disaster’ as the Palestinians call it), there have been many opportunities to move towards peace and equality between Palestine and Israel – after the Six-Day War in 1967, the Oslo Agreement and even the 7 October 2023 War. Each opportunity has been rejected by Israel, which is why life is unbearable in the West Bank now and there is genocide in Gaza. This book explores what went wrong again and again, and why. And how it could still be different.

It is human nature to feel prejudice. But in this haunting meditation on Palestine and Israel, Shehadeh suggests that this does not mean the two nations cannot live together to their mutual benefit and co-existence.

In graceful, devastatingly observed prose, this is a fresh reflection on the conflict in a time of great need.”


1 Lioness by Emily Perkins (Bloomsbury Circus, $25)

2 Understanding Te Tiriti by Roimata Smail (Wai Ako Books, $25)

An absolutely essential handbook on Te Tiriti that we predict will find itself in homes, schools, offices, and hopefully also Parliamentary Libraries and on certain MPs’ desks.

3 Blue Sisters by Coco Mellors (Fourth Estate, $38)

4 Long Island by Colm Tóibín (Picador, $38)

The spare, haunting prose of this sequel to Brooklyn is polarising readers but we recommend deciding for yourself.

5 When We Was Fab: Inside the Beatles Australasian Tour 1964 by Greg Armstrong & Andy Neill (Woodslane, $99)

Loads of fab photos about the time the Beatles came down under. For more on the tour, The Spinoff’s Alex Casey talked to her dad about what he remembered about the big gig.

6 Don’t Worry About the Robots by Jo Cribb & David Glover (One Tree House, $50)

Stressed about AI and the future of work? This book will maybe relieve you of your fears and show you how to work with robots and not against them.

7 All Fours by Miranda July (Canongate, $37)

8 Waitohu Journal: A Journal for Making Meaning by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin, $35)

A beautiful new publication from bestselling author of Aroha and Wawata. A guide to the inspiration behind the journal, and how to use it, is online at Penguin NZ here.

9 Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan (Faber, $40)

“This is a rare novel,” goes The Guardian, “in that hostile landscape policed by cultural studies departments and the 3am stasi on social media, that is temperamentally unafraid of trespass. Andrew O’Hagan goes where his story takes him, deep into the lives of all the communities who live around “the Cally”, the main road that heads north from the capital’s new centre, King’s Cross. The result is a book – it’s hard to resist the word Dickensian – that feels as near an authentic slice of contemporary London life as any packed tube carriage.”

10 Parade by Rachel Cusk (Faber, $37)

Apparently not the best of the Cusks. “Rachel Cusk, the author of the autobiographical Outline trilogy of novels, has written so well for so long that it’s almost a relief to discover that her new novel, “Parade,” is skippable for all but her most devoted tier of readers.” Read more at the NY Times.

Mānawatia a Matariki!

Keep going!