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BooksJuly 28, 2017

Unity Books best-seller chart for the week ending July 28


The best-selling books at the two best bookstores which sell books.


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

Tedious, fatuous novel longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker award.

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


3 Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo (Particular Books, $40)

If you have a daughter aged between oh say three and 13, and they do not know of this book, you are failing as a parent and a human being. Please take possession of a copy at once.

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

Publisher’s blurbology: “We live in a world of gridded maps, Outlook calendars and balance sheets – making it seem that this is the nature of reality itself. But in New Zealand, concepts of whakapapa and hau, complex networks and reciprocal exchange, may point to new ways of understanding interactions between peoples, and between people and the natural world. Like our ancestors, Anne Salmond suggests, we too may have a chance to experiment across worlds.”

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

Feminist, challenging sci-fi.

6 Old Asian, New Asian by Emma K Ng (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

The latest essay from New Zealand’s most inventive publishers of quality non-fiction.

7 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil De Grasse Tyson (W W Norton, $31)

E= etc.

8 World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams (HarperCollins, $25)

Ugh. More farting by numbers.

9 Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland (The Borough Press, $37)

Good, standard sci-fi.

10 Putangitangi Walks by Stephanie Thatcher (Scholastic, $18)

Brilliant book for pre-schoolers. You will need scissors, double-sided tape, felt tip pens and, you know, a pre-schooler.



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

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

Old stunner.

3 Hunger: A Memoir of My Body by Roxane Gay (Corsair, $35)

New stunner.

4 Iceland by Dominic Hoey (Steele Roberts, $35)

Is this the outstanding New Zealand novel of 2017? An interim report on the state of New Zealand literature in 2017 will appear at the Spinoff Review of Books next week, and that question may very well be posited.

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

“Maybe it’s the beginning of a new way of framing and reading Māori writers, in a larger context that allows us to escape the confines of other people’s preconceptions and percentages”: from a rave review at the end of a long essay by Paula Morris.

6 Mauri Ora: Wisdom from the Maori World by Peter Alsop and Te Rau Kupenga (Potton & Burton, $40)

A sure contender for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

7 The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin, $26)Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole (Faber, $33)

From his essay on meeting VS Naipaul: “This benevolent rheumy-eyed old soul…so aggressive in his lack of sympathy toward Africa, so brutal in his treatment of women…needed help walking across the grand marble-floored foyer toward the private elevator.”

Uncle Dysfunctional by AA Gill (Canongate, $28) 

Adrian, beyond the grave.

9 The Mixer: The Story of Premier League Tactics, From Route One to False Nines by Michael Cox (HarperCollins, $35)

All-time XI: Schmeichel; Le Saux, Campbell, Adams; Juninho, Cantona, Viera, Ginola; Wright, Le Tissier, Asprilla.

10 A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman (Vintage, $26)

Mordant comedy, winner of the 2017 Man Booker prize for international fiction.

The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.

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