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BooksMarch 29, 2019

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 29


The only published and available best-selling 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, $33)

After vying for pole position on our top 10 for a few months, Normal People has taken the lead as Conversations with Friends is knocked off.

2 The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson (MacMillan, $35)

After a short break off our top 10, Manson’s book is back in popular demand teaching Aucklanders once again how to give less fucks.

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

No three books by the same author have been consistently in our top 10 as Yuval Noah Harari’s have been. It’s a testament to his profound style of writing.

4 Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Little, Brown, $35)

Unstoppable since winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2018.

5 The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells (Allen Lane, $35)

‘We don’t really have the luxury of time to rely on elections’ – David Wallace-Wells for The Spinoff on the demise of planet earth at the hands of mankind.

6 Unto Us a Son is Given by Donna Leon (Penguin Random House, $35)

The new Commissario Brunetti offering.

7 Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat (Canongate, $55)

Nosrat’s popular Netflix show of the same name is the perfect accompaniment to her book, teaching us mere kitchen mortals how to combine four key ingredients to produce the tastiest dish.

8 Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber, $33)

Hands down our favourite novel of the last year.

9 Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide by John Walsh & Patrick Reynolds (Massey University Press, $20)

Be a tourist in your beloved city for the weekend, and in the words of Stephen Hawking, ‘remember to look up’ (albeit at the buildings, not the stars).

10 Lonely Asian Woman by Sharon Lam (Lawrence & Gibson, $29)

Hot off the press – a debut novel from a Wellington based descendant of Hong Kong, Japan, UK and New Zealand. ‘Lam defies the expected and leads the reader and her characters to a deft climax against the grain of the titular lonely Asian woman’.


1 A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press, $30)

Tense and compelling novel centred around a female surgeon at Wellington Regional Hospital

2 Sodden Downstream by Brannavan Gnanalingham (Lawrence & Gibson, $29)

“It’s a love letter to Lower Hutt, it’s an account of people who have been forgotten in New Zealand, and it’s about a refugee persisting,” says Gnanalingam. (All sales of Sodden Downstream from the Wellington shop or the online shop are being donated to the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre.)

3 Busy As F*ck by Karen Nimmo (HarperCollins, $35)

‘In 10 on-the-couch sessions, New Zealand clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo diagnoses, explains and treats Busy as F*@K syndrome, the condition that’s consuming us all, whether we realise it or not.’

4 Ursa by Tina Shaw (Walker Books, $23)

Winner of the Storylines Tessa Duder Award for 2019, this YA novel tells the story of the city of Ursa, home to two classes of people: the Cerels and the Travesters.

5 Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells (Allen Lane, $35)

‘…the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament’ – The New York Times

6 Truthteller: An Investigative Journalist’s Journey Through the World of Truth Prevention, Fake News & Conspiracy Theories by Stephen Davis (Exisle Publishing, $30)

Former investigative reporter Davis shares his stories from the frontlines of journalism, and advises on how we might combat a world where ‘fake news’ is waging a war on truth.

7 Because a Woman’s Heart is Like a Needle at the Bottom of the Ocean by Sugar Magnolia Wilson (Auckland University Press, $25)

Complex and beautiful debut poetry collection from Wellington poet.

8 In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy by Frederic Martel (Bloomsbury, $37)

‘Martel reveals financial scandals in the Vatican bank; political collusion with unsavoury regimes, including Castro ‘s Cuba and Pinochet ‘s Chile; sexual abuse and hypocrisy over homosexuality. In this explosive account, Martel goes to the heart of corruption in the Catholic Church and inside the Vatican itself.’

9 Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality by Rebecca Rice (Te Papa Press, $35)

Accompanies the popular Te Papa exhibition.

10 Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber, $33)

We’re all still hung up on Rooney.

Keep going!