Books Archive

Lose yourself, find yourself in data-vis masterpiece We Are Here

Data scientist Aaron Schiff pays tribute to the gorgeous new atlas which is also about poetry and climate change and privilege.

On punching up – and all the things The Spinoff made me do

From the all-new Spinoff Book, Madeleine Chapman spills the beans on the ordeal of writing for this very site.

It’s alive! The Spinoff Book is out now

The Spinoff Book is out today. Here’s what you’ll find in it, and how to get a copy.

Uther Dean on haiku and jokes and flouting the rules

Uther Dean responds to the essay we published last week, in which Sandra Simpson expressed her frustration at people who misunderstood and disrespected haiku.

The Unity children’s bestseller chart for the month of October

What’s the best way to get adults reading? Get them reading when they’re children – and there’s no better place to start than the Unity Children’s Bestseller Chart.

Terry Teo is the great New Zealand comic

Growing up, Toby Morris rarely saw the New Zealand he knew in comics – until he discovered Terry Teo

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending November 1

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.

The Friday Poem: ‘Duck Three Ways’ by Jenny Bornholdt

A new poem by Wellington poet Jenny Bornholdt.

Haiku are not a joke: a plea from a poet who has had it up to here

Sandra Simpson, champion of haiku, with a plea for those who misunderstand – and disrespect – the form that defines her writing life. 

A field guide to field guides

Shags, spiders, salps and seaweeds: get amongst it with our field guide to the best New Zealand field guides.

The Friday Poem: ‘Elegy with Cannons and Bees’ by Chloe Honum

A new poem by Auckland-raised poet Chloe Honum.

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending October 24

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.

‘They shit what you feed them’: Tze Ming Mok on data and its limits

The new and spectacular atlas, We Are Here, is page after page of haunting, hella beautiful visual data, each chapter introduced with an essay. This one, Lost in the Forest, introduces the section on people. 

Review: Imaginary Friend, a blood-soaked novel that recalls Stranger Things

Ten years ago Stephen Chbosky had a massive hit with coming-of-age novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Now the director/producer/scriptwriter is back with an epic, kid-centric horror. 

The Friday Poem: ‘modernity to globalisation’ by Lily Holloway

A new poem by Auckland poet Lily Holloway.

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending October 16

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.

Queer objects: a last word from Peter Wells

In what's thought to be the last piece of writing Peter Wells completed before he died, he wonders about his great-grandfather, and the locket he wore all his life. 

A books editor confesses: I haven’t read the Booker shortlist. Any of them

On the eve of the announcement of the winner of the 2019 Booker prize, books editor Catherine Woulfe outs herself as a giant know-nothing. 

A review of Man Booker International Prize winner, Celestial Bodies

Many have been waiting for a book like Celestial Bodies – a story that shakes up entrenched ideas of women in the Middle East. 

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending October 11

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.  

The Friday Poem: ‘Mourning headlines’ by Emma Neale

A new poem by Dunedin poet Emma Neale.

Let Me Be Frank: an essay about creativity and comics by Sarah Laing

Wellington writer, illustrator and Katherine Mansfield obsessive Sarah Laing has a new book out tomorrow. Here, she tells its origin story. 

He is unclean; he shall dwell alone: A sad and startling story of leprosy in NZ

An extract from Benjamin Kingsbury's The Dark Island, about the history of the leprosy patient colony on Quail Island, in Lyttelton Harbour.

How NZ’s cutting-edge experiment with drug legalisation came crashing down

In this extract from his book Fentanyl Inc., Ben Westhoff explains what happened after NZ banned that first generation of legal highs – and how legal highs pioneer Matt Bowden reacted.