Books Archive

Auckland teens on racism, misogyny, body image, art, class… and Shakespeare

Sam Brooks has a transcendent experience at the part of the Auckland Writers Festival grown-ups never hear about: the school sessions.

The Wednesday Poem: Kismet by Helen Heath

A poem from Ockham prize-winning poet Helen Heath.

Life is hell, but at least there are prizes: A night at the Ockham Book Awards

The Spinoff had multiple scouts at last night’s awards bash. This piece is by Alec Redvers-Hill, and we’ve dropped in a selection of texts from Duncan Greive, who maintained a barrage of such updates all night.

Red roses, cartoons and tatau: an extract from a newly-crowned Ockhams winner

Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing won the Illustrated Non-Fiction category at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards last night. Here, authors Sean Mallon and Sebastien Galliot detail how the tattoos of other cultures are bleeding into Sāmoa, and vice versa. 

Tick tock boom: at last, we can announce the 2019 Ockham award winners

Fiona Kidman! The clock strikes nine so we can say it out loud: Fiona Kidman Fiona Kidman Fiona Kidman!

Chris Tse was bloody robbed – your verdicts on the Ockham shortlist

The deadline for our lavish Ockhams giveaway has rolled on by and it’s time to announce who won.

Review: The Porpoise would win a fight against Jordan Peterson’s lobster-men

Chloe Blades on the raw, complex and unabashedly feminist new novel by the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. 

The Monday Poem: Turn Out to Be Something by Ashleigh Young

New work by Ashleigh Young from her upcoming collection How I Get Ready.

How Marilyn Waring became an MP aged 23

A saddle sore, a teal bridesmaid's dress and the Ngāruawāhia High School hall: how Marilyn Waring became the National candidate for Raglan. 

The Friday Poem: Contents of a mummy Tardis handbag by Renee Liang

New verse from poet and playwright Renee Liang.

Please welcome… the Unity Books CHILDREN’S bestseller chart!!

Unity and The Spinoff are very proud to announce the arrival of this new monthly feature. Because we love kids, and we love books, and we’re really sick of buying shitty books by mistake and having to read them 87,000 bedtimes in a row.

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending May 10

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.

The misunderstood mongrels of the New Zealand bush

Turns out two of our most-loathed bush dwellers – supplejack and ongaonga – are at once way more annoying and way more fascinating than we gave them credit for. 

We have 16 seriously covetable NZ books for you, thanks to the Ockham Awards

All of the books shortlisted for the country’s shiniest literary gongs at this year’s Auckland Writers Festival are boxed up in some publicist’s back room, just waiting to be shipped to YOU!!

Review: The Library Book is a thrilling tale of fire, loss and renewal

As Wellington and Waikanae face a winter without two beloved libraries, Marion McLeod reviews The Library Book, a hymn to a library that burned. 

“The book was a way to confront the trauma I had been ignoring”

Playwright and Spinoff culture editor Sam Brooks talks to Val Emmich, author of Dear Evan Hansen, about the process of adapting a smash Broadway musical into a book.

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending May 3

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.

The Friday Poem: ‘Everything is Nice’ by Ursula Robinson-Shaw

New poetry from Wellington-born writer Ursula Robinson-Shaw.

‘Even my own skin could contaminate me’: a scholar charts her breakdown

Extract: How Wendy Parkins unravelled and put herself back together, sort of.

One man’s death, and what came after

Marion McLeod reviews Late in the Day, a "smooth and sinuous and subtle" new novel by Tessa Hadley

TMI: An essay on contemporary poetry in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Poet Steven Toussaint on the explosive, triumphant wizardry that is happening here and now.

Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending April 26

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.

The Friday Poems: Three poems by Jackson Nieuwland

A new poem sequence by Wellington poet Jackson Nieuwland.

‘My World War I Poem’ by Bill Manhire

Verse by Wellington writer Bill Manhire.   My World War I Poem   Inside each trench, the sound of prayer. Inside each prayer, the sound of digging.       From Some Things to Place in a Coffin, by …