The judging panel at work (image: istock)

The weekly Unity Books best-seller list: September 23

The best-seller chart at Unity Books for the week just ended: September 23


1 Through the Eyes of a Miner: The Photography of Joseph Divis (Friends of Waiuta, $40) by Simon Nathan

Fantastic black and white photographs of the West Coast coalmining town that died. A feature will appear at the Spinoff Review of Books next week.

2 New Zealand’s Western Front Campaign (David Bateman Ltd, $80) by Ian McGibbon

New Zealand’s Western Front campaign.

3 Don’t Dream It’s Over: Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa NZ (Freerange Press $40) edited by Sarah Illingworth, Emma Johnson, Giovanni Tiso and Barnaby Bennett


4 Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25) by Hera Lindsay Bird


5 Nutshell (Jonathan Cape, $38) by Ian McEwan

The old master returns with a tale about a talking foetus.

6 Three Cities: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene (Bridget Williams Books, $15) by Rod Oram

Light-hearted survey which examines what fundamental changes need to be made – and how – if “ten billion people are going to live well on this planet in 2050.”

7 Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life (Viking, $38) by John Le Carre


8 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Harville Secker, $40) by Yuval Noah Harari

Short version: it’s another day LOL.

9 Eileen: A novel (Vintage, $23) by Ottessa Moshfegh

“Eileen lives alone with her retired-cop alcoholic father, and her relationship with him seems limited to buying him bottles of alcohol and avoiding him altogether…. Her job at a boys’ juvenile detention center seems unbearable, until a new hire arrives: Rebecca Saint John, a social worker whose unattainable, effortless glamour and even more unattainable casual iconoclasm instantly appeal to Eileen. She falls in love with her — though Eileen is careful to emphasise she is not a lesbian. The two become unlikely friends and then the story, three-fourths of the way in, takes its sharp, unforgettable turn”: Los Angeles Times.

10 Constitution for Aotearoa NZ (Victoria University Press, $25) by Geoffrey Palmer and Andrew Butler

Most interesting.


1 The Sympathizer (Corsair, $28) by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Someone oughtta just come out and officially pronounce this is the smash hit book of literary fiction of the year.

2 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Harvill Secker, $40) by Yuval Noah Harari

3 Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25) by Hera Lindsay Bird

4 The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life (Viking, $38) by John le Carré

5 A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, $40) by Adam Rutherford

“There is no one alive who is youer than you”: Dr Seuss’s wise epigram underpins these thoughts on DNA and that genetic selfie, the genome.

6 Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Granta, $33) by Madeleine Thien

“History is deftly woven into a moving story of the musicians who suffered during the Cultural Revolution in China”: The Guardian.

7 Razor Girl (Sphere, $38) by Carl Hiassen

Bikini waxing, scams, fake tans and raucousness in Florida by the smartass crime fiction maestro.

8 To the Ice and Beyond: Sailing Solo Across 32 Oceans and Seaways (Mary Egan Publishing, $45) by Graeme Kendall

Sailing solo across 32 oceans.

9 This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art (Auckland University Press, $45) by Anthony Byrt

This is really good. And: a spectacular and epic conversation about art practise and art criticism between the author and Andrew Paul Wood is posted in next week’s Spinoff Review of Books. Yowsa!

10 White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World (Text, $37) by Geoff Dyer


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