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The weekly Unity Books best-seller chart: October 28

The weekly best-seller chart at Unity stores in Wellington and Auckland, for the week just ended: October 28


1 Murdoch: The Political Cartoons of Sharon Murdoch (Potton & Burton, $40) by Sharon Murdoch

The smash-hit cartoon book by the 2016 Canon Media Awards cartoonist of the year who was born in Invercargill, worked with a Xhosa women’s community group on Aids prevention and early childhood education in the township of Indinsane, South Africa, and took up cartooning in her early 50s.

2 Collected Poems of Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (Victoria University Press, $50) by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

“And again I see the long pouring headland / And smoking coast with the sea high on the rocks / The gulls flung from the sea, the dark hooded hills / Swarming with mist, and mist low on the sea…” Excellent collection by the late great Cook Island-born poet.

 3 Great War for NZ: Waikato 1800-2000 (Bridget Williams Books, $80) by Vincent O’Malley

Buddy Mikaere has the pleasure of reading and reviewing this for the Spinoff Review of Books, and we look forward to his measured assessment.

4 The Sympathizer (Piatkus, $28) by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and a semi-permanent fixture in Unity’s top 10 throughout this year.

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

“Peel my stockings down with your teeth”.

6 Mansfield & Me: A Graphic Memoir (Victoria University Press, $35) by Sarah Laing

Melinda Johnston has the pleasure of reading and reviewing this for the Spinoff Review of Books, and we look forward to her measured assessment.

7 Big Smoke: NZ Cities 1840–1920 (Bridget Williams Books, $60) by Ben Schrader

New Zealand cities, 1840-1920.

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


9 The Vegetarian: a Novel (Portobello, $23) by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith

Winner of the 2016 International Man Booker Prize for fiction, and a semi-permanent fixture in Unity’s top 10 throughout this year.

10 Annual (Gecko, $40) edited by Kate de Goldi and Susan Paris

The school journal in hardback sort of thing.


The Sellout (Oneworld Publications, $28) by Paul Beatty

Winner of the Man Booker Prize announced this week. US satire about a guy who brings back slavery; “heavy-handed” moaned The Irish Times, just about everyone else loved it.

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

Home deus, Home deus, Home deus: rock me Home deus.

3 The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 (Bridget Williams Books, $80) by Vincent O’Malley

4 The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities 1840-1920 (Bridget Williams Books, $60) by Ben Schrader

 5 Commonwealth (Bloomsbury, $33) by Ann Patchett

“In the most vivid chapter of Ann Patchett’s rich and engrossing new novel, it is 1971 and six step­siblings ranging in age from 6 to 12 been left to their own devices. Their blended family is on a car trip, staying in a motel near a lake, and the parents have left a note that reads We’re sleeping late. Do not knock. Thus the children eat breakfast at a diner, then gather supplies, including soda, candy bars, a gun and a fifth of gin, and hike to the lake”: The New York Times.

 6 The Sympathizer (Corsair, $28) by Viey Thanh Nguyen

 7 His Bloody Project (Text, $24) by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Nominated for this week’s Man Booker Prize; make-believe “investigation” into the 19th century case of Roddy Macrae, a 17-year-old boy living in the remote crofting community in Scotland, who beat the local constable and two other people to death.

8 Eileen (Vintage, $26) by Ottessa Moshfegh

Nominated for this week’s Man Booker Prize; a sort of psychological thriller about the escape of a young woman from a New England town where she has lived unnoticed and unloved.

9 Red Herring (HarperCollins, $37) by Jonothan Cullinane

Extremely lively local thriller set in 1951; when it comes to readable NZ literature, HarperCollins rules.

 10 The Story of the Hauraki Gulf: Discovery, Transformation, Restoration (David Bateman, $90) by Raewyn Peart 

The story of the Hauraki Gulf.

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