Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised with Blackboard
Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised with Blackboard

ListsJuly 8, 2016

The weekly Unity Books best-seller list – July 8

Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised with Blackboard
Multiethnic Group of Hands Raised with Blackboard

A weekly feature at the Spinoff Review of Books: The best-selling books at the Wellington and Auckland stores of Unity Books.



1 In Love with These Times: My Life with Flying Nun Records (HarperCollins, $37) by Roger Shepherd

Number one for the fifth week in a row! Which isn’t something that ever happened to a Flying Nun record LOL. Gary Steel appraised the book – and the record label.

2 The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone (Canongate, $40) by Olivia Laing

There will be a change in government before Ashleigh Young finishes her long-awaited Spinoff essay on this crucial book.

3 Barkskins (Fourth Estate, $37) by Annie Proulx

“Monumental…graphic…remarkable,” wrote Elspeth Sandys in her Spinoff review. “So weighty and noble that it seems to demand …an award from God,” wrote Charlotte Grimshaw in the Listener.

4 This Must Be The Place (Tinder Press, $38) by Maggie O’Farrell

The British writer’s second novel is a portrait of the marriage of Daniel (a linguistics professor) and Claudette (his reclusive, ex-movie-star wife).

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

Publisher’s blurbology: “It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country…” The debut novel has won numerous prizes, including the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

6 The Vegetarian (Portobello Books, $23) by Han Kang

The novel everyone is talking about.

7 The Romanovs: 1613 – 1918 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, $50) by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Naked dwarves! Ra-Ra-Rasputin! The blockbuster history of 20 tsars and tsarinas is a great big decadent romp.

8 A Little Life (Picador, $25) by Hanya Yanagihara

The novel everyone used to talk about.

9 Salt River Songs (Potton & Burton, $25) by Sam Hunt

New poems by the Kaipara bard, including a selection previously posted at the Spinoff.

10 F**k It: Do What You Love (Hay House, $26) by John C. Parkin

Publisher’s blurbology: “A recent Gallup poll in the US found that 70% of those in work didn’t enjoy their job. In his latest book,  Parkin brings the power of saying ‘F**k It’ to the subject of doing what we love.” Yeah but what’s with the prissy little asterisks bro.


1 How Did We Get into This Mess? (Verso, $39) by George Monbiot

The question of the Brexit age.

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

3 Barkskins (Fourth estate, $37) by Annie Proulx

4 Belgravia (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, $38) by Julian Fellowes

From the creator of Downton Abbey.

The Vegetarian (Portobello, $23) by Han Kang

6 Love from Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to his Mother (Hodder, $40) by Donald Sturrock

“I had a grand shit  in a petrol tin this morning,” Dahl writes in 1940 from the Iraqi desert, “with three other blokes doing the same within a space of four yards.”

A Little Life (Picador, $25) by Hanya Yanagihara

8 In Love with These Times: The Flying Nun Story (HarperCollins, $37) by Roger Shepherd

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Profile, $28) by Mary Beard

The saffron risotto is delicious.

10 Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 (HarperCollins, $35) by Lionel Shriver

“Lionel Shriver has written a gripping novel about fiscal and monetary policy,” wrote Spinoff reviewer Holly Walker, “and the punchline is this: America is fucked.”


The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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