A weekly feature at the Spinoff Review of Books: The best-selling books at the Wellington and Auckland stores of Unity Books.
THE BEST–SELLER CHART FOR THE WEEK JUST ENDED: July 8
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.
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.
New poems by the Kaipara bard, including a selection previously posted at the Spinoff.
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.
2 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.
5 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.”
7 A Little Life (Picador, $25) by Hanya Yanagihara
8 In Love with These Times: The Flying Nun Story (HarperCollins, $37) by Roger Shepherd
9 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.