ListsJuly 22, 2016

The weekly Unity Books best-seller list – July 22


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



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

Number one in Auckland, number one in Wellington! “I love attention,” said the author, in her Spinoff interview.

2 The Vegetarian (Portobello, $23) by Han Kang

“At under 200 pages,” wrote Spinoff reviewer Wyoming Paul, “The Vegetarian reminds us that the beauty of a brief work of literature is its simplicity and focus.”

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

Opening lines of the surprise hit novel of the year: “I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds.”

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

“He tells his story clearly and succinctly,” wrote Spinoff reviewer Gary Steel, “and remembers a surprising amount for a guy who admits to being at the bottom of a bottle too often.”

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

Ra-ra-Rasputin, lover of the Russian Queen, etc.

6 Belgravia (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, $38) by Julian Fellowes

The book of the digital serial by the author of Downton Abbey.

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

“Everything is amplified, extreme and confronting,” commented Kiran Dass, in her Spinoff interview with the author.

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

Next week or the week after: Ashleigh Young’s essay on the book. Or the week after.

9 The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (Bloomsbury, $28) by Peter Frankopan

Aucklanders are suckers for books about trade and commerce.

10 Futuna: Life of a Building  (Victoria University Press , $50) by Gregory O’Brien and Nick Bevin

A book about Wellingon’s Futuna Chapel.



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

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

“I carry a gun in my head,” wrote the bard of Kaipara in a poem first published at the Spinoff, and included in this handsome collection.

Labour: The New Zealand Labour Party 1916-2016 (Victoria University Press, $50) by Peter Franks & Jim McAloon

Wellingtonians are suckers for books about long-forgotten political movements.

4  The Vegetarian (Portobello, $23) by Han Kang

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

Sometimes Matthew Ridge rides past on his bicycle.

Silk Roads: A New History of the World (Bloomsbury, $28) by Peter Frankopan

7  Futuna: Life of a Building (Victoria University Press, $50) by Gregory O’Brien and Nick Bevin

8     Small House Living (Penguin, $50) by Catherine Foster

Less is more stylish. As the author told the Herald, Do you really need to own 10 sets of linen?”

9  My Brilliant Friend (Text Publishing, $30) by Elena Ferrante

There’s an incredible rumour going around that Ferrante – never photographed, never seen in public – is actually Jonathan Franzen.

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

“A passionate appeal to humanity,” wrote Spinoff reviewer Elspeth Sandys, “to stop plundering the forests and destroying the planet.”

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
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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