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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.

THE BEST–SELLER CHART FOR THE WEEK JUST ENDED: July 22

AUCKLAND STORE

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.

 

WELLINGTON STORE

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.”


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