Bestseller books

ListsMay 27, 2016

The weekly Unity Books best-seller list – May 27

Bestseller books

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



1. A Little Life ($25) by Hanya Yanagihara

The novel you have to read, apparently; it’s been the number one best-seller all year.

2. How Did We Get Into this Mess? ($39) by George Monbiot

The great Guardian essayist on inequality and other states of crisis.

3. When Breath Becomes Air ($37) by Paul Kalanithi

A neurosurgeon asks: what makes life worth living?

4. All the Light We Cannot See ($25) by Anthony Doerr

Improbable but beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy who try to survive the devastation of World War II.

5. Chronicles: On Our Troubled Times ($37) by Thomas Piketty

Essays by the economist du jour.

6. Coming Rain ($37) by Stephen Daisley

Hm! The only New Zealand writer in this week’s top 10. Winner of the 2016 Ockham NZ novel of the year

7. My Life On the Road ($37) by Gloria Steinem

Memoir by the superstar feminist legend.

8. The Night Manager ($26) by John Le Carre

In the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade, etc.

9. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World ($33) by Peter Frankopan

Most immodest sub-title of the year.

10. The Romanovs: 1613-1918 ($50) by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Three centuries of cruelty, barbarism and vodka.



1. The Sympathizer ($28) by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer prize for fiction.

2. Silencing Science (Bridget Williams Books, $15) by Shaun Hendy

Essays about the moral and social obligations of scientists.

3. How Did We Get into This Mess? ($39) by George Monbiot

Essays by the pessimist du jour.

4. Coming Rain ($37) by Stephen Daisley

5. Chronicles On Our Troubled Times ($37) by Thomas Piketty

6. My Brilliant Friend ($30) by Elena Ferrante

First of the series of Neapolitan novels by the new great master of fiction.

7. In Gratitude ($30) by Jenny Diski

One of the best books of the year without a doubt: cancer diary by the London Review of Books essayist.

8. Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story ($40) by Helene Wong

Worthy memoir.

9. Silk Roads: A New History of the World ($33) by Peter Frankopan

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

A bloodless world war will wipe out the savings of millions of American families: such is the gloomy, terrifying premise of the new novel by the author of the gloomy, terrifying We Have to Talk About Kevin.

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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