A weekly feature at the Spinoff Review of Books: the best-selling books at the Auckland and Wellington stores of Unity Books.
THE BEST–SELLER CHART FOR THE WEEK JUST ENDED: May 27
UNITY BOOKS AUCKLAND
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.
UNITY BOOKS WELLINGTON
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
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.