Group of ecstatic friends with cocktails looking at camera at party
Group of ecstatic friends with cocktails looking at camera at party

ListsJuly 29, 2016

The weekly Unity Books best-seller list – July 29

Group of ecstatic friends with cocktails looking at camera at party
Group of ecstatic friends with cocktails looking at camera at party

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

In its second week at number one in Wellington and Auckland – quite possibly something to do with a poem which appeared at the Spinoff and now has 31,653 views.

2 Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa NZ  (Victoria University Press, $40) edited by Ingrid Horrocks and Cherie Lacey

Featuring the usual limpid thoughts on national identity by the usual suspects – Ian Wedde, Lydia Wevers, Tim Corbalis, etc.

3 Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story (Bridget Williams Books, $40) by Helene Wong

See above.

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

“An ambitious Persian-centric rewrite of world history is full of insight but let down by factual errors”: The Guardian

5 Nickle Nackle Tree (Puffin, $18) by Lynley Dodd

“In the Manglemunching Forest, there’s a Nickle Nackle tree, growing Nickle Nackle berries that are red as red can be.”

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

The next government LOL.

7 Bloomsbury South: The Arts in Christchurch (Auckland University Press, $70) by Peter Simpson

“They built the foundations – and built them well – on which later generations have constructed the many mansions of which art in this country now consists,” wrote the author at the Spinoff.

8 Yours Sincerely, Giraffe (Gecko Press, $20) by Megumi Iwasa (illustrated by Jun Takabatake

Giraffe writes a letter to Penguin.

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

It used to be a garage.

10 Landmarks (Penguin, $26) by Robert MacFarlane

“This joyous meditation on land and language is a love letter to the British Isles”: The Guardian.


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

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

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos.

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

It is the 1840s, and London is in a flap.

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

A little light tea with the author at the Spinoff.

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

“The idea that most of the best New Zealand music of the ‘80s came from the Dunedin, or that Flying Nun was behind most of the best music, is a myth,” Gary Steel cheerfully wrote, in his review at the Spinoff.


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

There’s a strange rumour going around that Ashleigh Young might write a review about it.

7 East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, $40) by Philippe Sands

“A compelling family memoir intersects with the story of the Jewish legal minds who sowed the seeds for human rights law at the Nuremberg trials”: The Guardian.

8 High Rise (Fourth Estate, $23) by JG Ballard

“Whether mazes, blocks or bunkers, Ballard was drawn to the psychology of enclosed, brutal environments”: The Guardian.

9 The Bricks That Built the Houses (Bloomsbury, $30) by Kate Tempest

Winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry in 2012.

10 Quicksand (Penguin, $26) by Steve Toltz

“The story of an Aussie ex-con smartarse in a wheelchair, Steve Toltz’s hyperbolic fiction is too frenetic to have real emotional pull – but you’ll laugh your head off”: Herald on Sunday. Naw just jokes, The Guardian.

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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