The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending April 22


The only best-selling independent books chart published and available in New Zealand is the Top 10 list recorded each week at Unity Books stores in High St, Auckland and Willis St, Wellington.


1 Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (Picador, $38)

Douglas Stuart won the Booker for his brilliant debut novel Shuggie Bain, and now he’s back for the second round, on similar ground – a young gay man in Glasgow, growing up in poverty. The Guardian gives a few chuckles, describing Young Mungo as “another teary-eyed” who “proves his debut wasn’t a fluke”. But the Guardian isn’t just here for the lols: “If Young Mungo doesn’t elicit the same immediate thrill as Shuggie Bain – the sense of discovering a stunningly brilliant new voice – there’s a richer, more deep to glean here. Young Mungo is a thinner novel than its predecessor, offering many of the same pleasures, but with a more confident approach to storytelling and a finer understanding of prose. There are sentences here that shine and sparkle, asking to be read and re-read for their beauty and truth.

2 Grand: Becoming My Mother’s Daughter by Noelle McCarthy (Penguin, $35)

Noelle McCarthy wrote a writing for us recently on the creation of his new memoirs. Here is an exerpt :

I wrote Grand on a desk lined with pictures of my mother: as a young girl on vacation in Kerry, in a pub lounge in Cork in the 80s with flushed cheeks and her best friend beside her, as a grandmother with a giant pink dahlia, me getting married and her standing next to me. These photos froze her in a few moments, trapped under glass like a butterfly. They kept me honest, or as honest as possible, a reminder that she was always more than what I saw of her. More than my mother; a young woman in a bar with frosted lipstick and all anticipation of a good night ahead of her, a teenage girl with long hair and long legs and an arm full of irises posing shyly. A complicated woman, a daughter, a friend, a wife, a personality of a certain strength, depth and mystery. I looked at the photos and tried to fit as much of her into our story as possible.

3 Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $35)

A local novel, shortlisted for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction. We loved it, and the Herald, who call Greta & Valdin a “great stew of a story” and a “blissful examination of love in its many forms”. Pick it up for a comforting read this long weekend.

4 Imagining decolonization by Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

It’s small, it’s affordable and it’s adored by dazzled superfans from Auckland to Welly.

5 Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber & Faber, $23)

An “artificial friend”, an ailing young girl, a dystopian world and a desperate mother – help yourself to some ice cream and you get another jaw-dropping wonder from Ishiguro. No wonder the new, smaller edition has easily returned to bestsellers.

6 Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in New York by Andrea Elliott (Hutchinson, $40)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Andrea Elliott followed a young Brooklyn girl, Dasani Coates, for eight years. Dasani lived with her family in homeless shelters, battling hunger, parental drug addiction, violence, housing instability, segregated schools and the child welfare system. Get ready to have your heartstrings pulled.

7 Sea of ​​Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (Picador, $38)

The best-selling author of Station Eleven, a pandemic novel, has released a new pandemic novel. The Financial Times provides a truly damning review: “Sea of ​​Tranquility is a book where every new element detracts from the reader’s experience. The characters are simplistic, the dialogue flat, the descriptive passages practice either the vaporous wonder of nature or the dreary despair of the dehumanized technoscape. A book like Sea of ​​Tranquility is a sign of the exhaustion of a genre. Ouch seriously, lemon juice in the wound.

8 The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (Simon and Schuster, $38)

A Visit from Goon Squad author Jennifer Egan returns with a sequel, and it’s another novel full of experimental writing styles, multiple narrators, leaps through time and space, and dark side of technology. The New York Times is a fan: “The Candy House is a 334-page trim, but it has a density of dwarf stars. Inside, 15 or 20 other novels are trying to get out. The chapters are short; the tone is aphoristic; the eye for cultural and social detail is à la Tom Wolfe.

9 The Leviathan by Rosie Andrews (Bloomsbury, $33)

“Norfolk, 1643. As civil war tears England apart, reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater is summoned home by his sister, who accuses a new servant of misbehavior with their widowed father. By the time Thomas returns home, his father is unresponsive, shot by a stroke, and their new servant is in jail, accused of witchcraft.

“Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man, but as he unravels the mystery of what happened, he uncovers not a tale of superstition but something dark and ancient, tied to a shipwreck years before.” Thanks for the magic and intrigue, Bloomsbury!

10 A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery (Text Publishing, $30)

A new novel translated from French and set in Tokyo, by the author of The elegance of the hedgehog. If you’re overwhelmed with all the new fictional goodness at this point, you’re not alone.


1 Architecture of Wellington: A Walking Guide by John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds (Massey University Press, $25)

A treat for any Wellingtonian who likes to walk, read and gaze at buildings (that is, all of you).

2 Imagining decolonization by Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas (Bridget Williams Books, $15)

3 Sticky: The Secret Science of Surfaces by Laurie Winkless (Bloomsbury, $33)

So many intriguing things about this new non-fiction. The walking gum on the cover, the concept of a book on surface tension and friction, and most importantly, the author’s last name: Winkless. Frankly. There’s nothing not to like here.

4 Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $35)

5 Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (Picador, $38)

6 among our weapons by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz, $38)

The ninth and final novel in Ben Aaronovitch’s urban fantasy series. If you’re new to Rivers of London, this is a series about a detective and sorcerer’s apprentice who solves magical crimes in London. In Among Our Weapons, someone has been murdered in London’s Silver Vaults and Peter Grant must solve the case – and fast, because his girlfriend Beverley is expecting twins! Of course, it’s amazing.

7 Big: Becoming My Mother’s Daughter by Noelle McCarthy (Penguin, $35)

8 Sea of ​​Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (Picador, $38)

9 The bookseller at the end of the world by Ruth Shaw (Allen & Unwin, $37)

In this case, the end of the world is Manapōuri and the bookseller in question is Ruth Shaw of Wee Bookshops. Here are his memoirs, which include adventures, tragedies and bookstore anecdotes. As told by ThingRuth’s life has included “Deserting from the Navy. Life sailing the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Life with the sex workers and drug addicts of Kings Cross. The son she had to give up, the son she lost all four husbands at birth. These are just boring times.

10 Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia Editors, $35)

We send our thoughts out into the universe (and hopefully into the minds of the judges) that Kura wins the Acorn Prize for Fiction on May 11th. Recently essa may ranapiri wrote some kind of review for us, which you can browse at will.


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