The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending January 14


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 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury, $25)

It’s a fresh new year, so Aucklanders are starting 2022… with a novel published over a decade ago, set in ancient Greece. Nostalgia for a simpler past, one can only guess. (Plus, it’s bright and compelling and it’s a beautiful love story.)

2 Atomic Habits: An Easy, Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear (Random House Business, $40)

If you skim through this list, you’ll notice that there’s only one thing – one book, we mean – that readers in Auckland and Wellington can agree on.

3 Circe by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury, $22)

Because one Madeline Miller book is not enough.

4 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Canongate, $33)

Nielsen recently revealed its UK book sales data for 2021, with The Midnight Library as the year’s third biggest seller. Good job, Matt Haig – and good job, Brits, for apparently reading 20% ​​more than in 2019.

seven Silverview by John le Carré (Viking, $35)

The last, but apparently not the the absolute best, the square.

6 Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $66)

A book that has been compared to the works of Galileo and Darwin. No, really – take a look at these powerful statements from Jacobin: “An instant classic… Fatalistic feelings about human nature vanish as the pages turn… [The Dawn of Everything] stands in a different class from all the other volumes of world history that we are accustomed to reading… If comparisons are to be made, they should be made with work of similar caliber in other fields, the more credible, I dare, with the work of Galileo or Darwin. Graeber and Wengrow do to human history what the first two did to astronomy and biology respectively.

seven Taste: my life through food by Stanley Tucci (Fig Tree, $45)

A memoir from one of the world’s most charming actors, which also includes 25 recipes. The perfect fusion of comfort reading and comfort food.

8 Aroha: Maori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin Random House, $30)

Nothing wrong with starting the year off with a little aroha.

9 Exercised: the science of physical activity, rest and health by Daniel Lieberman (Penguin, $48)

Daniel Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard, has an important message for anyone signing up to the gym as part of their 2022 resolutions: “We never evolved to exercise.” . A little more context, from the publisher’s blurb: “We’re wired for moderate exertion throughout the day, not triathlons or treadmills. Drawing on more than a decade of high-level scientific research and revealing insights from evolutionary biology and anthropology, Lieberman explains precisely how exercise can promote health; debunks persistent myths about sitting, speed, strength and endurance; and points the way to a more enjoyable and physically active life in the modern world.

ten Big panda and little dragon by James Norbury (Michael Joseph, $35)

A beautifully illustrated hardback book about two unlikely friends (one, a little dragon, being more unlikely than the other). Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, Norbury created the book to help others through difficult times. No.


1 Dunes by Frank Herbert (Hodder, $28)

The 1965 sci-fi classic was recently made into a movie — well, the first half was — propelling the book into Welly’s most coveted position. (The book, by the way, is just as amazing as the movie.)

2 Atomic Habits: An Easy, Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear (Random House Business, $40)

3 The promise by Damon Galgut (Chatto & Windus, $37)

Your new Booker winner.

4 sorrow and happiness by Meg Mason (HarperCollins, $35)

A fantastic novel that we like very much. John Sergeant reviewed Sorrow and Bliss over a year ago, and there’s a line we now have to disagree with: “This is a book to read on vacation – not a beach vacation in the summer, bare legs and Mimosa ; but a winter vacation in a wood-paneled AirBnB in Taupō, lying on a leather section under a sculpture made of old gardening tools.

Go ahead and read Sorrow and Bliss during summer vacation! If, that is, you’re still lucky enough to be on one.

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

Thus begins Imagining Decolonization’s third year as queen of the list.

6 Ottolenghi test kitchen: love for shelves by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad (Ebury Press, $55)

The cookbook to make your kitchen cupboard essentials sing.

seven Beautiful world, where are you by Sally Rooney (Faber, $33)

A thoughtful review of The It Book of Dhaka Grandstand“Sally Rooney became not only the generator of the discourse but the discourse itself. Occasionally vitriolic remarks and often praise on the books made it a literary poster child for millennials. . Over the top commendation on the other hand announced that she is the Jane Austen of today or Salinger for the Snapchat generation… Sally Rooney is not the author of the millennials, she is just an author, writing what she wants to write. And when the majority of Western literary journals say things like that, who are they referring to? Which millennia are they talking about exactly? It’s safe to say that I think they’re talking about millennials who look like Rooney.

8 The night watchman by Louise Erdrich (Little, Brown, $25)

Your new Pulitzer Prize winner.

9 The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Hutchinson, $37)

An American roadtrip by the author of A Gentleman in Moscow and The Rules of Civility.

ten Tikanga: An introduction to Te Ao Maori by Keri Opai (Upstart Press, $40)

“The book we’ve all needed for decades – a unique explanation of the Maori world for Pakeha and for Maori wanting to learn more about tikanga. With simple lucidity and great expertise, Keri Opai shares the spirit and meaning of what it means to be Māori in the 21st century, dispelling myths and misconceptions and providing a solid introduction to the Māori way of life. Thank you, Editor’s blurb.


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