The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending July 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 Blue blood by Andrea Vance (Harper Collins, $37)

Number one on the charts in both fair cities – the new post-John Key National Party expose, by political journalist Andrea Vance. We are full of delicious tasters for you: a extract covering the last of Todd Muller’s dramatic 53 days as party leader, as well as that of Toby Manhire interview with the author, via a special episode of the Gone By Lunchtime podcast.

2 Lapvone by Ottessa Moshfegh (Jonathon Cape, $35)

A very exciting event has occurred! This is the new novel from the author of the dark and quirky My Year of Rest and Relaxation and Eileen, set in a medieval stronghold where drought, famine and the occult are rampant. We are more than ready to dive.

3 How to hang out in a turf war by Coco Solid (Penguin, $28)

“Sharp, funny and dope as hell, How to Loiter in a Turf War is another work of genius from Coco Solid. With its piercing prose and expansive worlds, Coco has long been a life raft for swimming brown children against the whirlwinds of urban realities, and this work is no different. Painfully insightful, familiar and hopeful.

Great words from Lana Lopesi, also translatable as “read this book”.

4 You probably think this song is about you by Kate Camp (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $35)

Poet Heidi North gives a lot of thumbs up in her recent Review of fallout“Whether she describes writing anti-Reagan graffiti on a toilet block, accidentally smuggling drugs into jail while visiting her then-boyfriend, meeting a Rottweiler while on a stint as door-to-door campaigner for Greenpeace, or peeing his pants in a surprisingly wide variety of places, Camp maintains a startling honesty.”

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

The adventures and tragedies of Manapouri bookseller Ruth Shaw are vividly told in her new memoir. Of the Guardian“Shaw’s Bookstores is but a small part of his memoir, a book interspersed with heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking vignettes detailing unexpected encounters with humans who cross his threshold – a traumatized NSW firefighter; a barely literate young man a woman Shaw refuses to sell to, who only wants to buy books of certain colors to match her decor.

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

We say this with the utmost respect and support: Imagining decolonization is like Whack-a-Mole. He may be out of Wellington bestsellers for a week, but he’ll be right back in Auckland.

seven How to Be a Bad Muslim and Other Essays by Mohamed Hassan (Penguin, $35)

A book of essays by local poet and journalist Mohamed Hassan, delving deep into identity, Islamophobia, surveillance, migration and language. There’s even a section on auditions for a certain pirate-themed Disney blockbuster. Do we recommend? Why yes, yes we do.

8 A quiet kitchen by Nici Wickes (Bateman, $45)

“My latest book is a collection of the recipes that got me and many of you through the tough times of 2020/2021 during lockdowns and isolation. It’s also a book of reflections on topics close to my heart – finding joy in single life, how to cook and eat simply, how wonderful being middle-aged is, quitting drinking, finding my way through illness to health and all the rest of what life has in store for us!This is a book I wrote from my heart to yours that will help you in the kitchen when you just sit down to ‘cook something to eat’.

9 Young Mungo By Douglas Stuart (Picador, $38)

Douglas Stuart won the Booker in 2020 for Shuggie Bain, and now he’s back to make you shed another tear with this Romeo and Juliet romance between two young men coming of age in Glasgow.

ten Clara and the sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber & Faber, $23)

One of the best-selling novels of 2021, by Nobel laureate Ishiguro.


1 Blue blood by Andrea Vance (Harper Collins, $37)

2 On the shoulders of the elephant by Sudha Rao (The Cuba Press, $25)

Last week we published an article about the extraordinary fact that New Zealanders buy a lot of poetry – well, here’s another example. Kudos to Sudha Rao, whose poetry details her experience of migrating from southern India to New Zealand.

“This collection is full of sensory richness, movement and the beautiful sounds emitted when Sudha’s South Indian heritage finds a home in Aotearoa” – Tina Makereti

“A poignant and evocative collection that reflects and explores the poet’s Indian heritage in a New Zealand setting – an imaginative response to a new country” – Majella Cullinane

3 You probably think this song is about you by Kate Camp (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $35)

4 Eddy, Eddy by Kate DeGoldi (Allen & Unwin, $30)

The author of the beloved The 22pm Question has a new novel! A coming-of-age story and love story, set in post-earthquake Christchurch and loosely following A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

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

6 No Other Place to Stand: An Anthology of Climate Change Poetry from Aotearoa, New Zealand edited by Jordan Hamel, Rebecca Hawkes, Erik Kennedy and Essa Ranapiri (Auckland University Press, $30)

Poetry by 91 authors, whom publishers describe with delight as “warriors and worried”. A little more from the editors, on the place of poetry in action against climate change: “A poem may not be a binding policy or a strategic investment, but poems can still spark movements and be moving fully fledged. And there is no change in our behaviors and policies without a change in hearts and minds. Whether the poems you read here are coated in ironic apathy or bare their hearts in enthusiastic calls to action, they all stem from a deep sense of care for this living world and its inhabitants.

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

An addictive, tragic and hilarious novel about a woman living with an unspecified psychological disorder, which was selected for the Ockhams and which we have variously called “surprisingly good” and “extremely, deliciously funny” and “exceptional” in 2020. We We’re proud to consider Meg Mason a local author (she lives in Australia but was raised in Aotearoa – and that’s what really matters).

8 The Book of Form and Void by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate, $32)

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, Zen priest and environmentalist. She is also the queen of the highly readable, character-driven novel that effortlessly encompasses vast amounts of information on topics as diverse as potato farming, the meat industry in the United States, and the Japanese work culture. In The Book of Form and Void, Ozeki’s narrator is a boy whose father is killed by a truckload of chickens and who hears voices in everything from cheese in the fridge to books in the library.

9 Before I know my name by Jaqueline Bublitz (Allen & Unwin, $23)

Melbourne writer Jaqueline Bublitz’s debut crime novel tells the story of two women in New York City: one who is murdered, the other who is obsessed with finding out what happened to her. He’s put together a stack of almighty award names and Jean Sergent has gone over it for us here.

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

Fact, probably: Wellingtonians have exceptionally strong calves due to the back and forth between the beehive and the Futuna chapel.


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