The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending September 16


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 Kāwai: For a time like this by Monty Soutar (Bateman, $40)

The first novel in a new trilogy by historian Monty Soutar (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Kahungunu), spanning nine generations of a Maori family from the 1700s to the present day. Soutar says, “It’s like a story of New Zealand through Maori eyes.” Incredible concept. It also has really amazing coverage.

2 The inky heart by Robert Galbraith (Sphere UK, $38)

JK Rowling’s latest mystery novel Strike, which rocks the boat – and the bestseller list.

3 Before your memory fades by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Picador, $25)

The third novel about strangers traveling in a cafe…

4 Before the coffee gets cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Picador, $20)

…and the 2015 original. Sam Brooks gave this bestseller two inches aside to be “somewhere between ‘very good’ and ‘not so good’.”

But what are Goodreads readers saying about the new novel? Yes, we return to Before Your Memory Fades at number 3 – call it time travel. Kate says: “With each new book I liked them less and less.” Rae comes out with, “Same concept, only slightly different ideas for the third book in the series.” Naya is more positive: “I preferred the first two books but I still loved this one.”

Everything burns aside – if you’re looking for something charming, sincere and easy to read, Kawaguchi is for you. Not once, but three times.

5 The English text of the Treaty of Waitangi by Ned Fletcher (Bridget Williams Books, $70)

An important new book on the English text of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Herald explains: “Fletcher’s deep dive into the records suggests that the motives of the British who drafted the treaty were honourable, that they sought to protect Maori and, above all, they envisioned the coexistence of British sovereignty with the Maori self-government. In essence, Fletcher concludes that the English-language text of the treaty, in which the Maori cede sovereignty to the British, can be reconciled with the Maori-language text which promises that Maori chiefs may retain rangatiratanga – self-government.

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

One of our favorite doses of dystopia of 2021.

seven Return to Harikoa Bay by Owen Marshall (Vintage, $37)

News news from one of New Zealand’s biggest names. We offer this excerpt as proof of said greatness:

“Yes, quite a few people ask me how I lost the little finger on my left hand. It’s not a big appendage, nor a crucial appendage; people have protruding prostates and kidneys, wombs, entire lengths of intestine, and are not asked to explain themselves by casual companions at a coffee table. But the absence of a finger is distinctly evident, and the search for the cause seems less of a personal intrusion. The result a momentary negligence perhaps, rather than a concession to a sinister illness.

My own case is, I suppose, more unusual than most, as I lost my finger as a result of a dream.

I told you that.

8 The portrait of marriage by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf, $38)

A neat and evocative description from the Guardian: “Here is a novel inspired by a poem describing a painting of a young woman who actually lived. Art and artifice are intrinsic to it. In Maggie O’Farrell’s imagination of 16th century Italian court life, manners make the man, clothes make the woman, and an image is more enduring than a person.

9 Better blood by Michael Bennett (Simon & Schuster, $35)

The best local thriller of 2022. Michael Bennett wrote for the spin-off on what inspired his debut.

ten Scattered all over the earth by Yoko Tawada (Granta, $33)

New fiction from the author of The Emissary and Memoirs of a Polar Bear. An excerpt from the captivating publisher’s blurb: “Welcome to the not too distant future. Japan, having disappeared into the sea, is now known as “the country of sushi”. Hiruko, a former citizen and herself a climate refugee, teaches immigrant children in Denmark with her invented language panska (pan-Scandinavian)… All these characters take turns telling chapters, which feature an umami cooking competition; a dead whale; an ultra-nationalist named Breivik; Kakuzo robots; uranium; and an Andalusian bullfight. Episodic, vividly imagined and compelling, Scattered All Over the Earth is another sui generis masterpiece from Yoko Tawada.


1 Jumping Sundays: The Rise and Fall of Counterculture in Aotearoa, New Zealand by Nick Bollinger (Auckland University Press, $50)

A new book about the protesting generation of the 60s and 70s in Aotearoa. Music writer Nick Bollinger brings back the era of radicals and hippies, anti-Vietnam and anti-nuclear, dancing and protesting in the park.

2 Kawai: for a time like this by Monty Soutar (Bateman, $40)

3 Democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Survival Guide by Geoffrey Palmer and Gwen Palmer Steeds (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $40)

A practical and useful little guide that “aims to unravel the mysteries of our political system”. It includes interviews with key political figures, a concise history of government, an introduction to our key institutions, and advice on how to lodge complaints, campaign and obtain information. How to Become a Full Political Citizen, 101.

4 Farm: the creation of a climate activist by Nicola Harvey (Scribe, $37)

Journalist Nicola Harvey wrote a writing for us recently who puts his first book into context – here is an excerpt:

“I lived on a cattle farm north of Taupō for over four years. But I am not a farmer. I make a living from fattening and selling cattle, but I don’t see the world like my father. He remains attached to an identity that stems from the image of tough men in black singlets clearing land at a time when the government encouraged, through grants and subsidies, the draining of wetlands and the burning of mānuka to create productive agricultural land.

“For most of my adult life, I have lived and worked in big cities: Melbourne, London and Sydney. I built a career as a journalist and media manager, then burned out and moved to Aotearoa with my Australian husband. The idea of ​​earning a living from the land and growing good food took hold.

“But the decision to leave city life in 2018 to become a cattle rancher has let us down amid a host of arguments about food and farming and its role in causing and fighting climate change. and land, freshwater and air degradation. And, like so many others, I went looking for someone to blame for our collective misfortunes. Someone who looks a lot like my dad.

5 The English text of the Treaty of Waitangi by Ned Fletcher (Bridget Williams Books, $70)

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

Always imagining.

seven Regenesis: How to feed the world without devouring the planet by George Monbiot (Allen Lane, $37)

Perfect reading companion for Nicola Harvey’s Farm.

8 Yes, Minister: An Insider’s Account of John’s Key Years by Chris Finlayson (Allen & Unwin, $37)

It’s a bestseller list full of political writing, isn’t it? These local elections must approach.

9 Nona the ninth by Tamsyn Muir (Tor, $38)

We love to see a rare fantasy novel in the bestsellers! Also, very satisfying to see Nona the Ninth at number nine. Here is a summary of the third book in the publisher’s Locked Tomb series:

“His city is under siege.

“The zombies are coming back.

“And all Nona wants is a birthday party.

“In many ways, Nona is like the others. She lives with her family, works in her neighborhood school and loves to walk on the beach and meet new dogs. But Nona is not like the others. Six months ago, she woke up in the body of a stranger and she is afraid that she will have to give it back to him.

ten The portrait of marriage by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf, $38)


About Author

Comments are closed.