The Unity Books bestselling chart for the week ending November 19


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


1 Beautiful people, where are you by Sally Rooney (Faber, $ 33)

A new Rooney at rule them all.

2 Cuckoo Earth Cloud by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster, $ 35)

Fighting for number one with the New Rooney is the New Doerr! The bestselling author of All the Light We Cannot See has a new novel about the power of stories that spans millennia. We guarantor for his astonishment and his superiority.

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

This booker 2021 winner novel already has its own Wikipedia page, the ultimate badge of worldly success. Harper’s Magazine writes that, “Like other notable novels, it is uniquely itself and greater than the sum of its parts. The promise evokes when you reach the last page, a profound inner change that is anything but physical. This, as an experience of art, rarely happens and should be treasured. And yes, we found that quote on The Promise’s Wikipedia page.

4 EM-PA-THY: The human side of leadership by Harold Hillman (Bateman, $ 30)

Have a boss? Do you prefer empathy to being raked over the embers? This book could be your gift of choice for Secret Santa this year.

5 Shifting Grounds: Deep Stories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland by Lucy Mackintosh (Bridget Williams Books, $ 60)

The stories of three iconic areas of Tāmaki Makaurau are explored in depth – Pukekawa / Auckland Domain, Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill and the Ōtuataua Stone Fields in Ihumātao.

Anne Salmond says Shifting Grounds is a “wonderful book that illuminates the stories of these beloved landscapes in new and striking ways. After reading Shifting Grounds, you see these places differently and you cherish them all the more.

6 crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (4th succession, $ 35)

The first in a new trilogy, where Franzen returns to his most fertile ground of creation: the dysfunctional family of the Midwest. You might ask, “But if I’ve read The Corrections or Freedom, haven’t I read it all? According to The Spectator, things in Franzen’s universe have changed, and for the better – “Now less inclined to show off, Franzen is more diligent in his character digging. We get less glare and a deeper dive. Jump in!

7 Too Much Money: How Wealth Disparities Unbalance Aotearoa New Zealand by Max Rashbrooke (Bridget Williams Books, $ 40)

The inequality of wealth has blossomed like mold in Aotearoa, and this new Rashbrooke is plunging into the spores, rhizoids and sporangia (i.e. detail) like never before. How does wealth affect opportunities and outcomes? What are the social implications and how do they affect each of our lives? Open the book to view and wait for a review.

8 Ottolenghi test kitchen: shelf love by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad (Ebury Press, $ 55)

We shouldn’t be playing cookbook favorites, so you can read between the lines of this coded post: If you’re only buying one cookbook this year, O________ T___ K_____en would be a fantastic choice.

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

Gift idea ! Combine Aroha with EM-PA-THY and you have yourself… a pretty clear message that you think the recipient is a jerk.

ten Outside: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA + Writers from Aotearoa edited by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes (Auckland University Press, $ 50)

Our critic Jean Sergent said:

“There is something delightfully intimate about the alphabetical order of contributors – by first name rather than last name. Running your eyes over the list of writers is like looking at the names of friends. Last names have always seemed so patriarchal to me anyway. It’s so much more inherently weird to see names and think ahh, this is my family.


1 Politics in a Pandemic: Jacinda Ardern and the 2020 New Zealand Elections edited by Stephen Levine (Victoria University Press, $ 50)

An exploration of last year’s “pandemic election”, with contributions from 35 different voices, including Jacinda herself and a range of other polls, as well as reporters, pollsters and academics. Many of these essays were posted over the past week on The Spinoff – check out contributions from Jacinda, Judith Collins, David Seymour, and many others.

2 Starfish the star by Elaine Bickell and Daron Parton (Scholastique, $ 20)

A rarity! Starfish the Star children’s picture book broke through the ranks of hardened and leathery adult books to No.1 bestseller this week, after a successful launch event. So what is it all about? The editor’s blurb says, “Starfish thinks he’s the one and only STAR in the aquarium. He wants fame, worship… and every photo opportunity! But in the event of a disaster, will Starfish stand behind Seahorse, Jellyfish, Clownfish, and Ray to help save the day? “

3 Cuckoo Earth Cloud by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster, $ 35)

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

The bread and butter of the Wellington literary diet.

5 Beautiful people, where are you by Sally Rooney (Faber, $ 33)

6 She is a killer by Kirsten McDougall (Victoria University Press, $ 30)

A fantastic new local novel, from the author of Tess and The Invisible Rider. In the far too palpable near future, climate change has wreaked havoc around the world and New Zealand has become a haven for wealthy immigrants. If you know what’s good for you, read on this extract about shopping at the supermarket at weird (even weirder) times.

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

8 Ah Guillaume! by Elizabeth Strout (Viking, $ 35)

Lucy Barton’s third novel is here! In this episode, Lucy is 64 and a recent widow, rekindling a friendship with her first husband, Jeffrey. We laugh ! His name is obviously William.

9 What I learned in art school by Megan Dunn (Penguin, $ 35)

A fabulous, funny, sad and addicting memory, told through essays. An excerpt from the essay “Other video works I made with Daryl Hannah” is available here.

ten Outside: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA + Writers from Aotearoa edited by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes (Auckland University Press, $ 50)

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