The Unity Books bestselling chart for the week ending November 26


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

Shifting Grounds reveals the stories of Pukekawa / Auckland Domain, Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill and the Ōtuataua stone fields in Ihumātao. Aesthetically beautiful and essential reading for Aucklanders who want to learn more about their home.

From Kete Books: “In Shifting Grounds, Lucy Mackintosh explores three places in Tāmaki Makaurau-Auckland where she says: ‘The landscape is an archive’… We start our hikoi with Lucy at the entrance to the ÅŒtuataua Stonefields Historical Reserve, a wooden gate farm, an unattractive start to exploring one of Tāmaki Makaurau’s oldest and most intricate cultural landscapes. The name of the road we took to get to the entrance tells another conflicting story, Ihumātao Quarry Road. This is Auckland, a place where landscapes set in thousands of years of geological time and hundreds of years of human history have roads jointly named for a Maori deity and the agency of its destruction.

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

Ah Auckland! You understand that a new Lucy Barton novel has arrived.

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

This year’s Booker winner is a dark and funny novel about a white family in post-apartheid South Africa. Galgut’s prose has been compared not only to Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, but also to Nabokov and James Joyce. Big boots, to say the least!

4 Taste: My life through food by Stanley Tucci (Fig tree, $ 45)

Stanley Tucci, who you might know as The Devil Wears Prada diva, Easy A’s adorable dad, or that monstrous killer from The Lovely Bones (what a chameleon!), Has a new memoir, told through his love of the food. From editor’s blurb: “Taste is an intimate reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, NY, preparing and filming food movies. Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starters for their children.

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

NPR says, “Of all our contemporary literary fiction writers, Anthony Doerr is the one whose novels seem to be the purest response to the overriding demand – tell me a story.” (And do a damn good job, we can’t wait to add).

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

The novel that divides millennials into two camps: the Rooneyites and the … non-Rooneyites.

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

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

8 The magician by Colm Tóibín (Picador, $ 38)

New fiction on the master novelist Thomas Mann, by the master novelist Colm Tóibín.

9 Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $ 68)

A whopping 700 pages read that according to Scientific news, “rewrites 40,000 years of human history”. The authors dig holes in common notions about the supposedly primitive nature of our human ancestors and suggest that reimagining our past would lead to a very different understanding of the origins of civilization and our current ways of life.

Borrow once again from Science News: “Some social systems featured ruling elites, rigid workers and enslaved people. Others emphasized decentralized and collective decision-making. Some were run by men, others by women. The big question – which the authors cannot yet answer – is why, after tens of thousands of years of social flexibility, many people today cannot conceive how society could be effectively reorganized.

ten Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Hutchinson, $ 37)

New novel from the author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, set on a road trip through 1950s America. It has been described by the citizens of Goodreads as a “winner”, a “gem “, A” five-star reading “and a” crazy adventure story “.


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

2 Mana of the Pacific: wisdom from all over Oceania by Regina Scheyvens and Apisalome Movono (Potton & Burton, $ 40)

“Mana of the Pacific brings together inspiring proverbs and beautiful photographs that showcase the strength, resilience, wisdom and innovation of people across the Pacific… Movono and Scheyvens say that for too long the indigenous peoples of the Pacific have been made to feel this their culture is outdated, their traditions lack value and the only way for them to develop is to rely on outside ideas and resources. Mana of the Pacific challenges this thinking and shows another way; one that is durable and resilient. (Thanks again Kete Books!)

3 Tikanga: An Introduction to Te Ao Māori by Keri Opai (Upstart Press, $ 40)

The perfect first step for those who want to understand the Maori world.

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

By June, Aroha had already sold 25,000 copies – so he got Oprahed, and it’s barely left the bestseller list since.

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

The cookbook that helps you turn those stuff hidden in your freezer and in the back of the cupboard into an Ottolenghi level meal. If you are a foodie, expect to receive three copies of OTK in your Christmas stocking this year.

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

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

The real MVP.

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

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

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

One of our favorite local books of the year (and since it’s incredibly close to December, we can say it with confidence). A fun and down-to-earth thesis in essays, which you can taste at your leisure here for something heartbreaking and here for something hilarious and sexy. Yes, this book contains multitudes.


Previous A new English version of "The Arabian Nights" is the first by a woman
Next where the natural and digital worlds collide