best tracker The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 22 – Techss

The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending March 22

The only published and available best-selling indie book chart in New Zealand is the top 10 sales list recorded every week at Unity Books’ stores in High St, Auckland, and Willis St, Wellington.

AUCKLAND

1 Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Faber & Faber, $25)by Claire Keegan (Faber & Faber, $25)

But have you also read Keegan’s back catalogue which includes the collections Antarctica and Walk the Blue Fields? Astonishing. Those lucky enough to be in Wānaka over 6-7 April can get tickets to the Aspiring Conversations festival event with Claire Keegan, Audrey McGee and The Spinoff’s books editor Claire Mabey. 

2 Dune by Frank Herbert (Hodder, $28)

Fear is the mind-killer.

3 BBQ Economics: How Money Works and Why It Matters by Liam Dann (Penguin, $40)

Accessible chat about how money goes around and how it affects us. Endorsed by both John Key and Grant Robertson.

4 Trust by Diaz Hernan (Picador, $28)

On Good Reads, Roxane Gay gives five stars and this: “Sublime, richly layered novel. A story within a story within a story. Elegantly written. Feels like an homage to Edith Wharton. Truly though, this is just sublime.”

5 Everything is Beautiful and Everything Hurts by Josie Shapiro (Allen & Unwin, $37)

Over 10,000 copies of this lovely novel have now sold (an extremely healthy number in Aotearoa). Read Claire Mabey’s glowing review of Shapiro’s debut here.

6 Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors (Fourth Estate, $25)

TikTok is back at it. 

7 Burma Sahib by Paul Theroux (Hamish Hamilton, $37)

When Orwell went incognito.

8 The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel (Macmillan, $35)

Cost of living crisis anyone? 

9 Auckland Architecture: A Walking Guide by John Walsh (Massey University, $45)

Gorgeous publications that help you look up and over and at the city around you (if you’re in Auckland). 

10 Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Bloomsbury Academic, $37)

The 2023 Booker Prize winner is coming to Auckland Writers Festival in May along with a whole bunch of other famous writers. See our round-up of top events, here

WELLINGTON

1 Plastic by Stacey Teague (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $30)

A beautiful new collection of poetry, reviewed over on Bad Apple by Isla Huia, who says: “Through raw language, Teague gives us an insight into her own experiences of going to her marae for the first time, and being corrected on her pronunciation of kupu Māori; but in doing so, validates our own experiences in similar situations. There is a familiarity to the ways in which the author talks about te ahurea Māori throughout the book, switching from the kaupapa of language revitalisation to her hair colour, from her mother being dubbed ‘Ngāti Plastic’ to a whole chapter dedicated to atua and tīpuna wāhine. This is a book of mātauranga, of recovery, and of mana.” 

2 The Unsent Condolences by Abdul Samad Haidari (Palaver Press, $37)

Abdul Samad Haidari fled his home in Dahmardah Province, Afghanistan as a child. Now in his mid-30s he has been in transit ever since, only recently finding safe haven in Aotearoa in 2023 (initially stuck substandard living situation due to the dire housing emergency). His second book of poetry tells his story of persecution, flight, struggle and survival. 

3 When I Open the Shop by Romesh Dissanayake (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $35)

Brilliant debut novel set in Wellington centred on the life of a chef. Our review coming soon, but in the meantime here’s the publisher’s blurb to whet your appetite:

“In his small noodle shop in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, a young chef obsessively juliennes carrots. Nothing is going according to plan: the bills are piling up, his mother is dead, and there are strangers in his kitchen. The ancestors are watching closely.

Told through a series of brilliant interludes and jump cuts, When I open the shop is sometimes blackly funny, sometimes angry and sometimes lyrical, and sometimes – as a car soars off the road on a horror road trip to the Wairarapa – it takes flight into surrealism. A glimpse into immigrant life in Aotearoa, this is a highly entertaining, surprising and poignant debut novel about grief, struggle and community.”

4 Unsettled: Small Stories of Decolonisation by Richard Shaw (Massey University Press, $40)

Unsettled follows on from Shaw’s highly acclaimed memoir, The Forgotten Coast, in which he unpacks his family’s history of farming on land that had been confiscated from its Māori owners and sold to Shaw’s great-grandfather. The memoir helped many Pākehā to see a way into owning their Colonial history and understanding the privilege that has come with it. Unsettled is the result of many people reaching out to Shaw to discuss their own colonising histories and who want to “live well live well with their own pasts, their presents and their possible futures.”

5 The Financial Colonisation of Aotearoa by Catherine Comyn (Economic & Social Research Aotearoa, $30)

A ground-breaking look at how economics is intertwined with the Colonial project. 

6 The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton, $37)

Grim but wonderful.

7 Lioness by Emily Perkins (Bloomsbury, $37)

A novel of desires, and questions and Wellington and wellness: a middle-age reckoning that is shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards this year (we find out in May who wins).

8 Fungi of Aotearoa: A Curious Forager’s Field Guide by Liv Sisson (Penguin, $45)

A magnificent piece of publishing also shortlisted for the Ockhams. 

9 Dune by Frank Herbert (Ace Books, $30)

10 Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Oneworld, $37)

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