The Unity Books bestseller chart for the week ending 23 September

The only published and available indie bestseller book listing in New Zealand is the top 10 selling list recorded each week in Unity Books stores in High St, Auckland and Willis St, Wellington.


1 Instruction by Ian McEwan (Jonathon Cape, $37)

New novel by the master of literary masters Ian McEwan. A tantalizing synopsis fresh from the publisher’s press:

“As the world continues to count the cost of World War II and the Iron Curtain has fallen, young Roland Baines’ life is turned upside down. Stranded at boarding school, his vulnerability attracts his piano teacher Miriam Cornell, leaving scars and a memory of love that will never fade.

“Twenty-five years later, as radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spreads across Europe, Roland’s wife mysteriously disappears and he is forced to face the reality of his rootless existence and search for answers in his family history.

“From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Covid pandemic and climate change, Roland sometimes goes with the flow of history, but more often fights against it. Haunted by missed opportunities, he seeks solace by any means possible – literature, travel, friendship, drugs, politics, sex and love.”

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

The new Japanese time travel café novel in the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series. Inexplicablyeveryone reads it.

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

Legal historian Ned Fletcher spoke to the NZ Herald about his new book – arguably the most important read of the year: “It is a very strong view in our history that the two treaty texts are inconsistent, that there is a mistranslation, that there is in all likelihood a deliberate mistranslation and that the contract is a fraud.

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“My main difference with mainstream New Zealand scholarship is that I think the two texts are consistent, that sovereignty was not this monolithic beast signifying absolute indivisible, end-to-end power, but that sovereignty as used in the treaty was compatible with plurality in government and law, meaning that sovereignty or kāwanatanga reconciled with rangatiratanga.

“And on the British side, they were perfectly comfortable with the idea of ​​the Māori continuing to run their own affairs.”

4 Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia Publishers, $35)

Winner of this year’s Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction and the just-announced winner of the Allen & Unwin Award for Best Adult Commercial Book in PANZ Book Design Awards. And according to essa may ranapiri, the literary vessel for hot gay sex.

5 First person singular: stories by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, $24)

Short stories by the master of magical realism published after Murakami poetically dumped by Michelle Langstone.

6 Things we lost in the water by Eric Nguyen (Vintage, $37)

The bestselling and gripping debut novel about a Vietnamese immigrant family who settles in New Orleans and leaves one family member behind.

7 The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Endurance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (Profile Books, $28)

Readers smugly say, “Forget coffee. This is my new daily pick-me-up.”

8th Yes, Minister: An Inside Account of the Years by John Key by Chris Finlayson (Allen & Unwin, $37)

Essential reading for the politics of your life. A taste, via Toby Manhire, here.

9 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury, $25)

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A 2011 novel that makes readers cry and enjoys a renewed fervor since the phenomenon that is BookTok.

10 life ceremony by Sayaka Murata (Granta, $33)

Give yourself time! A book of short stories by Sayaka Murata — author of the best-selling Convenience Store Woman — has just been translated into English. The publisher describes the stories as “weird, out of this world and like nothing you’ve read before”. One short story is about a girl’s obsession with her curtains, and another is about people eating their dead to honor them… so we’d say yeah, that sounds about right.


1 The missed bullet by Richard Osman (Viking, $37)

The third book in the Thursday Murder Club series is out, and Wellington is thrilled for another dose of these mysterious pensioners.

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

As shiny and popular as if it were born yesterday.

3 Nona the ninth by Tamsyn Muir (goal, $38)

The third book in the fantasy series Locked Tomb has been published. Publisher’s Weekly called it “characteristically brilliant”.

4 Instruction by Ian McEwan (Jonathon Cape, $37)

5 The wedding portrait by Maggie O’Farrell (button, $38)

Maggie O’Farrell has followed up her bestselling historical novel, Hamnet, with a story about the life and suspicious early death of Lucrezia, third daughter of Cosimo I de’ Medici, ruler of Florence. It was met with mixed reviews from the Guardian (“Melodrama Revamped to Appeal to a Progressive 21st-Century Audience”) and the New York Times (“ridiculous”).

6 Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Has Run Out of Patients by Adam Kay (Trapeze, $38)

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New non-fiction book from the author of the ultra bestselling This is Going to Hurt, in which Adam Kay shared all about his experience as a resident in the NHS. Is Undoctored as good as its predecessor? These people say yes:

“Brilliant – even better than This is Going to Hurt.” – Jaqueline Wilson

“Each bit as fun as the first, just as powerful, surprising and unabashed.” – David Weißhaus

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

8th We don’t know ourselves by Fintan O’Toole (Head of Zeus, $37)

A new history of modern Ireland, beginning with O’Toole’s birth in 1958 – the year the Irish government opened the country to foreign investment. That New York Times writes: “In fact, it is neither a treatise nor an absolute history, nor is it a wholly personal reflection or a somber creed. In fact, all of these things are intertwined: his life, his country, his thoughts, his concerns, his anger, his pride, his doubts, all of which ultimately belong to us.”

9 I’m glad my mother died by Jennette McCurdy (Simon & Schuster, $56)

iCarly and Sam & Cat actress Jennette McCurdy has released a confession reminder that has received universal praise. Despite her sobering experience as a child actress — eating disorders, addiction, and a highly dysfunctional relationship with her mother — it’s still a book, described as “shiningly funny” by Time, “laughing out loud” by Shondaland, and “mordantly funny” by Shondaland the New York Times.

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

The original time travel cafe novel, given a boost with the release of Before Your Memory Fades.

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