Full and frank commentary on 2019 Whitcoulls Top 100

Newsroom literary editor Steve Braunias passes his verdict on the annual list of the 100 favourite books of New Zealanders who filled out a Whitcoulls form.

Good grief.


1 Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

2 The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley

3 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

4 The Tatooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

5 Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

6 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

7 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

8 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

9 Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

10 Becoming by Michelle Obama

11 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

12 I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

13 All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

14 The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simon

15 Educated by Tara Westover

16 Women’s Wellness Wisdom by Dr Libby

17 A Song Of Ice And Fire series by George RR Martin

18 Past Tense by Lee Child

19 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

20 The Kingsbridge series by Ken Follett

21 The Bible by Various

22 Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty                                                                           

23 The Subtle Art Of Not Fiving A F*ck by Mark Manson

24 The Millennium series by Stieg Larson

25 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

26 The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

27 Mythos by Stephen Fry

28 Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict

29 Good Omens by Terry Pratchett

30 The Power Of One by Bryce Courtney

31 Normal People by Sally Rooney

32 My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

33 The Note Through The Wire by Doug Gold

34 The Woman In The Window by AJ Finn

35 The Tea Rose series by Jennifer Donnelly

36 The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley

37 A Year At Hotel Gondola by Nicky Pellegrino

38 The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

39 1984 by George Orwell

40 The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying by Marie Kondo

41 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

42 The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

43 Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

44 It by Stephen King

45 Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

46 A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

47 The Rosie series by Graeme Simsion

48 Magician by Raymond E Feist

49 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

50 Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

51 War Cry by Wilbur Smith

52 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

53 Bridge Of Clay by Markus Zusak

54 In Order To Live by Yeonmi Park

55 The Goldfinch  by Donna Tartt

56 A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles

57 Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

58 The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin

59 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

60 The Beauty Guide by Dr Libby

61 The Martian by Andy Weir

62 Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

63 Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

64 The Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown

65 The Choice by Edith Eger

66 The Dry by Jane Harper

67 The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

68 Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte

69 The Help by Kathryn Stockett

70 Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

71 The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

72 Memoirs of a Geisha  by Arthur Golden

73 A Court Of Thorn And Roses series by Sarah J Maas

74 A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

75 The Alice Network  by Kate Quinn

76 The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger

77 The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

78 Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

79 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

80 The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape

81 Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur

82 The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

83 The Break by Marian Keyes

84 Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

85 Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

86 The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

87 Edmonds Cookery Book by Various (a different Various from The Bible)

88 The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

89 Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

90 The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

91 When Death Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

92 The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

93 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

94 You Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

95 Life of Pi by Yann Martel

96 The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

97 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

98 Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

99 Jessica by Bryce Courtney

100 The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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