ReadingRoom

This week’s top 10 NZ books

New Zealand's only national book sales chart, as recorded by  Nielsen BookScan New Zealand and described by Steve Braunias.

NZ Fiction

1 Whatever it Takes by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press, $37.99)

WE HAVE A NEW NUMBER ONE! For the first time in months and months, a book has finally managed to topple Danielle Hawkins from the top spot – the new crime thriller by Christchurch maestro Paul Cleave. Fact: top criminal lawyer Murray Gibson was seen holding a copy at the Waitakere District Court this week. “He writes a good murder,” he said, with a glint in his eye.

2 A Dream of Italy by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette, $34.99)

3 When It All Went to Custard by Danielle Hawkins (HarperCollins, $35)

4 Call Me Evie by JP Pomare (Hachette, $34.99)

More crime fiction.

5 Moonlight Sonata by Eileen Merriman (Penguin Random House, $38)

6 This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Penguin Random House, $38)

More crime fiction.

7 The Gulf Between by Maxine Alterio (Penguin Random House, $38)

8 Coming to it by Sam Hunt (Potton & Burton, $29.99)

The 2018 book of poems by the Kaipara maestro.

9 What You Wish For by Catherine Robertson (Penguin Random House, $38)

10 Melt by Jeff Murray (Mary Egan, $35)

Cli-fi fiction set in 2048. “Melt is a novel of very big ideas. It is also a novel with a purpose – and it is here that it keeps or loses its readers. Murray is not a stylist. He is a storyteller. He also desires to teach. His good intentions are evident in the novel's structure and plot. As speculative fiction, it rehearses an unsettling and too-plausible future. For that alone, it warrants attention”: from a review by David Herkt, at Stuff.

NZ Non-Fiction

1 Perform Under Pressure by Ceri Evans (HarperCollins, $39.99)

Self-help manual by the All Blacks shrink. A baffling excerpt ran last week at dear old ReadingRoom.

2 How to Escape from Prison by Paul Wood (HarperCollins, $37.99)

Ex-con Arthur Taylor was all set to review this self-help manual but something came up which required his urgent attention, and we said Oh well, no worries, missing a deadline is hardly a crime.

3 A Conversation with my Country by Alan Duff (Penguin Random House, $38)

4 Maori Made Easy: Workbook 1 by Scotty Morrison (Penguin Random House, $25)

ReadingRoom ran into Scotty’s missus Stacy at NZME this week and she had some biscuits and offered some which we ate, and later we DMd to ask if she could ask Scotty if he could write us something about the massive popularity – more than 30,000 copies sold! – and impact of his language handbook, and she duly asked, and later passed on that he said he would be glad to. The biscuits were excellent.

5 Rich Enough? by Mary Holm (HarperCollins, $36.99)

From the author’s always excellent column in the Weekend Herald: “Q. I have my retirement savings mostly in international shares. If Brexit is a ‘no deal’, do you think markets will suffer and should I pull out my savings prior, and wait out the turmoil? A. I don't know what will happen to the markets. I don't take a lot of notice of share market forecasts. But regardless of what happens, leave your money alone!”

6 The Book of Knowing by Gwendoline Smith (Allen & Unwin, $24.99)

7 The Note Through the Wire by Doug Gold (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

8 Relentless by Scott Donaldson (HarperCollins, $39.99)

9 The Roar by Alan Stevens (Imagination Press, $39.99)

10 The Political Years by Marilyn Waring (Bridget Williams Books, $39.99)

“Emotion has little place in this memoir, even though she must have been roiling in it in 1976 when The Truth exposed her same-sex relationship. She explains how she endured the scandal, who helped and who scorned, but not at length about how she felt. We discover nothing about the impact on her partner, parents, or the wider gay community. ‘I locked myself away,’ she writes. Waring is not a confessional writer, offering us nothing we’re not owed. This gives power to the occasional bursts of raw emotion in the book”: from a review by Leah McFall at Reading Room.

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