ReadingRoom

This week’s best-selling NZ books

This week's biggest-selling New Zealand books, as recorded by the Nielsen BookScan New Zealand bestseller list and described by Steve Braunias.

Fiction

1 The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press, $35)

"The experience of reading the New Zealand writer Elizabeth Knox’s contemporary fantasy novel The Absolute Book reminded me of how I felt reading [books such as] His Dark Materials...I felt that my position in relation to the book’s capacious intellect and imagination and moral purpose was a vertiginous one. It was thrilling and frightening, reading this book": Dan Kois, from US site Slate.

2 In the Clearing by JP Pomare (Hachette, $34.99)

"The prose in @JPPomare’s In The Clearing is giving me total writer envy and the story’s been creeping me out from the get-go": Queenstown author Jane Bloomfield, on the Twitter machine.

3 A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh (Hachette, $34.99)

"I'm a romance genre girl through and through. When I saw that this was Nalini Singh, I knew I needed to give this book a try even though I hesitate at the genre. I'm really glad that I did. From the first chapter this book captured my attention and held. The writing is phenomenal. It doesn't matter what genre this author writes, she knows how to captivate:" 5-star review by Mindy on GoodReads, where Singh's latest novel has an average of 3.98 stars and has attracted an incredible 500 reviews. She is huge.

4 Bulibasha by Witi Ihimaera (Penguin Random House, $38)

Winner of the 1995 Montana Book Award for fiction.

5 A Dream of Italy by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette, $24.99)

The biggest-selling New Zealand novel of 2019.

6 Auē by Becky Manawatu (Makaro Press, $35.00)

"It really is immense, a deep and powerful work, maybe even the most successfully achieved portrayal of underclass New Zealand life since Once Were Warriors": from my review at ReadingRoom, where I named it the best book of 2019. Another reprint of the Westport author's debut novel has just been whistled up by publisher Makaro to keep up with demand; the book continues to sell by the truckload.

7 Call Me Evie by JP Pomare (Hachette, $24.99)

8 The History Speech by Mark Sweet (Huia Publishers, $32)

9 Whatever It Takes by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press, $37.99)

10 A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press, $30)

Every sentence is as a sharp as the scalpels used in this tense, masterly story of an operation at Wellington Hospital that goes fatally wrong.

Non-Fiction

1 Vegful by Nadia Lim (Nude Food, $55)

Fascinating discourse with the author, from a Q&A at Stuff last year: "Q: Are you a paper plates and cups type, or do you risk your real stuff? A: I only have a set of eight plates, so if it's a larger group then it's paper or bamboo plates."

2 The Book of Overthinking by Gwendoline Smith (Allen & Unwin, $24.99)

Self-helper.

3 Māori Made Easy Workbook 1/Kete 1 by Scotty Morrison (Penguin Random House, $25)

Te reo self-helper.

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

Self-helper.

5 A Māori Phrase a Day by Hemi Kelly (Penguin Random House, $30)

Te reo self-helper.

6 All of This is for You by Ruby Jones (Penguin Random House, $24)

7 Te Tiriti o Waitangi by Ross Calman & Mark Derby & Piripi Walker & Toby Morris (Lift Education, $20)

8 The Invisible Load by Dr. Libby Weaver (Little Green Frog, $39.95)

Self-helper.

9 The Meaning of Trees by Robert Vennell (HarperCollins, $55)

10 Māori Made Easy by Scotty Morrison (Penguin Random House, $38)

Te reo self-helper.

Help us create a sustainable future for independent local journalism

As New Zealand moves from crisis to recovery mode the need to support local industry has been brought into sharp relief.

As our journalists work to ask the hard questions about our recovery, we also look to you, our readers for support. Reader donations are critical to what we do. If you can help us, please click the button to ensure we can continue to provide quality independent journalism you can trust.

With thanks to our partners