Week in Review

This week’s Top 10 best-selling books

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


1 Auē by Becky Manawatu (Makaro Press, $35)

The first time I dealt with Becky Manawatu was in March 2018 when I asked her to write whether such a thing as a literary community existed in Westport, where she works as a reporter for The News. Her story went through several drafts. One section which I discarded and didn’t include in the published version was an actually very charming memoir from her school days. She wrote,

As a teen I went to Buller High School in Westport and I had English teachers who noted my potential.

I remember that my English teacher, Bruce Berry – who sadly passed away this year - used to call my mother after having one or two glasses of wine. He called her to warn her of the road I was headed down. His run down would include my occasional wagging and my chew chewing-gum loudly attitude. Fortunately, I was most the one who answered the phone when he called.


“Yes, hello. Bruce Berry here. Is Maureen home please?”

I would cough, swallow. Swallow again.

“Speaking,” I would say.

“Maureen. Becky has potential, but she has a bad attitude.”

“I will talk to her,” I would say.

“Thank you. Good bye, Maureen.”

“Thank you Bruce.”

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

3 Fake Baby by Amy McDaid (Penguin, $36)

The book everybody’s talking about; a copy is on the top of the stack (pictured above) at the Waterview home of writer Colleen Maria Lenihan.

4 The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Victoria University Press, $28)

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

Your author bio isn’t as interesting as Mark Sweet’s author bio: “Mark (Ngā Mahanga) grew up in Hawke's Bay. In the 1980s, he lived in Hong Kong and travelled extensively in China, returning in 2007 to study Tai Chi and Quigong. He has worked in the property sector and restaurants and is now focused on writing. He participated in Te Papa Tupu mentoring programme, working on Zhu Mao, his first novel.”

6 Alpha Night by Nalini Singh (Hachette, $34.99)

The tireless Singh – two books in the top 10! – returns to her paranormal romance series with a story about a mating which shouldn’t exist.

7 High Wire by Lloyd Jones & Euan Macleod (Massey University Press, $45)

8 Nothing to See by Pip Adam (Victoria University Press, $30)

From Charlotte Grimshaw’s review at ReadingRoom:  “Pip Adam’s new novel, following her award-winning The New Animals, begins in 1994, as two young women, Peggy and Greta, are living together and trying to stay sober. Terrible things have happened to them, including rape, and now, post rehab, they lead a careful, narrow existence with a single focus: not drinking. They flat with another couple, Heidi and Dell, and spend their time volunteering in a charity shop and going to meetings. But something unusual is going on. Hints are dropped, and gradually it becomes clear: Peggy and Greta are the same person. Reading on, we discover Heidi and Dell are also the same person…”

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

10 The Reed Warbler by Ian Wedde (Victoria University Press, $35)


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


2 Listen to Spirit by Kelvin Cruickshank (Penguin Random House, $38)


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


4 Stop Surviving Start Fighting by Jazz Thornton (Penguin Random House, $38)


5 A Natural Year by Wendyl Nissen (Allen & Unwin, $45)

Wellness and food.

6 So Delish! by Simone Anderson (Allen & Unwin, $39.99)


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


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


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


10 Edmonds Cookery Book by Goodman Fielder (Hachette, $34.99)

Food and the New Zealand way of life.

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