The best-selling books of the week


Reading room

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


1 Accommodation by Jenny Pattrick (Penguin Random House, $36)

David Hill will review Pattrick’s latest historical novel in ReadingRoom next week.

2 The Leonard girls by Deborah Challinor (HarperCollins, $36.99)

The busy David Hill will also be reviewing Challinor’s latest historical novel in ReadingRoom next week.

3 How to hang out in a turf war by Coco Solid (Penguin Random House, $28)

According to a review by Angelique Kasmara, at Kete: “The plot is simple: three friends navigate Tāmaki Makaurau during a sweltering summer, dealing with issues of identity, family and bus services. Fresh and energetic prose sits alongside poetry, excerpts from essays by the (fictional) author and scholar Piopi Ruta-Chris, line drawings and a photo gallery that make for quick reading. Although it is called a “novel” on the cover, it is more of a short story in volume and a connection between the anarchy dissolving genres of zine culture and more traditional literary work…An exciting and intelligent read.”

4 Greta and Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Victoria University Press, $35)

Received the Hubert Church Award for Best First Fiction Book at the Ockham Awards on Wednesday night. Strange to think of the tides of history receding from the shores of Greta and Valdin a look back at the life and work of Hubert Newman Wigmore Church. He wrote a novel in 1916. Jonk, to like Greta and Valdin was a comic novel, about the amusing adventures of an English nobleman on tour through the North Island.

He was best known as a poet who wrote two collections of verse while living in Wellington and working as a government clerk. His life, as described in The New Zealand Biography Dictionary, reads like a gothic novel: “At the age of 12 he was struck in the head by a cricket ball and became completely deaf. As a result he was cast largely on his own resources, and became an omnivorous reader…of his courtesy and knowledge, though to converse with him they had to write down their thoughts…The feeling of Church’s personal isolation, religious doubt and melancholy contributed to a pervasive sense of sadness throughout his verses…Church died in Melbourne, on April 8, 1932, he was survived by his wife. They had had no children, but as Jessie Mackay said after Church’s death, “her poems were her children, and hers too, for she inspired them”. Indeed, speaking of his wife, Church had said to Mackay: “She, you know, is the west wind. In 1945, the Hubert Church Memorial Award for Prose was established through a bequest to Catherine Church’s New Zealand PEN Centre.

His death was recorded in mournful tones in the Victoria University Review“Through the swinging doors on the first floor of government buildings, every morning, day after day, for more than 35 years, he passed through the registers he hated so deeply. At five o’clock sharp, he would emerge and make his way deliberate. from Quay to Terrace, back home. Leaving the world of figures, he sought the world of books.

Sarah Laing drew her portrait for the invaluable site of the New Zealand Academy of Literature, as below.

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

A former winner of the Hubert Church Prize.

6 Popular by Olivia Hayfield (Hatchet, $34.99)

Publisher’s blurb: “Everyone has heard of the Snows. Belle, lead singer of world famous rock band Woodville. Husband Teddy, acclaimed actor by day, notorious partygoer by night. Their daughter Emma wants three things at world: become a writer, own a cat, and never think of Rowan Bosworth again. A dark beauty with a tragic past, Emma should know not to be in love with him. She never knows if he really likes her, or if she’s just a pawn in one of the twisted games he likes to play.

“One Valentine’s Day, a terrible event occurs that will tear the Snow family apart – Emma’s little brothers disappear. Determined to uncover the truth behind their disappearance, Emma is forced to delve into her dark past. celebrity family – and once and for all decide to think with their heart or with their head.”

7 Loop tracks by Sue Orr (Victoria University Press, $35)

The subject of Orr’s 2021 novel, reprinted last week: abortion. “A timely reprint,” noted its editor Fergus Barrowman on the Twitter machine; and the author tweeted, “Would any really smart publisher in the United States like to publish this novel in tune with the times?”

8 New Zealand Poetry Yearbook 2022 by Tracey Slaughter (Massey University Press, $37)

9 Fish by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Random House, $36)

ten Nine Lives of Kitty K. by Margaret Mills (Mary Egan Publishing, $34.99)

The author turns 93 this year.


1 The Boy from Gorge River by Chris Long (HarperCollins, $39.99)

There is a huge public appetite for the stories of living off the land told by the Longs, who bill themselves as New Zealand’s most remote family, located at Gorge River in South Westland. The father wrote a book about their experiences about 10 years ago and it was a bestseller. Chris is the son, and his book has been number one for the past four weeks. And there’s more to come: I heard at the Ockham Book Awards this week that Chris’s sister is also writing a book, telling what it’s like from her perspective.

2 The bookstore at the end of the world by Ruth Shaw (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

3 grand by Noelle McCarthy (Penguin Random House, $35)

4 Simple whole foods by Sophie Steevens (Allen & Unwin, $49.99)

5 salad by Margo Flanagan & Rosa Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, $45)

6 Aroha by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin Random House, $30)

The author will join a stellar cast of all-Wahine Maori (Miriama Kamo, Anika Moa, Stacy Morrison, others) at M9, a sort of hybrid talk-performance show at Auckland’s Civic Theater on Friday June 17. Tickets are available at Ticket Master.

7 letters to you by Jazz Thornton (Penguin Random House, $30)

The author and his dance partner Brad Coleman were judged in first place with 29/30 on the scorecard on Monday night’s episode of Dancing with the stars. They are illustrated below.

A New Zealand author (right).

8 i am autistic by Chanelle Moriah (Allen & Unwin, $29.99)

9 Natural Care by Wendyl Nissen (Allen & Unwin, $45)

ten Forager’s Treasure by Johanna Knox (Allen & Unwin, $45)

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