Here are this week’s biggest books, as recorded by the Nielsen BookScan New Zealand bestseller list and described by Steve Braunias.

NZ Non-Fiction

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

By an ex-con turned doctor of psychology.

2 Magnolia Kitchen by Bernadette Gee (Allen & Unwin, $45)

Includes something called the allergy-friendly cookie sandwich.

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

“The love story of Josefine Lobnik, a Slovene resistance fighter, and Bruce Murray, a Kiwi prisoner of war. They met by chance when she passed a note through the wire of a POW camp seeking information on her brother Leopold who had been captured by the Nazis. Years later, they became my parents-in-law”: the author, in a personal essay at ReadingRoom.

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

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

“If you feel anxious or want to learn more about the way you think, then this book is gold. It shares tools on how to change how you think and feel — to how to have more control and feel calmer and happier”: Rachel Grunwell, Herald.

6 What the Fat? by Grant Schofield & Caryn Zinn & Craig Rodger (Blackwell and Ruth, $49.99)

ReadingRoom looks forward to receiving AUT food expert George Henderson’s background essay, including his thoughts on the book’s controversial inclusion of a laxative in the recipe for low-carb sausage rolls.

7 Purakau by Witi Ihimaera & Whiti Hereaka (Penguin Random House, $38)

Hereaka will appear onstage tomorrow afternoon (July 6) in conversation with Kate de Goldi at the Marlborough Book Festival in Blenheim.

8 The New Zealand Wars by Dr Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books, $39.99)

O’Malley will appear onstage tomorrow morning (July 6) in conversation with Ron Crosby at the Marlborough Book Festival in Blenheim.

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

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

NZ Fiction

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

ReadingRoom anticipates receiving a profile of the Otorohanga novelist by Wintec journalism student Oskar Howell very, very soon.

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

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

4 The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (Penguin Random House, $26)


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

6 Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh (Hachette, $29.99)

From the opening chapter: “Alexei’s grief remained locked up tight in an airless box where it stayed except for bleak midnight hours about once a month when he could no longer hold it inside. Those nights, he ran in wolf form, howling up at the cold moon.”

7 The Unreliable People by Rosetta Allan (Penguin Random House, $38)

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

9 Short Stories by Katherine Mansfield (Penguin Random House, $35)


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

“I often get reviewers saying, ‘Oh, it’s very well written’ in a tone of surprise. They expect commercial fiction to be a bit dire”: the author, interviewed by Britt Mann.

Steve Braunias is the literary editor of Newsroom's books section ReadingRoom, a noted writer at the NZ Herald, and the author of 10 books.

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