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


1 The Invisible Load by Dr Libby Weaver (Little Green Frog Publishing, $36.95)

We look forward to a sympathetic review by ReadingRoom literary editor Steve Braunias of Dr Libby’s latest self-helper.

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

Jane Bowron, writing in the Listener about Evans’ latest self-helper, and the effect his teachings had on Richie McCaw: “It had McCaw transfixed. From extensive notes he made in an exercise book, he did deep analysis of his stress response. That turned him into a believer in the model, as are numerous other converts who’ve stress-tested it in a broad range of spheres.”

3 The New Everyday by Wattie’s Heinz (Hachette, $39.99)

The latest Food in a Minute cookbook, featuring a radical suggestion in its recipe for Tex Mex crumbed chicken burgers – it calls for chicken tenderloins to be dipped into a chipotle and green jalapeno sauce, then coated in…corn chips. Yes, corn chips. Really?

4 A Sharp Left Turn by Mike Chunn (Allen & Unwin, $45)

From Dead People I Have Known, the superb memoir by Shayne Carter, on resolving differences with Neil Finn and Mike Chunn, now the author of his own memoir: “Neil invited me to a dinner party at his palace just last year, because I was staying with Don McGlashan, and it was civil and relaxed and all of the guests were interesting and accomplished. Neil was nice. Mike Chunn was there, and gave me a hug.”

5 Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty by Emma Clifton (David Bateman, $39.99)

6 Brothers in Black by Jamie Wall (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

The rugby book to read and possess right now as the Barrett brothers storm towards RWC glory.

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

8 The Brilliance of Birds by Skye Wishart & Edin Whitehead (Penguin Random House, $55)

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

10 First Map by Tessa Duder & David Elliot (HarperCollins, $49.99)

Philip Matthews, writing a wonderful contemplation of James Cook at Stuff this week: “Tessa Duder, best known for the Alex books, has produced First Map with illustrator David Elliot. It’s a beautiful object but a little old-fashioned in the year of Tuia 250. It is a view from the ship, celebrating Cook’s remarkable achievements as a surveyor and sailor. Duder is struck by how closely Cook’s map of New Zealand resembles those used today. ‘All the seafarers I know talk about Cook’s chart with great awe and astonishment. It is so accurate,’ she says.”


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

La Knox won the Prime Minister’s award for fiction this week and pocketed a cool $60,000 as acknowledgement of her record as our greatest living literary fantasist.

2 Scented by Laurence Fearnley (Penguin Random House, $38)

Review, Goodreads: “As a regular reader of Fearnley’s contributions to the Now Smell This online perfume community, I had this book on pre-order. I received it today and devoured it in one go. I’ve read many perfume memoirs but this is different. It appeals to my intellectual side as well as the sensual perfume loving side. I loved the exploration of a change in life, the meaning of friendships and so many different scents. I was swept up and I really enjoyed it. I would also love to smell the final creation!”

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

4 Caging Skies by Christine Leunens (Penguin Random House, $38)

The book of the Jojo Rabbit movie made by Taika Waititi.

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

Maketu noir.

6 Fresh Ink  (Cloud Ink Press, $29.99)

Poetry anthology.

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

59 reviews, 4.22 stars on Goodreads.

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

11 reviews, 3.82 stars on Goodreads.

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

31 reviews, 4.022 stars on Goodreads.

10 Lost and Somewhere Else by Jenny Bornholdt (Victoria University Press, $25)

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.

Leave a comment