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


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

Crime thriller by the Melbourne-based Kiwi author. From the Books + Publishing site: “If J P Pomare’s Call Me Evie was a slow-burner of a psychological thriller, his follow-up, In the Clearing, is a pared-back firecracker.”

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

Named in ReadingRoom as one of the 10 best novels of 2019.

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

Thriller “set against a backdrop of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves” of the South Island’s West Coast.

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

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

Named in ReadingRoom as one of the 10 best novels of 2019.

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

Named in ReadingRoom as one of the 10 best novels of 2019.

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

“What an awesome book. It was a relatable, page-turning slice of Kiwiana in the 1960s but still equally as relevant today. Expertly told from the point of view of school boy Callum in an authentic voice. Recommended”: Anne on Goodreads.

8 The Parihaka Woman by Witi Ihimaera (Penguin Random House, $39)

Historical novel published in 2011, when it was rated poorly by Listener reviewer John McCrystal, who wrote, “As Ihimaera continues to flounder, groping for a literary sense of purpose, his muse is clearly proving a slippery customer.”

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

Named in ReadingRoom as one of the 10 best novels of 2019.

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

The book that inspired Taika to make the Oscar-nominated movie.


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


2 A Maori Phrase a Day by Hemi Kelly (Penguin Random House, $30)

Haere mai ki te kai! Come and eat!

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


4 Jacinda Ardern by Michelle Duff (Allen & Unwin, $39.99)


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


6 Straight 8 by Kieran Read & Scotty Stevenson (Upstart Press, $49.99)


7 The Feel Good Guide by Matilda Green (Allen & Unwin, $39.99)


8 Two Raw Sisters by Rosa Flanagan & Margo Flanagan (David Bateman, $39.99)


9 Puppy Zen by Mark Vette (Penguin Random House, $45)


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


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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