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


1 Supergood by Chelsea Winter (Random House, $50)

From Jesse Mulligan’s wildly entertaining review at ReadingRoom: “The Chelsea Winter ingredient palette doesn’t quite fit with Michael Pollan’s famous advice to ‘eat food, not too much, mostly plants’. The ‘eat food’ part of his slogan is shorthand for eating real ingredients – ‘food your grandmother would recognise’ – and Supergood has a little too much of the processed stuff to gel well with the wholefood ethos which generally comes hand in hand with a move towards vegetarianism. Many of her recipes include Frankenfoods like ‘vegan cheese’ and ‘dairy-free spread’ and while the former is often listed as optional, it’s hard to imagine that margherita pizza tasting of much without it. If you’re changing your diet because of health, you might wonder what you’ll achieve by baking a caramel slice which replaces butter with margarine.”

2 Impossible: My Story by Stan Walker (HarperCollins, $39.99)

From my review at ReadingRoom:An as-told-to, with Stan Walker doing the telling, sends a message of cheap literature, a commercial enterprise and nothing else. Impossible is a hell of a lot more than that. This is a can’t-put-down read, direct and proud and inspirational, an honest document of life in New Zealand on the wrong side of the tracks.”

3 Aroha by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin, $30)

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

5 Searching for Charlie by Tom Scott (Upstart Press, $49.99)

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

7 This Is Not How It Ends by Jehan Casinader (HarperCollins, $35)

Reverend Frank Ritchie is working on his review of Casinader’s book this very second.

8 Raw & Free by Sophie Steevens (Allen & Unwin, $45)

9 Navigating the Stars by Witi Ihimaera (Vintage, $45)

10 Down South by Bruce Ansley (HarperCollins, $49.99)

South Island on the road and from the heart by one of the great bards of that island below Pig Island.


1 Auē by Becky Manawatu (Makaro Press, $35.00)

 2 The Jacaranda House by Deborah Challinor (HarperCollins, $36.99)

From Lydia Wevers’ wildly interesting review at ReadingRoom:  “The world Challinor describes is dangerous and edgy Kings Cross in 1964, where everyone is using and drinking, sex is the commodity market and trannies have to be very careful where they walk. The novel focuses on a flat in Bayswater Road where Polly Manaia lives with Rhoda and Star. They all work as ‘dancers’, in bars, taking their clothes off to dance moves, and spend a lot of time trashed to get through it. I won’t ruin the plot by revealing much about it, but it has a slippery slope momentum, not only in the lives of the characters but in what’s happening in The Cross.”

3 Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey (Victoria University Press, $35)

From Aimee Cronin’s wonderful portrait of the author, at ReadingRoom: “Her new book, Remote Sympathy, 154,000 words diligently typed on an old computer, revisits Germany during the Second World War, specifically the Buchwald concentration camp where Chidgey herself spent the night in 1996 on a field trip when living in Berlin, ‘a place so full of ghosts.’ It’s told from the point of view of three central characters who all need each other: Lenard Weber, the German doctor with a Jewish grandfather who invents a machine meant to cure cancer, Dietrich Hahn, an SS officer and his sick wife Greta Hahn who lives in denial about the fact she lives on the edge of the camp.”

4 I Wish, I Wish by Zirk van den Berg (The Cuba Press, $25)

From Greg Fleming’s review, at the Herald: “Namibian-born author Zirk van den Berg moved here in 1998 and set the local crime fiction scene alight with 2004’s Nobody Dies. Since then van den Berg has published five books in South Africa, in a range of genres, with this latest winning a prestigious prize for Afrikaans literature last year and now getting an English translation. I Wish, I Wish is an unexpected delight – the second in Cuba Press’ novella series. It’s a one-sitting read that’s part Stephen King, part Mitch Albom and a far remove from his crime fiction past.”

5 Victory Park by Rachel Kerr (Makaro Press, $35)

6 The Tally Stick by Carl Nixon (Vintage, $36)

7 The Silence of Snow by Eileen Merriman (Black Swan, $36)

Ninth week in the best-seller chart! This is one of the best novels of 2020; and the author appears this weekend at the WORD literary festival in Christchurch.

8 Tiny Pieces of Us by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette, $34.99)

9 Pounamu Pounamu by Witi Ihimaera (Raupo Publishing, $30)

10 State Highway One by Sam Coley (Hachette, $34.99)

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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