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


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

2 Supergood by Chelsea Winter (Penguin Random House, $50)

3 A Richer You by Mary Holm (HarperCollins, $36.99)

4 Missing Persons by Steve Braunias (HarperCollins, $35)

My book, of 12 true-crime stories, investigations, and evocations, given a Wellington launch on Wednesday, at good old Unity Books on Willis St, where a big, attentive crowd of about 100 gathered for a talk I presented at lunchtime. The audience included legendary food writer Lois Daish, veteran political correspondent Ian Templeton, writers John Summers, Raj Chakraborti, Tayi Tibble, Kirsten McDougall, and PR It girl, Zoe Priestley.

5 Gulf Wars: How We Kept the Cup by Richard Gladwell (Upstart Press, $24.99)

Sailing and that.

6 Farm for Life: Mahi, Mana and Life on the Land by Tangaroa Walker (Penguin Random House, $38)

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

8 Gangland by Jared Savage (HarperCollins, $36.99)

Storming back into the best-seller chart – and not for the last time, I warrant; Herald writer Savage has produced a dramatic modern history of the P trade, entwining stories of the crooks who profit from it and the cops who bust it. It’s first-rate journalism that shines a light onto a violent criminal underground.

9 The Book of Angst by Gwendoline Smith (Allen & Unwin, $24.99)

10 Bella: My Life in Food by Annabel Langbein (Allen & Unwin, $49.99)



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

2 Blood on Vines by Madeleine Eskedahl (Squabbling Sparrows Press, $34.95)

Blurbological synopsis: “The long, hot summer is over and the tourists have left the Matakana wine country. A tranquil atmosphere descends and warm autumnal winds sweep across the grape-laden valleys. With the harvest due, grapes sit bursting upon the manicured vines awaiting the pick. Within this vista of peace, a rampage of death is about to rock the local community to its core.”

3 Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh (Hachette, $34.99)

4 Cousins by Patricia Grace (Penguin Random House, $26)

The best five New Zealand films adapted from novels, a snap vote: 1) Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff 2) Smith’s Dream by CK Stead, filmed as Sleeping Dogs 3) Cousins by Patricia Grace 4) The Scarecrow by Ronald Hugh Morrieson 5) The Story of a New Zealand River by Jane Mander, filmed without due acknowledgement or credit as The Piano.

5 Everything Changes by Stephanie Johnson (Penguin Random House, $36)

The best New Zealand novel of 2021, by the wicked Auckland satirist.

6 Spellbound by Catherine Robertson (Penguin Random House, $36)

A new Robertson is a big event in the popular fiction calendar; her latest has inspired a boost in sales of her two previous novels, as below.

7 Gabriel’s Bay by Catherine Robertson (Penguin Random House, $36)

8 Sister to Sister by Olivia Hayfield (Hachette, $34.99)

9 What You Wish For by Catherine Robertson (Penguin Random House, $36)

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

New Zealand went kind of crazy for it, apart from the Ockham judges; the US went a bit crazy for it, too, especially Slate; and now the UK is going fairly crazy for it, with a series of rave reviews for a fantasy novel in which birds talk.

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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