This week's bookcase star is Shilo Kino, named this week as a finalist for the Young Adult Fiction Award and the Best First Book Award in this year's New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. She says of her bookcase, "I share the bookshelf with my dad who collects rugby books, he has hundreds! This year I am making the conscious effort to only read books by indigenous authors. At the moment I’m reading Matariki by Rangi Matamua."

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


1 Bug Week by Airini Beautrais (Victoria University Press, $30)   

Number one for the fourth consecutive week – a miracle for a collection of short stories. I interviewed Beautrais in ReadingRoom and asked her if the book was a kind of #metoo text. She replied, “Yes and no. A lot of it was written during the unfolding of #metoo. At the time I was also dealing with some personal trauma. Being an ‘elderly millennial’ I came of age in one of the troughs of feminism. It was very common for girls to say ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist.’ I think we were conditioned to make excuses for all kinds of shit behaviour. I remember being taught about STIs but not about intimate partner violence. I hadn’t really thought about psychological abuse until a counsellor told me that was what I was describing to him. #Metoo felt like an indicator that things were on the turn and it was no longer mandatory to keep quiet.”

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

Crime novel set in a Matakana vineyard.

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

News, a few days ago: Scribe Publications have acquired World English language rights for Manawatu’s novel. Someone who works at Scribe said in a press release, “We are thrilled to be taking Auē to an international readership and building upon its incredible New Zealand success.” The deal was brokered by New Zealand’s High Spot literary agency, which has also sold French language rights to Au Vent des Îles.

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

5 Inside the Black Horse by Ray Berard (David Bateman, $34.99)

6 Back to You by Tammy Robinson (Hachette, $29.99)

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

8 The Nine Lives of Kitty K. by Margaret Mills (Mary Egan Publishing, $34.99)

9 Greta and Valdin by Rebecca K. Reilly (Victoria University Press, $35)

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


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

2 Between Two Worlds by Emma Outteridge (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

Blurbology: “In 2009, aged 25, Emma moved to St Paul KAASO, a primary school for orphans in Uganda, naively intent on giving back and ‘saving the world’. While at KAASO, Emma was asked by a young student, Henry, whether she might sponsor the rest of his education. Initially hesitant to make such a commitment, she would go on not only to sponsor Henry, but also to found the Kiwi Sponsorships programme, funding the secondary education of more than 70 children in Uganda.”

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

4 The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw (Penguin Random House, $38)

From a review by Philip Temple, at Landfall Online: “Grimshaw, who has only published fiction before, has the ability to tell a good story. Parts of this memoir, like the young kids’ dangerous journey down the Waitākere gorge, read like fiction. There is a recurring pattern, a returning and returning to father’s description of the family, as if she has employed the pattern of her sessions with her psychologist as a deliberate form to enable her to probe deeper and deeper, expose more and more.”

5 The Forager’s Treasury by Johanna Knox (Allen & Unwin, $45)

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

7 To Be Fair by Rosemary Riddell (Upstart Press, $39.99)

Confessions of a Family Court judge. From an extract in ReadingRoom: “Children become the unwitting pawns in custody tussles. One of the saddest kinds of disputes involves the child becoming alienated from the other parent, and so they parrot the distasteful things about Mum or Dad to such an extent that the parent–child relationship can be irretrievably destroyed….A sad little girl once told me she didn’t want to live with either parent and asked if she could stay with me instead. She wanted to bring her pet rat. I dearly wanted to gather her up in my arms, take her home and show her a life free from conflict and discord. After all, it’s the very least every child deserves.”

8 A High Country Life by Philippa Cameron (Allen & Unwin, $45)

9 Helen Kelly: Her Life by Rebecca Macfie (Awa Press, $50)

From a review by Finlay Macdonald  at ReadingRoom: “Kelly’s socialism and union loyalties are, given her upbringing, not so surprising. But it’s the portrayal of her playfulness, guts and maverick soul that stick with the reader. ‘She was always smiling, always sparkling,’ a high school friend remembered. ‘People were very drawn to that.’ As a negotiator, it seems, that sparkle could be the glint of a blade. When she turned up in Wairoa during the Affco lockout in 2015 her style made a real impression on the local union rep: ‘We’re pretty hearty here in Wairoa,’ he recalled. ‘I mean, we call a shovel a fucking shovel. After that meeting all I wanted to do was be like her.’”

10 The Book of Overthinking by Gwendoline Smith (Allen & Unwin, $24.99)

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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