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 Last Guests by JP Pomare (Hachette, $34.99)

“He is anybody, everybody, nobody. A black jacket, blue jeans, baseball cap and black sneakers. That’s what the neighbours would see if they happened to glance out the window as he passed through the front gate and crossed the three metres of cobbled path to the front of the house. His heart is steady, his hand is still as he punches the code into the silver key safe bolted to the brick façade of 299 Hillview Terrace. Four-one-three-nine, then it falls open and he’s staring at a simple silver key and a long brass mortise key attached to a key ring in  the shape of New Zealand”: opening paragraph of the latest thriller by JP Pomare, straight in at number one in its first week in the shops. Buy, get, read.

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

3 Last Guard by Nalini Singh (Hachette, $34.99)

Publisher’s blurbology, of the latest book by the prolific Singh: “Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless…. Canto Mercant [is a] cardinal telepath deemed ‘imperfect’ by his race due to a spinal injury, [and] prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen…To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet…or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.”

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

All three novels in the author’s Gabriel Bay trilogy are in the chart this week. I emailed the author, “Did you have a festival session that went super well????” To which she replied, “The only thing I can think of is that a friend bought a few sets to send to her friends and family in the US – but I’m pretty sure she didn’t buy heaps! So if it’s not that, it’s a happy mystery.”

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

6 The Author’s Cut by Owen Marshall (Penguin Random House, $36)

From a review in Variety of Coming Home in the Dark, the new film based on the first story in Marshall’s latest short story collection: “Extrapolated from a short story by celebrated New Zealand writer Owen Marshall, its gore is brutal but sober throughout… As in so many horror films of this variety, trauma is the bone uncovered beneath so much red, shredded flesh.”

7 Loop Tracks by Sue Orr (Victoria University Press, $35)

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

9 Rangikura by Tayi Tibble (Victoria University Press, $25)

“Why is it so good to read this book? It is stepping into liquid currents of words, river currents of ideas, images, feelings: incandescent, life-affirming, fast flowing. The poem is the water current and the lightness current, and it is the vessel-on-the-water current. I am climbing in, word splashed, and drenched in joy. The poet is deep diving, skimming the shallows, riding the rough, revelling, honouring, exposing. Feel the vernacular, the te reo, the melodies along the line, and it is so skin-prickling good”: from a review by Paula Green, at her indispensable poetry site, Poetry Shelf.

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



1 She is Not Your Rehab by Matt Brown (Penguin Random House, $35)

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

3 Eat Well for Less New Zealand by Michael Van de Elzen & Ganesh Raj (Penguin Random House, $35)

Cookbooks must not be regarded as “Mother’s Day literature”.

4 138 Dates by Rebekah Campbell (Allen & Unwin, $32.99)

5 The Abundant Garden by Niva Kay & Yotam Kay (Allen & Unwin, $45)

Cookbooks must not be regarded as “Mother’s Day literature”.

6 Tikanga by Francis Tipene & Kaiora Tipene (HarperCollins, $39.99)

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

Cookbooks must not be regarded as “Mother’s Day literature”.

8 Navigating the Stars by Witi Ihimaera (Penguin Random House, $45)

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

Cookbooks must not be regarded as “Mother’s Day literature”.

10 Mental Fitness by Paul Wood (HarperCollins, $36.99)

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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