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


1 To Italy, With Love by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette, $34.99)

2 She’s a Killer by Kirsten McDougall (Victoria University Press, $30)

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

4 The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare (Hachette, $34.99)

5 Entanglement by Bryan Walpert (Makaro Press, $35)

Actually at number one in New Zealand’s latest best-seller chart – the Time Out bookstore chart, as published for the first time this week at the lively Academy of NZ Literature site. From a review by good old David Hill at the usually not especially lively Kete site: “It’s fiction packed with scientific fact. Stephen Hawking is quoted. Paul Dirac the Nobel Prize-winner appears as a neat nom-de-plume. Read about universal wave function, temporal epistemology, quantum tunneling, light cones, Minkowski diagrams, St Augustine. Einstein provides the book’s epigraph.”

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

7 Out Here by Chris Tse & Emma Barnes (Auckland University Press, $49.99)

8 Huia Short Stories 14 (Huia Publishers, $25)

The latest anthology of short stories by emerging Māori writers. Three were published recently at ReadingRoom; the remainder range in quality and craft as you would expect, but include a lot of great stuff, including a super story by the gifted J Wiremu Kane, who was recently announced as the 2022 emerging Māori writer in residence at Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington’s IIML.

9 The Pink Jumpsuit by Emma Neale (Quentin Wilson Publishing, $35)

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


Nowt really needs saying about the books in the latest top 10, below; it’s Xmas, it’s the time of year for books about food and rugby, those two defining passions in New Zealand life. But there are also a range of high-quality non-fiction titles which have just been published that would also make fantastic presents. Here are six recommendations. 1) 250 Years of New Zealand Painting, a massive new coffee-table edition of the 1971 classic 2) Hei Taonga mā ngā Uri Whakatipu | Treasures for the Rising Generation: The Dominion Museum Ethnological Expeditions 1919–1923, a sensational photographic record published by Te Papa 3) The Architect and the Artists, a beautiful illustrated book showing the collaboration of architect James Hackshaw with Colin McCahon and sculptor Paul Dibble on 12 buildings 4) My book Cover Story, an exhibition of 100 sometimes beautiful but more often quite insane NZ album covers 5) Bloody Woman, striking essays by Lana Lopesi, pictured above 6) Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland by Lucy Mackintosh, who departs from the usual Eurocentric histories of Auckland in favour of stories told by and of tangata whenua; it’s a mind-blowing approach, and its time has come – it’s number one on the Time Out chart of best-selling non-fiction right now.

Anyway, here’s the Nielsen chart:

1 Lost and Found by Toni Street (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

2 Salad by Margo Flanagan & Rosa Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, $45)

3 Sonny Bill Williams by Sonny Bill Williams & Alan Duff(Hachette, $49.99)

4 The Joy of Gardening by Lynda Hallinan (Allen & Unwin, $45)

5 Steve Hansen: The Legacy by Gregor Paul (HarperCollins, $49.99)

6 Gone Bush by Paul Kilgour (HarperCollins, $39.99)

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

8 The Forager’s Treasury by Johanna Know (Allen & Unwin, $45)

9 After the Tampa by Abbas Nazari (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

10 Dish by Sarah Tuck (McKenzie Publishing, $45)

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.

Leave a comment