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


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

Five weeks at number one – this is the most loved New Zealand novel since To Italy, With Love by Nicky Pellegrino, and that book, at number seven.

2 The Fish by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Random House, $36)

“In Lloyd Jones’ first novel since his 2018 allegory The Cage, a baby who is both boy and fish is born to an unmarried teenage mother ‘on this long puzzling sandbar we call home.’ We’re close to the sea and close to Wellington, with a story that unfolds largely in the 1950s and 60s: the climax of the novel is the Wahine disaster of 1968 and its sad aftermath, described in riveting and original detail”: from a review by Paula Morris.

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

4 In Amber’s Wake by Christine Leunens (David Bateman, $34.99)

5 Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia Publishers, $35)

Several earlier, more traditional tellings of the Māori myth of Kurangaituku, the bird-woman of Mokoia Island who perished in the hot pools at Whakarewarewa, have been published as children’s books. In 2010, Ron Bacon and illustrator Manu Smith gave a bilingual telling.

Two versions were published by Peter Gossage and Merimeri Penfold , in 1989, one in English, one in te reo.

6 Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022 by Tracey Slaughter (Massey University Press, $37)

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

That book. There’s just no getting rid of it, lol! Last week it disappeared from the Top 10 for the first time in oh say 18 months. It will be with us always, maybe.

8 Formica by Maggie Rainey-Smith (The Cuba Press, $25)

A memoir, in verse, but shouldn’t it be in the non-fiction chart? As the Wellington author said in a recent Q & A at the Read NZ site, “These poems started out as individual poems, over several years rather than with a collection In mind. Then I began to see that they were a kind of memoir. I used to wonder why poetry was in the non-fiction section of the library… and now I see why.”

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

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


1 Letters to You by Jazz Thornton (Penguin Random House, $30)


2 Flavourbomb: Fast fresh keto fun for Kiwis by Belinda MacDonald (Penguin Random House, $45)


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


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


5 Dancing with the Machine by Jo Morgan & John McCrystal (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)


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


7 Future You by Frances Valintine (HarperCollins, $37.99)

You, in the future.

8 Words of Comfort by Rebekah Ballagh (Allen & Unwin, $24.99)


9 Your Money, Your Future by Frances Cook (Penguin Random House, $35)

Your money, in the future.

10 Finding Calm by Sarb Johal (Penguin Random House, $37)


Tomorrow in ReadingRoom: a short story about goat hunting by New Plymouth writer Fergus Porteous

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