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


1 Harbouring by Jenny Pattrick (Penguin Random House, $36)

From David Hill’s review this week at ReadingRoom, of Pattrick’s historical novel set in Wellington, 1839: “Pattrick knows how to include her research so that it’s a background wash rather than a foreground blob. Those who wants good hard facts in their fiction (how peculiar) will find them. A multi-layered cast is adroitly controlled; you become rewardingly invested in the principals’ arcs and ends. You also wish to smack the newcomers who intend to teach Māori ‘the Christian ways’. Harbouring is a big, bold read.”

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

Winner of the $60,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand national book awards.

3 The Leonard Girls by Deborah Challinor (HarperCollins, $36.99)

From David Hill’s review this week at ReadingRoom, of Challinor’s historical novel, set in 1969: “The Vietnam War blunders on. Rowie Leonard (pro-NZ soldiers, partially pro-conflict) heads for the battlefields as a nurse. Little sister Jo (vehemently anti-this war) heads for the streets as a protestor. So it’s sibling confrontation, always a promising source of plot power. In this case, it starts with the very first paragraph, in Smith and Caughey’s cosmetics dept.”

4 How to Loiter In a Turf War by Coco Solid (Penguin Random House, $28)

The author, also known as Jessica Hansell, has also drawn the very striking cover, below.

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

Winner of the Hubert Church award for best first novel at the Ockham New Zealand national book awards.

6 Puripāha / Bulibasha by Witi Ihimaera & Ruth Smith (Auckland University Press, $39.99)

7 Embedded by David Burt (Mary Egan Publishing, $30)

Publisher’s blurbology: ” Afghanistan 1982, a botched CIA operation leaves a young Ali without a family, setting him on an unpredictable path for retribution. What follows is his lifelong, meticulously planned quest for vengeance, from Afghanistan across the globe to New York. Along the way he makes enemies in a Pakistani drug lord, the Mafia, and every law enforcement agency, but finds love through a most unexpected reunion. This fast-paced novel will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow the twists and turns of his journey, from an innocent 16-year old to the most hunted man in America.”

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

9 tumble by Joanna Preston (Otago University Press, $27.50)

Winner of the Mary and Peter Biggsy award for poetry at the Ockham New Zealand national book awards.

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


1 Yum by Nadia Lim (Nude Food Inc, $55)

Latest cookbook from the co-founder of My Food Bag, pictured below.

Nadia Lim, in possibly the most famous company prospectus ever published in New Zealand. Photo: My Food Bag

2 The Boy from Gorge River by Chris Long (HarperCollins, $39.99)

3 The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

4 Grand by Noelle McCarthy (Penguin Random House, $35)

The author will discuss her memoir with Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall at the river city’s Sarjeant Gallery at 11am this Sunday, May 22.

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

6 Simple Wholefoods by Sophie Steevens (Allen & Unwin, $49.99)

Food researcher George Henderson’s review of the plant-based recipe book will appear next week in ReadingRoom.

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

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

9 I am Autistic by Chanelle Moriah (Allen & Unwin, $29.99)

Another book with cover art by the author, as below.

10 The Forager’s Treasury by Johanna Knox (Allen & Unwin, $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.

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