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

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

Woah! Number one, for the first time; it’s been in the top 10 for the past few months and its sudden elevation is due, of course, to winning the 2022 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction as best novel at the Ockham New Zealand national book awards held earlier this month. The judges loved it. The critics loved it. Most importantly, the public love it, too, and not just according to the evidence of it reaching number 1 on the fiction chart – the results of the ReadingRoom Greatest Book Prize of All Times (as reported in a story with a somewhat provocative headline, “To hell with the Ockhams”)  made it clear that it was thought of by readers as the best novel of the year.

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

From David Hill’s review at ReadingRoom, of Pattrick’s historical novel set in Wellington, 1839: “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.”

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

From David Hill’s review 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.”

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

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

6 Notorious by Olivia Hayfield (Hachette, $34.99)

Awesome cover, and entertaining read.

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

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

9 Slow Down, You’re Here  by Brannavan Gnanalingam (Lawrence & Gibson, $25)

From a review by Rijula Das, of a novel set on Waiheke Island: “The premise of Slow Down, You’re Here is simple: a portrait of a dead marriage…. A little less dwelling on the drudgery of the failing marriage could have helped the pace. A little more insight into Vishal, and his atypical lack of ambition (for a south Asian immigrant) would have been interesting. But at heart, Slow Down is a novel about class, about loneliness, and about the ways we see or don’t see each other.”

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


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

One of the funniest comedians in New Zealand who also happens to know a lot about food will review Lim’s recipe book for ReadingRoom soon and no it’s not Jesse Mulligan.

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 best book of any genre in 2022.

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

From a review of the plant-based recipe book by George Henderson: “Leaving aside the question of whether Simple Wholefoods, by itself, amounts to a nutritionally complete diet (most people will need to fit in the odd steak, egg, and cheese, especially if they can’t stand the supplemented yeast that’s the only source of B12 here), leaving aside the question of whether the book is in any way intended to be an auto-immune protocol – I’m quite sure it’s not, it’s just a well-laid out recipe book with a short but useful introduction and some necessary instructions – these are decent, healthy recipes, designed to look good and taste good.”

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

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

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

Awesome cover, and ancient wisdom.

9 Cracking Open the Nest Egg by Martin Hawes (Upstart Press, $39.99)

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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