The 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)

2022 is a golden year for one of the great popular genres of New Zealand writing – historical fiction. There are three such novels in this week’s top 10. Pattrick’s book is set in 1839, Deborah Challinor’s novel in 1969, and at number 7 on this week’s chart, Cristina Sanders’ novel is about an 1866 shipwreck. Earlier this year Graeme Lay published his latest novel, Larry and Viv, about Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh’s theatrical tour of New Zealand in 1948; and later this year, Paddy Richardson publishes her latest novel, set in the Somes Island military prison camp during World War 1. One other novel qualifies as belonging to the genre, in a wildly different, wildly imaginative way: the book at number 3 this week, because isn’t ancient myth another term for historical fiction?

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

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

4 Winter Time by Laurence Fearnley (Penguin Random House, $36)

Owen Marshall’s review will appear next week in ReadingRoom.

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

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

7 Mrs Jewell and the Wreck of the General Grant by Cristina Sanders (The Cuba Press, $37)

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

9 The Tip Shop by James Brown (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $25)

Brava to James Brown for his latest collection of poems entering the best-seller chart. This guy has always been a class act – funny, exact, with beautiful pitch, all of which are evident in the brief poem “Post-colonial studies” in The Tip Shop:

We admired a row of

renovated colonial houses.

‘You know who lives in them?’

said my friend. ‘Policy analysts.’

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

The author will appear at the Marlborough book festival in conversation with Kate De Goldi tonight (Friday night, July 8) at the ASB Theatre in Blenheim, at 6pm. The pair will also discuss literature and landscape in another session, on Sunday, at the same venue.


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

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

One of the year’s best books, a wholesome outdoorsy memoir, with a wholesome outdoorsy cover.

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

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

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

6 Matariki: The Star of the Year by Rangi Mātāmua (Huia Publishers, $35)

7 Solo by Hazel Phillips (Massey University Press, $ 39.99)

An excerpt from Philips’ excellent book about mountaineering will appear next week in ReadingRoom.

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

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

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

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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