1 The Bone Tree by Airana Ngarewa (Hachette, $37.99)

Number one for the eighth consecutive week; the author will appear on a panel alongside Colleen Maria Lenihan and Emma Sidnam at the Nelson literary festival later this month.

2 Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $38)

3 The Axeman’s Carnival by Catherine Chidgey (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $35)

4 Kāwai by Monty Soutar (David Bateman, $39.99)

5 Everything is Beautiful and Everything Hurts by Josie Shapiro (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

Patrick Gower’s new favourite book.

6 Potiki by Patricia Grace (Penguin Random House, $15.99)

New edition of the 1986 classic.

7 Pet by Catherine Chidgey (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $38)

8 When I reach for Your Pulse by Rushi Vyas (Otago University Press, $30)

Poems, some set in the wake of a parent’s suicide:

When my father finally

died, we […] burned,

like an effigy, the voiceless body.

9 Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff (Penguin Random House, $15.99)

New edition of the 1990 classic.

10 The Last Days of Joy by Anne Tierman (Hachette, $36.99)


1 The Dressmaker and the Hidden Soldier by Doug Gold (Allen & Unwin, $37.99)

2 Summer Favourites by Vanya Insull (Allen & Unwin, $39.99)

3 Rewi by Jade Kake & Jeremy Hansen (Massey University Press, $75)

Okay so now this is a very special free book giveaway. Rewi is likely the most beautifully, sumptuously designed book of the year, a publishing masterpiece; it’s a tribute to the late architect Rewi Thompson (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa), told in 456 pages with plans, drawings, sketches and photos. Jeremy Hansen describes Thompson’s famous house in Kohimarama as “mysteriously aloof” and the book draws ever closer to his genius. To enter the draw, describe in words, or draw, or photograph, your favourite architecture in New Zealand – a house, a building, a bridge, a fence; anything, really – and email it to with the subject line in screaming caps I WANT THIS BEAUTIFUL AND SUMPTUOUS MASTERPIECE. Entries close midnight on Sunday, October 8.

Oh and last week’s free book giveaway was a newish edition of the 1922 classic The Garden Party & Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield (Penguin Random House, $15.99). Readers were asked to write a few words imagining an encounter with KM – her looks, her manner, her conversation, her clothes, her consumption, her fingernails, anything like that.

I liked these images from Karin Warnaar, who described KM as “all burning eyes, clammy pallor, the handkerchief always ready for a cough”.

Lynda Taylor set her encounter at the Wellington Botanical Gardens: “A  woman glided across the cobblestones toward me. She had greying hair, which matched the silver fox fur trim of her coat. The coat hugged her slim body.”

AW Robertson set her encounter in a grocery store: “She paces the aisles in her day dress, long navy skirt and white blouse, but her hair is escaping from its pins and suddenly her wispy curls make her soft and vulnerable.”

Ellie Henderson set her encounter on Tinakori Road in 1904: “Her library books tumbled to the footpath and I picked up Chekhov, Shaw, Browning, Ruskin and a book on Māori art, but I blushed  under her piercing gaze and refused her gracious invitation to stay and talk.”

Lovely stuff; but the winner is Deb Cutfield, who created a short story in 81 words.

“When I was introduced to Katherine in Nice, or maybe up the hill in Grasse, I fawned over her, gushing about her writing and how she made the inconsequential consequential. She smiled gently while stifling a persistent cough in a lacy handkerchief. And thanked me. Warmly.

“But when I told her I was from Wellington and my grandmother knew her family in Days Bay she became cold, and shunning me she moved to the table where her dreadful husband was sitting.”

Huzzah to Deb! A free copy of The Garden Party & Other Stories is hers.

4 The Art of Winning by Dan Carter (Penguin Random House, $40)

5 Our Land in Colour: A History of Aotearoa New Zealand 1860-1960 by Jock Phillips & Brendan Graham (HarperCollins, $55)

6 Adventures with Emilie by Victoria Bruce (Penguin Random House, $40)

In 2021 Victoria Bruce quit her job and embarked on the country’s longest tramp with her 7-year-old daughter to raise money for Federated Mountain Clubs and the Mental Health Foundation.

7 Fungi of Aotearoa by Liv Sisson (Penguin Random House, $45)

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

9 Eat Up New Zealand: The Bach Edition by Al Brown (Allen & Unwin, $49.99)

10 On the Record by Steven Joyce (Allen & Unwin, $37.99)

“A record of vanities and preenings, told-you-so’s and look-ye-upon-my-works, as he writes with enormous pride about his nine years as a minister of whatever in the Key government (2008-2017). He should be proud. He built roads. He built ultra-fast broadband.’Steven was the guy who got stuff done,’ Key says on the cover, and it’s the kind of legacy any politician would crave – many leave Parliament without a trace, but Joyce left his mark on the nation, made things better. He came to manage; and he managed. Too impatient for history to tell us how well he managed, Joyce steps in and tells that he managed exceedingly well”: from my review, which occasionally saw merit in the memoir.

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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