This week’s best-selling books | Writing

Reading room

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


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

In its third week at number one and destined to stay there for some time to come. Pattrick’s historical novel is set in 1839, in Wellington; the figures include two settlers from Wales. She said New Zealand Radio“I wanted them to be more or less destitute, as I think of many of those early settlers, not the landowners, but those who were brought… [who] had to reimburse their passage when they arrived here, they were often desperate people.”

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

More tales from the past! There has always been an appetite for historical novels telling stories in New Zealand of years past; Challinor’s 20th book is set during the height of the Vietnam War and features two sisters, one pro-war and the other a protester.

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

Shortlisted for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards on May 11.

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

5 Another beautiful day inside by Erik Kennedy (Te Herenga Waka University Press, $25)

New collection of poems, including ‘Phosphate from Western Sahara’. The author delved into the subject — and the vitriolic response — in an excellent story published Wednesday at Reading room.

6 Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia Editors, $35)

Shortlisted for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards on May 11, which certainly provides a good excuse to post another update on what outfit the author intends to wear during the ceremony. It is a representation of the main character of his novel, the mythical bird-woman of the island of Mokoia. She took to the Twitter machine this week and wrote, “Yesterday I cut out my brocade waist cincher but hey! I’m out of needles heavy enough for this. Let’s move on to the skirt. J I designed this petticoat, godet at the back seam to make it look like a tail (like a bird!).” Photographic evidence, below.

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

A lecturer in creative writing at the University of South Australia wrote about Jones’ latest novel at The conversation. I have absolutely no idea what she said or if she liked the book.

8 In Italy, with love by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette, $34.99)

9 Popular by Olivia Hayfield (Hatchet, $34.99)

The latest novel by Herne Bay author (real name Sue Copsey) is described as perfect for fans of Danielle Steele, Tilly Bagshawe and Penny Vincenzi.

ten anomaly by Cadence Chung (We’re Babies, $25)

Poetry in lowercase, namely:

I’m made of baby teeth, not yet weaned
of this world though he may try
get out of my wet pink gums


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

Memoir of the son of the famous Beansprout, who raised a family in the wilderness, at Gorge River, South Westland. Beansprout wrote his own account of life in the desert in 1990 as the author of A Life on Gorge River: New Zealand’s most remote family. He gave an interview to Otago Daily Times that year, and talked about eating fat from the land, which was not very fat: “I harvest supplejack sprouts, use koromiko, and occasionally eat kelp and sea lettuce .”

2 The bookstore at the end of the world by Ruth Shaw (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

More stories from the South Island! There has always been an appetite for the threads of isolation and endurance in the Empty South; Shaw’s memoir of running two small bookstores in Manapōuri is a charming addition to the genre. A flavor of the book is captured in an excerpt from Reading room.

3 grand by Noelle McCarthy (Penguin Random House, $35)

Best book of the year so far. Alcohol and a mother’s love form the two powerful and obviously resonant themes of McCarthy’s memoir, to which ReadingRoom devoted an entire week, with a long extracteven longer interview, and an epic review by Rachael King, who wrote, “You would never want such good material for a memoir on someone. It’s complex, exciting and raw. It even has a perfect beginning, middle and end. This is the opposite of comfort reading. the end is so tender, peaceful.”

4 Simple whole foods by Sophie Steevens (Allen & Unwin, $49.99)

5 Break the egg nest by Martin Hawes (Upstart Press, $39.99)

How much money will you need to retire? Can you ever afford to stop working? How do you make sure your money lasts as long as you do? Is it possible to worry to an untimely death worrying about these things?

6 letters to you by Jazz Thornton (Penguin Random House, $30)

The author and his dance partner Brad Coleman were judged second place with 30/40 on the scorecard on Monday night’s episode of Dancing with the stars.

7 i am autistic by Chanelle Moriah (Allen & Unwin, $29.99)

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

9 Natural Care by Wendyl Nissen (Allen & Unwin, $45)

Francesca Ruskin, Newstalk ZB“Well, if anyone comes to mind if I wanted advice on living a natural life, it would be Wendyl Nissen. She gave up corporate life 20 years ago to live a more laid-back life in Hokianga.She is the author of 11 books on chemical-free living and old-fashioned lifestyles. Natural Care is his latest book.

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

Colin L. Johnson