This week’s best selling books

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



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

Patrick’s historical novel (set in 1839) and the historical novel at number two in this week’s chart (set in 1969) are both eligible for the 2022 ARA Historical Novel Prize. Its the richest genre-based literary award in Australasia, with $50,000 to the adult category winner, $5000 to two shortlisted authors, and $30,000 to the winner of the children and young adult category. New Zealand authors are eligible. As well as Challinor and Patrick, they include:

  • Lloyd Jones for the fish (it counts! Really!)
  • Stephanie Parkyn for The Freedom Birds
  • Graeme Lay for Larry & Vivi

And Dunedin writer Paddy Richardson has an upcoming novel set on Matiu Somes Island in WW2 which may just scrape in.

In the children and young adults category:

  • David Hill for Coastwatcher
  • Gay Buckingham for Kapapo Keeper
  • Brian Falkner for Katipo Joe: The Wolf’s Lair
  • Chloe Gong for Our Violent Ends
  • Philippa Werry for My New Zealand Story: Quarantine, other The Other Sister

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

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

4 the fish by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Random House, $36)

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

Whoa! Now published in the UK, Manawatu’s novel was named at the BBC in London this week as one of the best books of the year so far, alongside burning questions by Margaret Atwood, In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing by Elena Ferrante, Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James, French braid by Anne Tyler, and To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara.

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

7 Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022 by Tracey Slaughter (Massey University Press, $37)

Featuring the work of Wes Lee, viz:

Who doesn’t hate their female body?

When I was given dolls I buried them


And the work of Rhegan Tu’akoi, addressing the Dawn Raids apology:

We roll up the paper apologies and tie the scroll tight with coconut leaves,

place them in our vaka

and keep paddling.

8th Meat lovers by Rebecca Hawkes (Auckland University Press, $24.99)

9 To Italy, With Love by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette, $34.99)

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


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

Fantastic to see this memoir of growing up in the wild on the West Coast go to number one. Long writes, “Until I was 6, in 1999, we had no form of electricity and used candles and a Tilley lantern for lighting. Eventually, we bought our first solar panel, and above the kitchen table went two fluorescent lights connected to a 12 -volt deep-cycle battery bank. If the sun had been shining during the day, then we would have light all night, but if it had been raining the charge would be low and we would still need to use candles…

“We didn’t have walls forming bedrooms. Instead, we had curtains that could be pulled back during the daytime, creating an open-plan living area and allowing us to make better use of our limited space.”

Photo, below: the Long family in front of their cabin at Gorge River.

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

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

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

Tips by a master on how to take control of your financial future and achieve an awesome retirement. For further reading on the subject, by all means consult “Abigail Gets Rich”.

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

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

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

8th Ideals Are Like Stars: The Dame Yvette Williams Story by Angela Walker (David Bateman, $39.99)

Newsroom recently ran on exclusive extract from Walker’s book about the first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal, in long jump at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.

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

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

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