Time Out Books: NZ Bestsellers

For the week ending 3 April 2022

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FICTION

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1. Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K.Reilly (VUP)

One of the four fiction titles shortlisted for the $60,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Josie Shapiro describes it as about ‘the particular nuance of modern romance and the dynamics of an eccentric and worldly family’. Read her full review here.

 

 

2. The Fish by Lloyd Jones (Penguin)

The follow-up to The Cage, a 2019 Ockhams finalist, is original, lyrical and provocative, and (unsurprisingly) dividing critical opinion: see Vincent O’Sullivan at the Spinoff, Paula Morris at ReadingRoom, and Cait Kneller here at the ANZL.

 

 

3. Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia)

Hereaka is another finalist for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize. Her first novel for adults was a decade in the making. A subversive, imaginative re-framing of the myth of the monster bird woman, Kurangaituku is an audacious structural feat. Listen to the Radio New Zealand review.

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4. Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason (HarperCollins)

Longlisted for the 2021 Ockhams, this novel is currently longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the U.K. An exploration of inheritance, desire and forgiveness, it’s the ‘blisteringly funny’ story of tall, blonde, and brilliant Martha’ set from the mid 90s to 2017, ‘as she navigates life with an undiagnosed mental illness’ Josie Shapiro writes on Read Close.

 

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5. Unsheltered by Clare Moleta (Simon and Schuster)

Moleta’s debuta road novel set in a post-apocalyptic Australiawas longlisted for this year’s Ockhams. The Sydney Morning Herald calls it ‘a droll, bleak commentary on refugee policy in Australia … [and] an absolute banger of a novel.’ Read the full review.

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NON FICTION

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1. Grand: Becoming My Mother’s Daughter by Noelle McCarthy (Penguin)

An engrossing memoir that is ‘complex, thrilling and raw’ and ‘the opposite of comfort reading,’ writes Rachael King. ‘At the heart of this book is a revelation about lines of women in families, and trauma, and how it has the potential to repeat. In fiction, in myth, we’d say we are doomed to repeat it’. Read the full review on Reading Room.

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2. Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland by Lucy Mackintosh (BWB)

A finalist in the Illustrated Nonfiction category at the Ockham NZ Book Awards, this is an exploration of the cultural histories of three of Auckland’s most iconic landscapes: Pukekawa (the Domain), Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) and the Ōtuataua Stonefields at Ihumātao. Anna Rankin’s review for Metro includes photography by Haru Sameshima.

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3. Toi Tu Toi Ora by Nigel Borell (Penguin)

A visual stunner featuring work by 110 Māori artists, this is the print version of the landmark contemporary Māori art exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery/Toi o Tāmaki. The editor is that show’s curator, Nigel Borell, who includes 200+ works from the 50s on. (He’s now the curator of the Wairau Māori Art Gallery in the Hundertwasser Art Centre.) Read Kennedy Warne’s account of the exhibition for e-tangata.

 

4. The Abundant Garden by Niva and Yotam Kay (Allen & Unwin)

Israeli-born organic gardeners Niva and Yotam Kayof Pakaraka Permaculture on the Coromandel Peninsulaadvise on maintaining a productive and regenerative vegetable garden. Hear them interviewed on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon.

 

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5. I Am Autistic by Chanelle Moriah (Allen & Unwin)

An interactive guide to understanding autism, for autistic people and their families, friends and workmates. Listen to Chanelle discuss the book’s kaupapa and success on Nine to Noon.

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'Many of our best stories profit from a meeting of New Zealand and overseas influences' - Owen Marshall

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