Time Out Books: NZ Bestsellers

 

For the week ending 24 April 2022

 

 

FICTION

.

.

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

  1. This witty contemporary novel, a finalist in next month’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, is the only debut shortlisted for the $60,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction. 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. Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia)

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

 

.

3. 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. and is getting good word-of-mouth from readers. 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.

.

4. Loop Tracks by Sue Orr (VUP)

An ‘elegant, delicately told, thoughtful story of triumph’ that moves between the late 70swhen schoolgirl Charlie is about to fly to Sydney for an abortionand contemporary lockdown Wellington. Charlie is in her 50s, caring for her ASD grandson and fending off her ‘amoral, unpleasant son’. In Orr’s ‘Orr’s hands the subtleties of familial and blood connections are complex, challenging and inspirational.’ Read Stephanie Johnson’s full review here.

.

5. 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.

 

.

.

NON FICTION

.

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

Another week at number one for 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.

.

.

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

Ruth Shaw runs two bookshops in Manapouri in New Zealand’s far south. This winsome memoir includes book talk and stories about the people who frequent her shops, as well as adventures that include sailing and goldmining, pirates and drug addicts, and going AWOL from the military. Read an in-depth interview with Ruth at the Stuff website.

.

.

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. Aroha by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin)

Published in 2020, this compendium of one-a-week whakatauki (proverbs) continues to strike a chord. Psychiatrist Elder (Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kurī, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi) discusses happiness, leadership and community. Elder talks about scientific and cultural knowledge in this interview.

 

 

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

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

 

 

'One of writing’s greatest magics is to allow us – to use Kiri Piahana-Wong’s phrase – to slide outside the trap of time.' - David Taylor

Read more