Time Out Books: NZ Bestsellers


For the week ending 29 May 2022





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

While Whiti Hereaka’s Kurangaituku is reprinted, Reilly retakes the top spot on the chart with her comic family drama, winner of the Crystal Arts Trust best first book at the Ockham NZ Book Awards. This weekend the author published an essay on growing up with NZ soap Shortland Street.



2. Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason (HarperCollins)

This novel is no longer under the radar: it’s shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the U.K. The ‘blisteringly funny’ story of tall, blonde, and brilliant Martha’, it’s set from the mid 90s to 2017, ‘as she navigates life with an undiagnosed mental illness, Josie Shapiro writes on Read Close.



3. Entanglement by Bryan Walpert (Mākaro Press)

The dark horse on the Acorn Prize fiction list this year is a ‘beautiful, stylistically adventurous and deeply philosophical work,’ Angelique Kasmara writes in her ANZL review. ‘Walpert has a screenwriter’s eye for foreshadowing and payoff, with the three narrative strands braiding together to form a Möbius strip, seams eventually dissolving.’ Read her full review here.



4. How to Loiter in a Turf War by Coco Solid (Penguin/PRH)

The first novel by multimedia talent AKA Jessica Hansell is the story of three friends surviving a long, hot Auckland summer. This is not so much a novel, Angelique Kasmara writes in Kete, but ‘more novella in volume and a connector between the genre-dissolving anarchy of zine culture and more traditional literary work.’ Read her full review here.



5. The Fish by Lloyd Jones (Penguin)

Jones is a master stylist, and always provocative, and his latest novel is unsurprisingly dividing critical opinion: : see Vincent O’Sullivan at the SpinoffPaula Morris at ReadingRoom, and Cait Kneller here at the ANZL.







1. 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.



2. Yum! by Nadia Lim (Nude Food)

Lim’s tenth cookbook focuses on nutritious and tasty family recipes. Read her take on the Masterchef controversy and watch her discuss the recent misogynist attack on her.



3. Robin White: Something is Happening Here Sarah Farrar, Jill Trevelyan and Nina Tonga (Te Papa Press)

This is the first book to be devoted to Robin White’s art in 40 years, and includes 150 of her artworks, as well as ‘fresh perspectives by 24 writers and interviewees from Australia, the Pacific and Aotearoa New Zealand.’ Read an in-depth review by John Peoples at NZ Art Review.



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

A visual stunner featuring work by 110 Māori artists, this book catalogues 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.


5. Bloody Woman by Lana Lopesi (BWB)

Longlisted in the General Nonfiction category of the Ockhams, this essay collection traverses the personal and political, feminism and the Samoan diaspora, and goddess of war Nafanua, described by Tusiata Avia as ‘the original blood clot.’ Hear the author discuss ‘breaking the silence’ on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon.

'I felt energised by the freedom of 'making things up’' - Maxine Alterio

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