Time Out Books: NZ Bestsellers

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For the month of July 2022

 

 

FICTION

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1. Eddy, Eddy by Kate De Goldi (Allen & Unwin)

A funny and often moving coming-of-age story about an orphaned teenage boy, who lives with his librarian uncle in Christchurch, after he’s expelled from school and sets up a dog-minding business. Read an interview with Kate about her life and the novel, here.

 

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2. 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.

 

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3. Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia)

The winner of the $60,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize at the Ockham NZ Book Awards this year is a subversive, imaginative re-framing of the myth of the monster bird woman. Kurangaituku is also an audacious structural feat that can be read from the front or the back cover. This interview with Steve Braunias appears on Reading Room.

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

Reilly’s warm, comic family drama won a Crystal Arts Trust best first book at the Ockham NZ Book Awards. ‘I wanted Greta & Valdin to be the title the whole time, but I pretended I didn’t for two years. I thought it would seem overly confident in the characters to just call it by their names, and I thought that people would call me a third-rate 21st-century Salinger knock-off.’ Read more of the fiction finalists’ round table here.

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5. Winter Time by Laurence Fearnley (Penguin/PRH)

After the unexpected death of his brother, a man returns from Sydney to the snowy, atmospheric MacKenzie Countryalso the setting for Fearnley’s award-winning The Hut Builder (2012). Always an outsider there, he confronts a changed (and pricier) home town, neighbourly nastiness (both in person and via social media) and a number of mysteries about the town and his own family. Read an extract from the novel here.

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NON FICTION

 

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

This popular memoir 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. Blue Blood by Andrea Vance (Penguin/PRH)

Billed as the ‘inside story of the National Party in crisis’, political reporter Vance takes us into the room where it happened, from John Key’s surprise resignation through leadership battles, resignations, scandals and election doldrums. ‘Blue Blood traverses five wretched years unflinchingly but without any sense of delight’, writes Toby Manhire in the Spinoff.

 

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

An Illustrated Nonfiction finalist at this year’s Ockham NZ Book Awards, this superb book 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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4. 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.
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5.  Too Much Money by Max Rashbrooke (BWB)

A return to the charts for a book published last year (and on the Prime Minister’s ‘Summer Reading List’). Rashbrooke gives a clear and persuasive—if depressing—account of wealth, poverty and privilege in New Zealand and our increasing social inequity. Probably ‘this country’s most insightful, well-researched, clearly written treatise on Aotearoa’s wealth divide to date’, writes Penny Hartill in her Kete review.

 

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