Time Out Books: NZ Bestsellers

For the week ending 13 March 2022

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FICTION

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

Another strong week for 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’ written with ‘biting observational humour.’ Read her full review here.

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2. A Good Winter by Gigi Fenster (Text)

Another Ockhams fiction finalist soars into the number two spot. Winner of the 2020 Michael Gifkins Prize for an unpublished manuscript, A Good Winter is a tense psychological thriller about women’s relationships and dangerous obsessions. Listen to the Radio New Zealand review.

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3. Kurangaituki by Whiti Hereaka (Huia)

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

 

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4. Unsheltered by Clare Moleta (Simon and Schuster)

Moleta’s debuta road novel set in a post-apocalyptic Australiawas longlisted for the Acorn Prize. 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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5. Butcherbird by Cassie Hart (Huia)

A return to the fiction chart for Hart’s debut, a novel of supernatural suspense set in Taranaki by a Kai Tāhu author and alum of Te Papa Tupu writing mentorship. The novel is ‘less horror and more slow-burn psychological thriller with a ghost in it,’ writes Alexander Stronach in the Spinoff. Read the full review.

 

 

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NONFICTION

 

 1. 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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2.The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw (Vintage)

A return to #1 for the memoir sensation of last year, a General Nonfiction finalist in this year’s Ockham NZ Book Awards. A ‘fascinating portrait of not only a family, but the writing process. How we magpie material (go and make a story out of it) and what we build from itand at whose expense?’ Read Rachael King’s full review here.

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3. 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.’ Read a discussion of the book by Avia, Leafā Wilson and Pelenakeke Brown on the Pantograph Punch.

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4. Island Notes by Tim Higham (Cuba Press)

Subtitled ‘Finding my place on Aotea Great Barrier Island’, this book by accomplished science writer Higham is both memoir and history, as well a meditation on the island’s unique natural environment. See Sarah Ell’s review for Kete.

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5. NUKU: Stories of 100 Indigenous Women by Qiane (Qiane + Co)

Another Illustrated Nonfiction Ockhams finalist, this beautiful book combines photography and first=person testimony to showcase indigenous women making a difference in politics, healthcare, business, education, sport and the arts. Read an interview about the multi-year project with Qiane at te ao Māori News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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