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Dive Deeper:
Whiti Hereaka wins New Zealand’s Ockham fiction prize for novel subverting Māori myth
Kurangaituku, 'an epic poem of a novel’, won the Jann Medlicott Acorn prize at a ceremony that delivered ‘loads of…
Whiti wins Ockham
Whiti Hereaka has won the $60,000 Ockham book award.
Ockham week: How to make a bird
The novelist attending tonight's Ockham awards dressed as a bird
To hell with the Ockhams
The reading public show better judgment than the Ockham awards
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Ockham week: The book of Auckland
Emmy Rākete responds to a profound new vision of Tāmaki Makaurau, shortlisted for tomorrow's Ockham awards
Metroid Dread is now the series’ best-selling entry
The grand return of Samus brought in big sales for Nintendo.
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This week's best-selling books

By Steve Braunias
This week's bookcase star is Martin Hawes, author of a new book on how to save for retirement, Cracking Open The Nest Egg. Spotted in his Auckland home: books on rock climbing, ancient Rome, and diets, plus The Bible, a book by Bob Jones, and The New Zealand Historical Atlas. The aircon unit looks pretty efficient.

This week's biggest-selling New Zealand books, as recorded by the Nielsen BookScan New Zealand bestseller list and described by Steve Braunias

FICTION

1 Harbouring by Jenny Pattrick (Penguin Random House, $36)

David Hill will review Pattrick's latest historical novel in ReadingRoom next week.

2 The Leonard Girls by Deborah Challinor (HarperCollins, $36.99)

The busy David Hill will also review Challinor's latest historical novel in ReadingRoom next week.

3 How to Loiter In a Turf War by Coco Solid (Penguin Random House, $28)

From a review by Angelique Kasmara, at Kete: "The plot is simple: three friends navigate their way around Tāmaki Makaurau during a sweltering summer, dealing with issues of identity, family and bus services. The fresh, energetic prose jostles alongside poetry, essay excerpts from (fictional) author and academic Piopi Ruta-Chris, line drawings and a photo gallery which makes for a swift read. Although it’s referred to as a ‘novel’ on the front cover, it’s more novella in volume and a connector between the genre-dissolving anarchy of zine culture and more traditional literary work….An exciting, whip-smart read."

4 Greta and Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Victoria University Press, $35)

Awarded the Hubert Church Prize for best first book of fiction at the Ockham awards on Wednesday evening. Strange to think of the tides of history retreating from the shores of Greta and Valdin back to the life and work of Hubert Newman Wigmore Church. He wrote one novel, in 1916. Tonks, like Greta and Valdin, was a comic novel, about the amusing adventures of an English nobleman on tour through the North Island.

He was better known as a poet who wrote two collections of verse when he lived in Wellington and worked as a government clerk. His life, as described in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, reads like a gothic novel: "When he was 12 he was struck on the head by a cricket ball and became completely deaf. As a result he was thrown largely on his own resources and became an omnivorous reader...Church's contemporaries spoke highly of his courtesy and knowledge, though to converse with him they had to write their thoughts down...Church's sense of personal isolation, religious doubt and melancholy contributed to a pervasive sense of gloom throughout his verse... Church died in Melbourne, on April 8, 1932, survived by his wife. They had had no children, but as Jessie Mackay said after Church's death, 'His poems were his children, and hers, too, for she inspired them.' Indeed, in speaking of his wife Church had told Mackay, 'She, you know, is the West Wind.' In 1945 the Hubert Church Memorial Award for Prose was established with the help of a bequest to the New Zealand Centre of PEN from Catherine Church."

His passing was recorded in lugubrious tones in the Victoria University Review: "Through the swing doors on the first floor of the Government Buildings every morning day by day for upwards of 35 years he passed to the ledgers he so thoroughly disliked. At five o'clock to the minute he would emerge and make his deliberate way from Quay to Terrace, homeward. Leaving the world of figures he sought the world of books."

Sarah Laing drew his portrait for the invaluable Academy of New Zealand Literature site, as below. Poor devil, he wouldn't have been able to hear those birds.

5 Auē by Becky Manawatu (Makaro Press, $35)

A previous winner of the Hubert Church prize.

6 Notorious by Olivia Hayfield (Hachette, $34.99)

Publisher's blurbology: " Everyone’s heard of the Snows. Belle, lead singer of world-famous rock band Woodville. Her husband Teddy, acclaimed actor by day, notorious party animal by night. Their daughter Emma wants three things in the world: to become a writer, own a cat, and never think about Rowan Bosworth again. Darkly handsome with a tragic past, Emma should know better than to be in love with him. She’s never sure whether he actually likes her, or if she’s just a pawn in one of the twisted games he likes to play.

"One Valentine’s Day, a terrible event occurs that will rip the Snow family apart – Emma’s little brothers go missing. Determined to uncover the truth behind their disappearance, Emma is forced to delve into the dark past of her celebrity family – and once and for all decide whether to think with her heart or her head."

7 Loop Tracks by Sue Orr (Victoria University Press, $35)

The subject of Orr's 2021 novel, reprinted last week: abortion. "A timely reprint", her publisher Fergus Barrowman noted on the Twitter machine; and the author tweeted, "Would a really smart publisher in the US of A like to publish this zeitgeist novel?"

8 Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022 by Tracey Slaughter (Massey University Press, $37)

9 The Fish by Lloyd Jones (Penguin Random House, $36)

10 Nine Lives of Kitty K. by Margaret Mills (Mary Egan Publishing, $34.99)

The author is 93 this year.

NON-FICTION

1 The Boy from Gorge River by Chris Long (HarperCollins, $39.99)

There is a huge public appetite for the tales of living off the land as told by the Longs, who brand themselves as New Zealand's most remote family, situated at Gorge River in South Westland. The dad wrote a book about their experiences around 10 years ago and that was a best-seller. Chris is the son, and his book has held the number one spot these past four weeks. And there is more to come: I heard at the Ockham book awards this week that Chris's sister is also writing a book, telling what it's like from her perspective.

2 The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw (Allen & Unwin, $36.99)

3 Grand by Noelle McCarthy (Penguin Random House, $35)

4 Simple Wholefoods by Sophie Steevens (Allen & Unwin, $49.99)

5 Salad by Margo Flanagan & Rosa Flanagan (Allen & Unwin, $45)

6 Aroha by Hinemoa Elder (Penguin Random House, $30)

The author will join a stellar cast of all-wahine Māori (Miriama Kamo, Anika Moa, Stacy Morrison, others) at M9, a kind of hybrid stage show of talk and performance at Auckland's Civic Theatre on Friday, June 17. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

7 Letters to You by Jazz Thornton (Penguin Random House, $30)

The author and her dance partner Brad Coleman were judged first place with 29/30 on the scoreboard in Monday night's episode of Dancing with the Stars. They are pictured, below.

A New Zealand author (right).

8 I am Autistic by Chanelle Moriah (Allen & Unwin, $29.99)

9 Natural Care by Wendyl Nissen (Allen & Unwin, $45)

10 The Forager’s Treasury by Johanna Knox (Allen & Unwin, $45)

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Dive Deeper:
Whiti Hereaka wins New Zealand’s Ockham fiction prize for novel subverting Māori myth
Kurangaituku, 'an epic poem of a novel’, won the Jann Medlicott Acorn prize at a ceremony that delivered ‘loads of…
Whiti wins Ockham
Whiti Hereaka has won the $60,000 Ockham book award.
Ockham week: How to make a bird
The novelist attending tonight's Ockham awards dressed as a bird
To hell with the Ockhams
The reading public show better judgment than the Ockham awards
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Ockham week: The book of Auckland
Emmy Rākete responds to a profound new vision of Tāmaki Makaurau, shortlisted for tomorrow's Ockham awards
Metroid Dread is now the series’ best-selling entry
The grand return of Samus brought in big sales for Nintendo.
Get all your news in one place