Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Kiwi readers swayed by recommendations, film and television when voting for their favourite books
it comes to voting for their favourite books, Kiwis prefer to read books that
have been recommended to them and those that have been adapted for the screen.
More than half the books in
the top 20 spots of the Whitcoulls Top 100 Books List, announced today, have
been adapted in to film or television shows, including Me Before You
(number 5), The Girl on the Train (number 13), the Outlander Series
(number 7) and Song of Fire and Ice/Game of Thrones (number 8).
This trend looks set to continue with online streaming options becoming
ever, Harry Potter reigns supreme with the mega-bestselling series again
claiming the number one spot. Lee Child comes in at number two with his 21st
Jack Reacher novel Night School, in the same year that, coincidentally,
Whitcoulls celebrate 21 years of asking New Zealanders to vote for their
favourite books. Lee Child has featured in the Top 100 every year since its
inception in 1996.
Joan Mackenzie, Whitcoulls
Book Manager and the voice behind influential reading list Joan’s Picks says,
“We’ve discovered some wonderful books in the last year and shared them with
our customers, and large numbers of them have obviously agreed with us and
voted them in to the Top 100.”
Recommended reads also feature
strongly, with Whitcoulls Joan’s Picks titles often being favoured by Kiwi
readers. These include: I Am Pilgrim (number 3), Lilac Girls (number
9), Big Little Lies (number 10), All the Light We Cannot See (number
12), Kill the Father (number 34) and The Baltimore Boys (number
one third of the books voted in to the Top 100 are newcomers. Many of these are
new releases, while some are perennial favourites, including The Edmonds
Cookbook, which reappears at number 67 after disappearing altogether last
year. The most popular author is Jodi Picoult, who has six individual titles in
the Top 100; the most of any writer.
“We’re especially pleased to
see the young poet Rupi Kaur – a huge success at this year’s Auckland Writers
Festival – receive so much attention. Her book Milk & Honey (number
70) has resonated with readers around the world, and New Zealanders have
equally taken her to their hearts,” said Mackenzie.
Whitcoulls Top 100 Books List is always eclectic and expresses the nation’s
diverse reading tastes; from blockbusters to home-grown talent and quirky
international titles. Fiction always predominates, but not at the expense of
quality non-fiction, with memoirs, health & wellbeing and personal
development books among the favourites.
says, “In an age of social media, busy lives and many demands on peoples’ time,
it seems that reading still holds a special place in our customers’ lives, and
the passion and enthusiasm for favourite books is as strong as ever.”
This year, voting again broke
all records with votes 8% higher than last year and online voting proving the
most popular way for Kiwis to cast their votes. The Top 100 books are available
at Whitcoulls stores nationwide and online at www.whitcoulls.co.nz.