Vic Books 2015 Faves

Before we close the door completely on 2015, we wanted to share a list of our Best Books of 2015. We picked ten from fiction, and ten from non-fiction; the list brings together both best sellers and store favourites.


Fave Fiction


Fave Non-Fiction


There are so many books from 2015 that we loved, so many that we hand-sold, and so many that customers fell in love with too. But a list is a list, and parameters are there for a reason.

And now that’s done, we can focus on 2016, which is already being pegged as a big year.¬†The Guardian has compiled an excellent calendar of all the books to look forward to in 2016. With some of our favourite names dotted along the calendar, from Julian Barnes, to Ali Smith, Don DeLillo, Anne Tyler, Clive James, Ali Smith; there are so many books to get excited about.

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

With the passing of the year comes a moment for reflection, and in the same breath a look forward to the year ahead.

2015 has been an action packed year. Not only are book sales up, a testament to the growth in the book trade, but we’ve seen a baby join the bookshop, staff members arrive, and staff members leave. We’ve seen the closing of our Pipitea shop, the start and end of our Karori Cafe, and the success of the Capital Christmas Window competition. We have seen myriad launches; some in shop and some out, and one LitCrawl. There¬†have been kilograms¬†upon kilograms of coffee consumed, by customers and staff alike, sandwiches made and eaten. Books have been great this year; we’ve found new authors we love, re-discovered old ones, and lost ourselves in worlds that authors create.

Here are a few of the best moments of the year – thanks to all who came along to events, who showed support, and who helped to make the year such a memorable one.

2016 promises to be even better, with a great line-up of new releases on the cards, and some very exciting events planned, it’s going to deliver greatness. Did we mention that we’re also opening a brand new¬†shop in Pipitea? It’ll be like the old bookshop, but it’ll be down the road a bit. And it’ll also house our new Pipitea cafe, bringing the same atmosphere of Kelburn, to Pipitea.

Did we mention that we’re also selling the heavenly¬†doughnuts of Little Dough Co. every Friday and Saturday? They’ll be back on the 15th of January – a date you don’t want to forget.¬†12467761_10208998220019625_2008006133_n

Christmas at Vic Books

Last Thursday we hosted our annual Christmas party. It’s an opportunity for customers to come along, to shop after hours, have a drink, and listen to some great music. Every year it’s a great opportunity to thank our customers, old and new, and to provide them with a night they enjoy. This year was no different – and in fact, it was our best one yet.

It’s been a big year for us; it’s our third year in this location, Pipitea has closed with a new¬†store on the horizons, we’ve had a baby join the team, and had some great new staff members join as well.

The night was magical, and the perfect way to wrap up 2015. We had a Santa reading stories, photos with Santa, a Polaroid camera for all the photo-booth addicts, and there was, of course, food and wine.We had Finn Johansson playing, whose music tied the whole night together. People wandered with baskets on their arm, feeling relaxed and enjoying themselves. It was a delight to see.

We  received a thank-you card yesterday, from one of our regulars, the card perfectly describes why nights like the Christmas party are so special.

“Thank you for your party but most of all thank you for creating such a positive and¬†fun and caring space for everyone at Victoria University all year”


A huge thank you to everyone who came along – the night was a great reminder of the kind of support and community we have around us.

Nga Mihi Nui,

Vic Books

LitCrawl 2015

Well, it’s all over now. After a¬†successful weekend that saw a literary injection straight to the heart of the city, it is all over. It was their second run, and it just keeps improving. But the good news is that LitCrawl have already booked in for 2016. So put it in your diaries:¬†Friday the 11th, Saturday the 12th, and Sunday the 13th of November.

We were honoured to be the designated booksellers for the event, as well as a contributing sponsor. It’s an event that is important, but has very little capital. So it was great to be able to do our bit for what is becoming an annual Wellington literary staple.

Between four of us, we managed to get to a wide range of events, and we were able to soak up the poetry and plays and thoughtful talks that were being poured all over the city.Along with the crowds, we roamed, ranged, and rushed all over town to the events. From The Young gallery on Hawker St, to the City Art Gallery, Hashigo Zake, Meow, Wellington Chocolate Factory, Six Barrel Soda CO., 17 Tory Street, and the Paramount theatre – we were everywhere, and so was everyone else.

Several events were full to the brim, and people were finding spaces where there wasn’t any. Volunteers collected the koha donation, and the speakers commanded the audience. And we were busy creating and dismantling mini bookshops to represent the writers and performers at each venue. There was also a LitCrawl Zine by Foodcourt, which we took with us to every event.



After the final events finished, everyone found their way back to the Paramount, for the after party. It was an opportunity to trade stories about your night, and to hear about events you couldn’t attend.

It was a heady night; the magic of the event was the oxygen in the room, and everyone was completely lit up. We had a stall there stacked high with everyone’s books. With a wine or beer in hand, those who had been audience became customers and friends; they approached excited to find a book by an author they had just discovered, or one they had been wanting¬†to read. As the drinks kept flowing, so too did the book sales, and the clock hit 1 am.

Luke was a trooper and at it again on Sunday afternoon for the Tell You What Launch, which saw a quiet beer in the afternoon nursing everyone’s hangovers, as they listened to writers read.

This event is really special, and we are so grateful for all the work that Claire and Andy put into it. There aren’t many people out there with the same drive, passion, and dedication that this dream duo¬†have. These two are invaluable to the landscape of the Wellington literary scene.

Thank you, Claire and Andy.

Nga Mihi Nui

Na Vic Books

Looking Forward: LitCrawl 2015


When LitCrawl arrived on the scene last year, it was the first of its kind in Wellington. This, unfortunately, made it a little hard to explain. Vic Books was (and is still) one of the sponsors and¬†the¬†booksellers. We¬†told people that it was “like a pub crawl, but with books and authors”. To be honest, we didn’t really know what to expect, but we knew it would be memorable. It turned out we weren’t too far wrong. People picked and followed their path for the night, they heard from authors, visited different bars and venues, and by¬†the end of the night, people were overflowing with bookish enthusiasm. It was infectious.

Coming into its second run, the organisers, Claire Mabey and Andrew Laking have been working hard to smooth things out and to build on the buzz that last years event generated. The line-up is full of excellent writers and authors and publishers;¬†it’s going to be as good, if not better, than last year.

So put it in your diary: 14th November 6:00 pm

There are three 45 minute time slots. Each time slot has 5 different events on offer. So that’s 15 to choose from,¬†but only 3 you can attend (comfortably, that is, and in their entirety).

But don’t let that deter you; you’ll meet people along the way, and you’ll be able to swap stories and make it seem like you got to them all. There is also an after party;¬†Vic Books will be selling books, Food Court has put together a special LitCrawl zine, and they’ve even¬†made bold¬†promises to play talking heads. What could be better? The after party is in the Paramount theatre foyer, from 9:30.

But how do you decide which ones?¬†Here’s a few that we would¬†recommend:

‚ąá Fever 6pm¬†Wellington Chocolate Factory, 5 Eva St

Hallucinations, fire in the blood, hot, heady Saturday Night. Come and enter an altered state with writers from the International Institute of Modern Letters: readings and performances will cast a fever dream and raise temperatures.

With dramatists Briar Grace-Smith and Ken Duncum, novelists Emily Perkins and Gigi Fenster, and poets Ashleigh Young and James Brown. It’s going to be sick.

‚ąá What We Write about When We Write from Prison 7.15pm¬†Hashigo Zake, 25 Taranaki Street

Arts practitioners who believe creative writing can be a powerful element in change share work by prisoners from Aotearoa and around the world.

Join writers William Brandt and Pip Adam from Form of Expression, novelist Gigi Fenster, theatre makers Kaly Newman and Julia Campbell from Wellington Expressive Arts Collective, which uses a variety of Arts-based activities to encourage personal growth and development, Auckland writer James George and Arts in Corrections Adviser from Arts Access Jacqui Moyes. Hosted by Form of Expression.

‚ąá LitCrawl Pub Quiz 8.30pm¬†Little Beer Quarter, 6 Edward St

A bit like a pub quiz but with added drink, nibbles and origami, Toby Manhire and Phil Pinner bring their Point-Chevalier-famous inquisition to Wellington, presenting a specially modified LitCrawl version. Gather a team of two to six quizzers and arrive early.

‚ÄúBest pub quiz in Auckland.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď someone on Twitter

Hosted by Toby Manhire and Phil Pinner, with special guest Emily Perkins.

LitCrawl 2014

Introducing: Kate McIntyre

Name: Kate McIntyre

Role at Vic Books: Bookseller.

The book you are reading right now:  I have about five or six on the go, but right now I’m focusing mostly on reading The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, which continues Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series.

Favourite book of 2015: Being Magdalene by Fleur Beale, which is a sequel to I Am Not Esther and I Am Rebecca. It’s a harrowing read. I cried more than once (though I cry in everything…), but it’s a satisfying conclusion to her trilogy.

Favourite quote of the moment: ‚ÄúWhat is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?‚ÄĚ ‚Äď The final line in David Mitchell‚Äôs Cloud Atlas. It works better in context. Those words restored my hope in humanity.

How long have you worked at Vic Books? Just over a month.

What made you want to work in a bookshop? I was born into it. My parents opened their bookstore just months before I was born and it was my second home throughout my childhood. I was serving customers when I was as young as eight years old. But who wants to work for their parents in their twenties? Vic Books adopted me.

Tell us about your first day at Vic Books: I arrived over an hour early and made use of the café. I stayed two hours late as it just happened to be the Vic Book’s anniversary. There was wine. It was good.

What is it about bookshops that you enjoy the most? The books, the vibe, spending time browsing the shelves, big beautiful hardbacks, seeing what’s new, going to book launches and meeting authors.

What are the best parts of working for Vic Books? To be honest, the coffee, followed closely by the books and my co-workers tied in second place.

Favourite moment at Vic Books of 2015: I’ve not been here very long, but the anniversary drinks on my first day was a lovely night where I got to meet lovely people from all our stores.

Introducing: Elisha Minehan


Name: Elisha Minehan

Role at Vic Books: Bookseller   

The book you are reading right now: White Girls by Hilton Als 

Favourite book of 2015: The Chimes by Anna Smaill Рrightfully our NZ contender for the booker.

Favourite¬†quote of the moment:¬†From Rebecca Solnit,¬†A Field Guide to Getting Lost ‚Äú‚Ķwhen everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.‚ÄĚ

How long have you worked at Vic Books? 4 Days! 

What made you want to work in a bookshop? A¬†liberal arts degree and a desire to not have a ‚Äúreal job‚ÄĚ.

Tell us about your first day at Vic Books: I was lucky enough to get the ball rolling with stock take on my first day. Counting the Vic Books 4 colour pen was a real highlight. And also: Busy!

What is it about bookshops that you enjoy the most? The feeling of being surrounded by ideas.

What are the best parts of working for Vic Books? Coffee! (oh and the books and the people)

Favourite moment at Vic Books of 2015: ¬†…¬†Free Coffee!