East Bay Best-Sellers 

What East Bay dwellers are buying this month.

East Bay Best-Sellers lists this month's top-selling paperbacks and hardcovers as reported by independent bookstores throughout the East Bay, including Black Oak, Cody's, Diesel, Lafayette Books, Pegasus, and Rakestraw Books.

NONFICTION

1. Picturing Berkeley, by Burl Willes (Berkeley Historical Society, $35). Over 400 reproductions of early-20th-century postcards, many in full color, reveal a city much changed yet much the same.

2. Fast-Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser (Harper Collins, $13.95). Feces in the meat and the unsavory secret of Secret Sauce are but two of the revelations sizzling herein.

3. More George W. Bushisms, by George W. Bush, Jacob Weisberg (editor) (Fireside, $9.95). First he destroyed the electoral process; now he's disemboweling the English language: What's next on Dubya's agenda?

4. NEW What Should I Do with my Life? , by Po Bronson (Random House, $24.95). Bay Area cyberchronicler Bronson turns his attention to regular folks trying to escape soul-draining drudgery by finding careers that inspire.

5. NEW Destructive Emotions, by Daniel Goleman and the Dalai Lama (Bantam, $26.95). Spirituality and science meet for a group hug and try to make a good world out of bad feelings.

6. Stupid White Men, by Michael Moore (ReganBooks, $24.95). Comic iconoclast Moore skewers, barbecues, and gleefully humiliates the Washington power elite.

7. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich (Owl, $13). A middle-class author pretended to be poor so as to describe the struggles of the underprivileged to mainly middle-class readers.

8. NEW The Power of Babel, by John McWhorter (Perennial, $13.95). The Cal linguist traces the tangled evolution and ever-changing interconnections of language.

9. The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan (Random House, $13.95). A plant's-eye view of humanity's struggle to control nature explores the histories of apples, tulips, potatoes, and cannabis.

10. NEW The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Ballantine, $24.95). Observing his five pets, a former Berkeley Freudian develops some fascinating feline psychological theories.

FICTION

1. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett (Harper, $13.95). This offbeat adventure follows a band of South American terrorists who seize an embassy, a Japanese industrialist, and an opera singer.

2. You Shall Know Our Velocity, by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, $22). A self-published epic that follows two globetrotters who dole out piles of unwanted cash.

3. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold (Little, Brown, $24.95). Narrated by a murdered girl watching her family from heaven, this debut plumbs the outer reaches of emotion.

4. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (Harvest, $14). The author of this lively Booker Prize winner about a boy and a beast surviving a shipwreck admits he "borrowed" the idea from a 1981 Brazilian novel.

5. NEW The Hours, by Michael Cunningham (Picador, $13). The blockbuster film adaptation of this Virginia-Woolf-themed trilogy is likely to spawn Oscar nominations galore.

6. Summerland, by Michael Chabon (Miramax, $22.95). Adults are snapping up this self-conscious, baseball-themed Narnia knockoff, seemingly unconcerned that it's a children's book.

7. NEW The Passion of Artemisia, by Susan Vreeland (Penguin, $13). A fictionalized biography of Artemisia Gentileschi, the only successful woman painter in Renaissance Italy.

8. The Little Friend, by Donna Tartt (Knopf, $26). Tartt's long-awaited second novel, in which kids try to solve a murder, reads like a Nancy Drew mystery ghostwritten by Tennessee Williams.

9. NEW The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95). This first mystery in a series, set in Botswana, stars an irresistibly warm, wry, and well-written female sleuth.

10. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie (Anchor, $10). During China's Cultural Revolution, two boys discover literature and love.

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